Catholic News Agency: US News

Archbishop Kurtz: Do not forget the power of prayer amid violence

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 23, 2014
Washington D.C., Jul 23, 2014 / 10:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Surrounded by numerous violent conflicts throughout the world, the faithful should not forget the power of prayer, said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “In the coming days and weeks I urge you to ask our Catholic people to pray for peace and to support diplomatic efforts aimed at dialogue and reconciliation,” Archbishop Kurtz said in a July 22 letter to the U.S. bishops. “As Jesus admonishes us: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’.” The world’s violent conflicts “cry out for peace,” demanding both prayer and action, he said, encouraging prayers for peace both in personal devotion and during the prayers of the faithful at Mass. “We should never underestimate the power of prayer; for it touches and opens us to the power of God among us,” the archbishop emphasized. “My prayer is that together we might help o

Pornography recovery program helps 'fight the new drug'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 23, 2014
Denver, Colo., Jul 23, 2014 / 04:57 am (CNA).- The co-founder and executive director of an organization that fights pornography addiction among youth says he sees a need to continue raising awareness about the harmful effects of porn. “We want to change the attitude and perception of young people on this topic so that we can help preserve relationships, love, intimacy, spirituality and inspire a new generation to pursue real love and avoid its counterfeit,” Clay Olsen told CNA. Olsen helped found Fight the New Drug with the intention of helping to make a change in the culture after seeing the harmful effects of pornography on some of his loved ones. “When it comes to drugs and other types of addictions, we have curriculum, billboards, and campaigns to raise awareness, but when it comes pornography, our culture acts as if it doesn’t exist,” he said. The name for the organization was chosen specifically to portray the addictive nature of pornogra

Religious liberty 'fundamental' to human dignity, bishops affirm

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 22, 2014
Baltimore, Md., Jul 22, 2014 / 04:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a recent interview with CNA, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore reaffirmed religious liberty as a priority for the U.S. bishops, emphasizing its relation to personal dignity and evangelization. “Let me just say that religious liberty is so fundamental to the dignity of the human person,” Archbishop Lori stated, continuing that “anyone who is an impartial observer of the culture would say that in recent times, the challenges to religious liberty have accelerated. Because of these situation, the archbishop said that the American bishops have dedicated themselves to upholding religious freedom, and will continue to discuss the “multifaceted challenges” faced by the Church. Archbishop Lori noted that the right to religious liberty “is very much related to truth,” and “does not just depend on (the content of one's) belief.” “God gave us the gift of relig

Lives of the saints model Catholic social teaching in new book

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 22, 2014
Huntington, Ind., Jul 22, 2014 / 11:59 am (CNA).- Dignity of the human person, solidarity and care for creation are just a few topics author Brandon Vogt discusses in his new book, “Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World.” “I hope that this book is a ringing call to saintliness for all readers to say, ‘I want to be a saint and here’s the game plan for doing it,’” Vogt told CNA July 11. The book focuses on seven basic themes of Catholic social teaching – life and dignity of the human person; call to family, community and participation; rights and responsibilities; option for the poor and vulnerable; dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity; and care for creation. It uses examples of the saints to show how those themes can be lived out in daily life. “There’s lots of books on Catholic social teaching that are helpful in terms of the theoretical principles they provide, but most of them

Openness to beauty leads soul to God, says Catholic thinker

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 22, 2014
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 22, 2014 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The senses are the “road to God”, who speaks to us through beauty, said Bill Donaghy, who holds a master's in systematic theology, at the recent Theology of the Body Congress held in Philadelphia. God “is trying to break into our minds and hearts through beauty,” said Donaghy who, using the image of a leaf open to sunlight, said, “we need to be as receptive to God’s beauty as this leaf.” Donaghy was addressing an audience on the role of beauty in the new evangelization at a conference about the more than 100 catecheses delivered by St. John Paul II on “Theology of the Body” early in his pontificate. Part of John Paul II's thought is his sacramental vision of creation, through which we can see God, Donaghy explained. The senses “are a road to God,” he said, imploring the audience, “don’t shrink from the gift of the senses.”

St. John Paul II, Gianna Molla to be World Meeting of Families patrons

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 22, 2014
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 22, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia announced Sunday that St. John Paul II and St. Gianna Beretta Molla will be patron saints of the 2015 World Meeting of Families, being held in his cathedral city. “Saint John Paul II and Saint Gianna have been chosen as the two worthy Patron Saints to guide all in preparation and participation of this international event as they fully embody the history, mission and theme of the World Meeting of Families 2015,” Archbishop Chaput  stated July 20 during Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. “Saints John Paul II and Gianna had a deep and abiding commitment to strengthening the family and sustaining it with love. This historic event will give thousands from around the globe the opportunity to share in the same commitment of our Patron Saints.” During the Mass, Archbishop Chaput also unveiled and blessed a relic of St. John Paul II&#

Bishops: Executive order is flawed approach to discrimination

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 21, 2014
Washington D.C., Jul 21, 2014 / 04:47 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Leading U.S. bishops voiced strong criticism of an “unprecedented and extreme” new executive order, saying that it adds to discrimination problems rather than finding real solutions to them. “In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination,” warned Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo. “With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent,” they said in a July 21 statement. “As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs.”   Archbishop Lori is the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Malone chairs the Committee on Laity, Marriage, F

Neb. priest contributes to medical article linking contraception, breast cancer

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 21, 2014
Lincoln, Neb., Jul 21, 2014 / 12:07 pm (CNA).- In an upcoming issue of The Linacre Quarterly, the official journal of the Catholic Medical Association, an article entitled, “The Breast Cancer Epidemic: 10 Facts,” will explore the scientific evidence that connects artificial contraception to breast cancer. Father Christopher Kubat, executive director of Catholic Social Services of southern Nebraska and a medical physician, is one of the co-authors. He was asked to contribute a small portion of the article by two of the main authors, A. Patrick Schneider II, M.D., M.P.H., and Christine Zainer, M.D. Father Kubat became acquainted with Dr. Zainer when he was still practicing medicine in Milwaukee, before he entered the seminary. Drs. Schneider and Zainer also received contributions from Nancy K. Mullen, M.D. and Amberly K. Windisch, M.D. “It was a collaborative effort that took considerable time,” Father Kubat said. “It’s very lengthy, and there

Bishops: Practicing religion in public is not discrimination

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 19, 2014
Washington D.C., Jul 19, 2014 / 06:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Americans must be free to practice their faith in the public square – including business decisions – without being viewed as discriminatory, urged four U.S. bishops. “Churches, businesses, and individuals should not be punished in any way for living by their religious and moral convictions concerning sexual activity,” the bishops wrote in a July 17 blog post for the U.S. bishops’ conference. “Eliminating truly unjust discrimination – based on personal characteristics, not sexual behavior – and protecting religious freedom are goals that we all should share,” the bishops emphasized. “The current political climate makes it very difficult to maintain a reasonable dialogue on these contentious issues, but we must keep trying.” The blog post was authored by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who chairs the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Pr

World leaders offer prayers in wake of MH17 crash

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 18, 2014
Washington D.C., Jul 18, 2014 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following Wednesday's crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, both religious and political leaders from around the world are offering up prayers, and searching for answers about the tragedy. “Our entire Church prays for the eternal repose of the souls of the innocently killed,” Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Kyiv-Halyc said in a July 18 statement. The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church stated that the “tragedy has revealed that evil… is a real threat to peace and security of the whole world,” and prayed for peace and consolation both for “Ukraine and for the entire world.” “We remain united in our prayers with the families of the deceased and with all those suffering due to this tragedy,” he stressed. On July 17, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine near the