Catholic Relief Services’ anti-hunger programs around the world during 2008 helped an estimated 49.3 million people in 142 programs, according to Bruce White, a hunger policy analyst for the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency. • Ending the church’s sponsorship of central Oregon’s largest medical facility, Baker’s Bishop Robert F. Vasa said the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Ore., can no longer be called Catholic. • A sexual abuse scandal continues to unfold in Germany, where more than 100 men have now come forward claiming they suffered abuse at the hands of Jesuit priests or lay teachers at Jesuit schools in Germany. • On Feb. 12 the Catholic bishops of Florida urged Gov. Charlie Crist to stay the execution of Martin Grossman, arguing that “execution is seen as an act of revenge for an offender’s deeds and does little to deter future criminal acts in society.” • The White House advisor Cecilia Muñoz told participants at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering on Feb. 8 that the Obama administration remains committed to passing health care and immigration reform legislation, despite political setbacks in Congress.
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