Catholic News Agency: US News

NC governor: Separate men and women's restrooms is a matter of privacy

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 5, 2016
Charlotte, N.C., May 5, 2016 / 11:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- North Carolina’s governor is standing firm against the U.S. Justice Department’s claim that it is unlawful and discriminatory to require individuals to use public bathrooms, locker rooms and showers corresponding to their biological sex. “The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “We will be reviewing to determine the next steps.” The governor was responding to a letter from the Justice Department asserting that recent North Carolina legislation is in violation of national civil rights laws. Known as House Bill 2, the North Carolina law says that in public buildings and schools, people must use the restrooms and locker rooms that align with the biological sex on their birth certificate, rather than their self-perceived “gender identity.” The letter from the Justice D

EWTN asks federal court to reconsider its HHS mandate case

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 4, 2016
Washington D.C., May 4, 2016 / 04:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has asked a federal court to reconsider its ruling forcing the company to comply with the revised HHS mandate, based on an admission by the federal government in its brief before the Supreme Court. “The government admitted what we have said from the beginning,” said Michael Warsaw, CEO of EWTN. “Once you get past the bureaucratic smokescreen, this really comes down to one issue: the government wants to hijack our health plan. EWTN cannot let them do it.” EWTN, the world’s largest religious media network, is one of hundreds of non-profits and charities suing the federal government over its mandate – and the revisions it made to the mandate – that requires employers to offer health plans including contraceptives, sterilizations, and drugs that can cause early abortions. The government’s revision to the mandate was what it called an &ldquo

Cost and conscience – why more Christians are ditching health insurance for this alternative

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 4, 2016
Washington D.C., May 4, 2016 / 03:56 am (CNA).- The youngest of James Lansberry’s nine children almost didn’t survive his birth. Born with no heartbeat, he was resuscitated and spent 11 days in the neo-natal intensive care unit. The medical bill was over $200,000. Yet “every single dollar of those bills was paid,” Lansberry recalled, “and it was paid through gifts and notes and cards and bearing the burden from hundreds of different families across the country – people who I’ll never meet on earth, who took the time to not only bear the financial burden of my family, but I have cards and notes from 43 different states.” Lansberry is the vice president of the Christian health-sharing group Samaritan Ministries, and has been a member since 1996. Instead of enrolling in private insurance or the public health exchanges, member families of health-sharing ministries pay a monthly premium that covers each other’s health care costs, and t

Mercy, peace, joy to be focus of Courage apostolate's 2016 conference

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 4, 2016
Washington D.C., May 3, 2016 / 10:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Courage apostolate to those with same-sex attraction will hold its 29th annual conference this July at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. “It’s our major event of our year to gather our Courage family together and just be renewed by fellowship with one another, by prayer in common, and by good speakers who revitalize our desire for holiness and for growing in friendship with the Lord,” Father Philip Bochanski, associate director of Courage International, told CNA. Courage, founded in 1980, aims to help Catholics with same-sex attraction in their spiritual growth, including life in chastity. Its partner organization EnCourage is an apostolate for parents, friends, and family members those with same-sex attraction. The July 21-24 conference will feature Masses, speeches, workshops, personal testimonies, and social events for attendees. There will be opportunities for Eucharistic Adorati

The world became more dangerous for religious believers last year

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 2, 2016
Washington D.C., May 2, 2016 / 04:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The right to exercise religion came under sustained assault around the world in 2015, according to a new report from a bipartisan United States commission, affecting Christians, Muslims, Jews, among others. “By any measure, religious freedom abroad has been under serious and sustained assault since the release of our commission's last Annual Report in 2015,” Dr. Robert George, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, stated Monday. He was speaking at the release of USCIRF’s annual religious freedom report. “At best, in most of the countries we covered,” George noted, the situation of religious freedom “failed to improve” or, worse, “spiraled downward” in 2015. “I fear … that we’re losing the battle of ideas,” he stated in a May 2 press conference introducing the report. “We need the American people’s support

Intervene in Christian genocide: 400,000 bring plea to UN

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 30, 2016
New York City, N.Y., Apr 30, 2016 / 04:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Advocates delivered hundreds of thousands of signatures to the United Nations on Friday, calling on the body to declare that genocide is occurring against Christians and other religious minorities. “We’re here at the United Nations headquarters to file more than 400,000 signatures from citizens from all over the world asking the Security Council of the United Nations to declare what’s happening right now with ISIS in Syria and Iraq a genocide,” Ignacio Arsuaga, president of the advocacy group CitizenGO, stated at a Friday press conference outside the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The petition asked the U.N. to “take a step forward to protect Christians and other religious minorities that live there,” so that “religious freedom may prevail in that region of the world.” It was delivered to the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday. Religious l

Brooklyn's new auxiliary bishop is returning after years serving in Jamaica

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 30, 2016
Brooklyn, N.Y., Apr 30, 2016 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Brooklyn announced with “thanksgiving to the Almighty God” on Friday that Bishop Neil Tiedemann, C.P., would be returning to his hometown as auxiliary bishop after eight years of service as the Bishop of Mandeville, in central Jamaica. “I am grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for translating Bishop Tiedemann for service in the Diocese of Brooklyn,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn said April 29. “The Passionist Fathers in general, and Bishop Tiedemann in particular, minister especially to those who find themselves in the midst of suffering. He has the heart of Christ,” he said. Born in Brooklyn, New York on March 5, 1948, Bishop Tiedemann grew up attending Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Red Hook neighborhood. It was here that he discerned the priesthood with the Passionists, the congregation founded by the mystic St. Paul of the Cross, Bishop DiMarzi

Stories of ISIS victims are emerging, and they're unbelievably brutal

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 29, 2016
New York City, N.Y., Apr 29, 2016 / 03:48 pm (CNA).- The stories were graphic, brutal and raw. One account told of a couple whose children had been captured by ISIS militants. When they answered their door one day, they found a plastic bag on their doorstep. It contained the body parts of their daughters and a video of them being raped and tortured. Another recalled a Christian woman from Mosul who answered the door to find ISIS foreign fighters, demanding that she leave or pay a jizya tax. She asked for a few seconds, her daughter being in the shower, but the fighters refused to give her the time. They put a torch to the house, burning and eventually killing her daughter. The girl died in her mother’s arms, but her last words were “Forgive them.” These were the stories that emerged from a conference on Christian persecution that took place in New York City on Thursday. Several of the stories were recounted by Jacqueline Isaac, a human rights attorney and vice p

How will faith-based partners fare under new White House rules?

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 29, 2016
Washington D.C., Apr 29, 2016 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Obama administration’s new rule for faith-based partnerships has drawn various reactions: one observer warned they could cause problems for partnering religious groups, while another said the action also strengthens these groups’ protections against government abuse. H. James Towey, the president of Ave Maria University, was a strong critic of the new rules. “They will seek to secularize all faith-based providers that want to play ball with the government,” he told CNA. Towey directed the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2002 to 2006, under President George W. Bush. He said the rules would have a “chilling effect” on organizations that “really care about the souls of the people they serve.” Melissa Rogers, special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships, summarized the new fe

What might save us from 'victimhood' culture

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 29, 2016
Denver, Colo., Apr 29, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This quote from British author Evelyn Beatrice Hall (often misattributed to Voltaire) might sound rather foreign on many college campuses throughout the country today, who in many ways seem to prefer to be defended from the First Amendment rather than to defend it. Last month, students at Emory University in Atlanta protested that their safety was threatened by chalk messages showing support for Donald Trump for president. The president of the University agreed. In early March, two student government representatives at Bowdoin College faced impeachment proceedings for attending a fiesta-themed party with mini sombreros, since the event was deemed an example of “ethnic stereotyping.”   This week, North Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Dan Forest proposed a policy for the state’s public university system that would pun