Catholic News Agency: US News

Catholic colleges to undocumented students: You're still welcome

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 6, 2016
Washington D.C., Dec 6, 2016 / 12:32 am (CNA).- More than 100 presidents of Catholic colleges and universities have reaffirmed their support for undocumented students in light of questions about the future of U.S. immigration policy. “Many of us count among our students young men and women who are undocumented, their families having fled violence and instability,” said the statement released by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. “We are committed to educating these young people, brought to the United States by their parents, who come to our universities to build for themselves and us a brighter future.” The statement’s dozens of signatories include the president of Catholic University of America, the only pontifical college in the United States; the presidents of University of Notre Dame and Georgetown University; and the president of the Chicago-based DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the U.S. These schools&rsqu

How the new bishop of Arlington hopes to heal division in society

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 5, 2016
Arlington, Va., Dec 5, 2016 / 04:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Gospel is the answer to a wounded society, the new bishop of Arlington said in the wake of the presidential election. “We’ll continue to preach the Gospel,” Bishop Michael Burbidge told CNA at a Dec. 5 press conference when he was asked what he would do as bishop to promote unity in society and in the Church after a tumultuous and divisive election cycle. “Reminding us that we are all created in God’s image and likeness,” he continued. “We are all united as brothers and sisters.” Bishop Burbidge will officially be installed as the new Bishop of Arlington, Va. in a Dec. 6 Mass at St. Thomas More Cathedral, with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who serves as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore both present. Formerly the bishop of Raleigh for 10 years, Bishop Burbidge was born in Philadelphia and served as Honorary Prelate to Pope St

Disappointment as Senate Republicans drop religious freedom amendment

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 5, 2016
Washington D.C., Dec 5, 2016 / 03:46 pm (CNA).- Senate Republicans agreed to remove a religious liberty amendment from a defense bill earlier this week, after a fierce campaign was waged against it by secular groups. “The leadership of the 115th Congress must double down against, not concede to, ridiculous, fact-free accusations meant to derail legitimate lawmaking,” Kristina Arriaga, executive director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, stated in response to the news that the Russell Amendment was pulled from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Back in 2014, President Obama signed an anti-discrimination executive order that prohibited any federal contractor from making employment decisions based on someone’s sexual orientation. There were no religious exemptions. Thus, any religious group or charity contracting with the government might have to recognize same-sex marriages, for example. In response, the Russell Amendment, named for the sponsor Rep

How to celebrate Christmas with Benedictine nuns

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 4, 2016
Kansas City, Mo., Dec 4, 2016 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the Christmas season approaches, the hit-making community of Benedictine nuns based in Missouri have released an album full of carols with which to greet the newborn Christ. “Our greatest hope is that these songs will truly 'lift up our hearts' to the Infant King, so that we will always be mindful of His humility and mercy,” Mother Cecilia, prioress of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, told CNA. The community's new album, Caroling at Ephesus, was recorded in September, and recently released. It can be purchased from the nuns' website at: https://music.benedictinesofmary.org/. Digital versions of the album are available from Amazon and iTunes. “This is one season in which there is such an abundance of music, the only difficulty was in choosing which songs to include on this album,” Mother Cecilia said. “We decided to use many on the lighter side - pieces we would sin

Supreme Court justices appear skeptical of Texas' death penalty standards

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 2, 2016
Washington D.C., Dec 2, 2016 / 03:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a death penalty case that could determine the fate of a man whom lawyers say is intellectually disabled. The legal issue in question, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, is “did Texas violate the Eighth Amendment when it disregarded the national consensus definition” of intellectual disability and “substituted a non-clinical” standard in its place? In Moore v. Texas, the petitioner Bobby James Moore was convicted of robbery and murder in Texas in 1980, after killing a convenience store employee in a robbery attempt. He was convicted again in a retrial in 2001. He is challenging the state’s criminal appeals court’s ruling that he merits the death penalty. His lawyers claim that by clinical standards, he is intellectually disabled and thus protected from capital punishment. The Supreme Court previou

Fr Stanley Rother: the first US-born martyr

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 2, 2016
Oklahoma City, Okla., Dec 2, 2016 / 11:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City who served in Guatemala, making him the first martyr to have been born in the United States. “Servant of God Fr. Stanley Rother has been approved for beatification!” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City announced on Facebook Dec. 2. “He is the first US born martyr and priest to receive this official recognition from the Vatican! And of course the first from Oklahoma!” Pope Francis had met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Dec. 1, approving decrees for several causes of canonization. Together with that of Fr. Rother, the Pope recognized the martyrdoms of Fr. Vicete Queralt Llloret and 20 companions, killed in the Spanish Civil War, and Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis of Kaišiadorys, a Lithuanian killed by the Soviets in 1962. Als

Virgin of Guadalupe visits women in LA jail

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 2, 2016
Los Angeles, Calif., Dec 2, 2016 / 12:42 am (CNA).- The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe made its way through the narrow halls of the Century Regional Women Detention Facility in Lynwood, California on Sunday, Nov. 27. Stopping at several two-tier cells at the facility’s east and west towers, Gonzalo de Vivero, director of the L.A. Archdiocese’s Office of Restorative Justice, together with Knight of Columbus Mark Padilla, pulled a makeshift cart carrying the digital reproduction of the original copy of the Guadalupana, a gift to the archdiocese of from Mexico City’s Basilica a decade ago. Accompanied by a few of the facility’s deputies and volunteers from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the men also carried the Virgin’s message of love, forgiveness and reconciliation to the incarcerated women, showing them that they too are important to the Church. Catholic Chaplain Evelia Ortiz couldn’t miss the visit. Every week, from Sunday to Thursday, she off

Christmastime in New Orleans: a holiday celebration unlike any other

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 2, 2016
New Orleans, La., Dec 1, 2016 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- When most people think of New Orleans, they think of Mardi Gras. The raucous parades, elaborate masks, and colorful beads associated with the Carnival season are largely synonymous with the southern Louisiana city. But to Raymond Arroyo, host of EWTN's The World Over, the Big Easy is at its best during another season: Christmastime. To Arroyo, the festive spirit, faith, and traditions of his hometown are unrivaled when it comes to celebrating the Christmas season. “Christmas brings out the best, I think, in every part of the country and the world. But there are things specific to New Orleans that I thought lent themselves to a national exposure,” he told CNA. And now, the New York Times bestselling author hopes to bring a little taste of New Orleans’ Christmas magic to the rest of the country, with a one-hour broadcast documentary airing across the country on American Public Television/PBS throughout t

This lone Jesus statue survived the Tennessee wildfires

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 1, 2016
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Dec 1, 2016 / 11:44 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- As devastating wildfires continue to burn in East Tennessee, a startling discovery was made. On Thursday, CNN said that one of its affiliate reporters had found a statue of Jesus in the remains of a burnt-down house in Sevier County. The statue was the only thing standing amid the rubble. This statue of Jesus was the only thing left standing in a house burned by the Tennessee wildfires https://t.co/1El3FQqhJm pic.twitter.com/65JrtUdXeE— CNN (@CNN) December 1, 2016   Earlier in the week, Dollywood theme park employee Isaac McCord found a page from Scripture that had survived the flames. In a Facebook post, he said that he found the page from the Bible while helping clean part of the theme park. Several verses from the book of Joel are visible on the burnt page, including, “To you, LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of

Pro-life Dems disappointed by Pelosi's re-election as House minority leader

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: December 1, 2016
Washington D.C., Dec 1, 2016 / 11:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life leaders have expressed their dissatisfaction as House Democrats re-elected pro-abortion Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the House Minority Leader. “We have been in trouble since 2010, and failed to realize that we have alienated parts of our party, including the pro-life wing. And by making the platform more supportive of abortion, taxpayer funding of abortion, it further pushed people away,” Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, told CNA on Wednesday. “We need a leader that’s going to pull people together and make a change, rather than business-as-usual,” she continued. Pelosi was re-elected by House Democrats as the Minority Leader on Tuesday, winning 134 votes to 63 for Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio). Pelosi, 76, has served in Congress since 1987. She is a long-time abortion advocate who has won the praises of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Ac