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Faith news around the world

Published: Saturday, Oct. 27 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

The Tennessean reports that the programs have been given until next summer to comply with the rules after Department of Human Services attorneys scrutinized the child-care center law and determined it had been misinterpreted.

Parents' day out programs fill a niche for people who don't need full-time child-care, such as parents who work part-time or stay at home but need a break.

DHS said in a statement that it would work with child care providers over the next year to explore any possible compromise.

Annual licensing fees range from $100 to $500, but state health and safety requirements could force some programs to close, especially if their buildings are deemed inadequate. Meanwhile, some providers are lobbying to change the law before the July deadline.

— Associated Press

Vatican postpones the departure of a church delegation to Syria

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is postponing the departure of a Catholic church delegation to Syria, citing the "gravity of the situation" in the country wracked by civil war.

The church delegates are to express the pope's solidarity with the people of Syria and his "spiritual closeness" with the Christian community.

The Vatican's No. 2 official, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said Tuesday the delegation, which had been expected to depart for Damascus this week, will leave at a date still to be decided. He said the composition of the group will also be changed but gave no details.

Originally the group was to consist of seven church officials, including New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Holy See's top official for interreligious dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.

— Associated Press

Bells at Mother Church of Acadiana temporarily silenced due to repairs

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. — For the first time in a century and a half, the bells of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church are not chiming out quarter-hours or ringing people to Mass. The bell tower is empty.

The oldest bell is cracked, one of the newest needs retuning and the tower is being re-roofed, repaired and reinforced as part of renovations planned before the church's 250th anniversary in 2015.

The work should take about six weeks, said Phil Borel of Loreauville, one of a few certified bell technicians in the country. The church, founded in 1765, has no plans to use amplified recordings while that goes on. "We're going to be silent until we get the bells back," said the Rev. Rusty P. Richard.

Seven bells dating from 1850, 1904 and 1977 had just been removed from their stands, rolled on pipes to a small platform cantilevered onto the bell tower, and lowered by crane to a flatbed truck.

St. Martin's, one of Louisiana's oldest churches, is known as the Mother Church of Acadiana and as the place where many believe the original heroine of Longfellow's "Evangeline" is buried, though no historical record has ever been found to back the claim. The monument is a statue of Delores Del Rio as Evangeline, made after her 1929 movie was filmed in St. Martinville.

— Associated Press

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