Sister Agnes Mary Mansour, reportedly under pressure from the Vatican to resign as Michigan's welfare director, said this week she will continue in her government post for at least the next two to three weeks.
Sister Mansour's statement followed a weekend of confusion over reports that the Vatican's Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutions ordered the Roman Catholic nun to quit as director of the Department of Social Services because it hands out payments to poor women for abortions.
In a statement released through the Department of Social Services, she said she had not been "personally or formally" told by her church to quit.
A Vatican source told the Associated Press that the order for Sister Mansour to quit has been issued, but said the matter is now in the hands of the Vatican's apostolic delegate in Washington, the Vatican's diplomatic mission in the United States. Archbishop Pio Lagi, the apostolic delegate, declined comment early this week.
The National Council of Churches and 11 other church groups have joined in a "friend of the court" brief supporting efforts to get a federal ruling on whether President Reagan violated the War Powers Act in sending military advisers to El Salvador.
The brief supports a lawsuit filed in May 1981 by Rep. George W. Crockett Jr. (D-Mich.) that accused the president of committing U.S. forces in El Salvador in violation of the Constitution. Twenty-eight other House members subsequently joined the suit, which a District of Columbia federal court dismissed last October. An appeal of that ruling is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Passed after U.S. intervention in Vietnam, the War Powers Act says the president can send military personnel into a country at war for only 60 days unless Congress specifically approves their remaining there longer.
The church groups also charge that the military aid violates the Foreign Assistance Act, which bars security aid to a country whose government engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.
A sheriff's sale scheduled for late this week could mean the end of free meals to the hungry who come to the Bethlehem Bibleway Apostolic Community Church's basement kitchen in Akron, Ohio.
The church is more than $150,000 in debt and the property, which it leases, will be offered at sheriff's sale Friday.
It has been several years since any money has been paid on the mortgage, but Elder Odell Johns, pastor of the church, said he won't let the sheriff's sale stop his providing free meals to the poor.
"I'll buy a tent and feed people there," he said. "If I can't afford a tent, I'll get a wheelbarrow."
Johns said he draws no salary and that feeding the poor has become an all-consuming passion. He lives in the church sanctuary, sleeps on a borrowed couch and wears borrowed clothes.