Catholic News Agency: US News

Hundreds flock to conference looking to revive parish life

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 1, 2014
Denver, Colo., Sep 1, 2014 / 12:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Some 500 Catholic leaders and their pastors from across the United States met recently at the first-ever Amazing Parish conference in Denver to brainstorm and swap ideas about improving parish life. The newly-founded Amazing Parish movement seeks to provide resources to pastors and parish leaders so they can create a thriving parish life. The conference, held Aug. 27-28 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center, featured Catholic speakers and workshops on topics such as parish leadership teams, formation programs and evangelization. For a movement that is just starting out, interest in the conference was widespread and the overall response very positive. “Would it be wrong to say it’s been amazing?” quipped Matt Manion, president of the Catholic Leadership Institute and a speaker at the conference. “But it’s really been an excellent experience of Church, of prayer, and of people who are open

PBS raked over decision to air late-term abortion film

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 30, 2014
Washington D.C., Aug 30, 2014 / 02:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life advocates have strongly objected to PBS' decision broadcast the documentary “After Tiller,” saying it wrongly downplays the “gravely unjust” and deadly nature of abortion. “When we hear PBS talk about 'humanizing' late-term abortionists, we wonder: who is 'humanizing' the viable babies these men and women kill?” Lila Rose, president of the investigative group Live Action, told CNA Aug. 29. “Will PBS show programming in this vein, or will it just take taxpayer dollars to boost Big Abortion?” “The abortion process is barbaric and gravely unjust at any stage, as it results in the intentional killing of an innocent, helpless human being,” she added. “But late-term abortions are particularly visually nauseating: in most procedures, abortionists will stab babies' hearts or skulls with a thick needle containing digoxin, a toxin

Knights co-launch film on hope among Haiti's young amputees

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 29, 2014
New Haven, Conn., Aug 29, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Knights of Columbus partnered with Connecticut-based EVTV to produce a documentary on hope and healing of Haitian children injured in the catastrophic 2010 earthquake that rocked the country. The film, “Unbreakable: A Story of Hope and Healing in Haiti,” will be featured at the Portland Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 30. In January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed over 100,000 people, injured thousands and left around 1.5 million homeless. The documentary tells the story of an often overlooked group affected by the earthquake – thousands of children who received emergency amputations in order to survive the injuries they sustained. “This film shows that when there is the will do so – both in terms of those providing aid and those receiving it – lives can be saved and transformed by a program that is truly sustainable,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson, ex

UN intervention against ISIS would fit Pope's call, scholar suggests

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Front Royal, Va., Aug 28, 2014 / 05:48 pm (CNA).- The Pope’s support of international action against attacks by the Islamic State should be met with United Nations intervention, one Catholic professor said.    “I think Pope Francis, in his own opinion, he clearly called for the United Nations to take the lead,” Christendom College history professor Brendan McGuire told CNA. “And generally this is true in terms of the orientation of the Papacy’s attitude toward international affairs, they would rather see things handled by international bodies than by individual nations.” U.S. President Barack Obama is weighing options as the Islamic State – a terrorist group also known as ISIS – continues sweeping though Iraq and Syria, targeting religious minorities including Christians and demanding that they convert to Islam, pay a significant tax, or die. More than 1 million Iraqis are estimated to have fled their homes, seeking shelte

Successful Okla. lawsuit could stop future black masses

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug 28, 2014 / 04:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A lawyer who helped recover a stolen Host that organizers of an Oklahoma City black mass intended to desecrate said that the Church’s legal victory could have far-reaching effects. “I don’t think we’re going to see Satanists doing this again, or they’ll going to understand we’re going to come after them, anywhere, any time this happens,” attorney Michael W. Caspino of the Irvine, Calif.-based law firm Busch & Caspino told CNA Aug. 27. “We’ve now gutted the significance of their black mass. Now it’s really just a bad show with bad actors,” Caspino said. The occult group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu scheduled a black mass at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall Sept. 21. A black mass is a sacrilegious ceremony that invokes Satan and mocks the Catholic Mass. It involves the desecration of the Eucharist, generally by stealing a consecrated Host from

US bishops to honor 50th anniversary of civil rights milestones

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2014 / 12:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops are encouraging commemorations of the 50th anniversary of milestones in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, saying they should inspire further work for the common good. “The Civil Rights Era was an important time in the history of our country,” Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., said Aug. 25. “In constructive ways, many priests, religious sisters, religious brothers and lay Catholic faithful were involved in the struggle for civil rights.” “Recalling the Catholic Church’s past participation in these important historic moments serves to challenge the faithful to work constructively today to enhance the common good for people of all races and ethnicities,” said the bishop, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on African-American Affairs. Over the next year, the bishops’ subcommittee will remember the Mississippi Freedom Summer

Scholars: Boko Haram caliphate claim may be inspired by ISIS

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2014 / 08:00 am (CNA).- The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram’s claim to have established a caliphate – or a state ruled under Islamic law – in part of Nigeria draws inspiration from ISIS insurgents and from a desire for more world attention, said experts. Boko Haram has claimed that Gwoza town in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state is now under an Islamic caliphate, Agence France Presse reports. However, the meaning of the declaration is unclear. Experts said that the move may be an effort by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau to raise his own profile, given the recent success of ISIS, which has claimed a caliphate in Iraq. David Cook, a Rice University religious studies professor who studies Boko Haram, told Agence France Presse that he believes the caliphate proclamation comes from “a desire to emulate” ISIS. He said the statement was largely about “trying to get more media attention.” Shehu Sani, a

EWTN series to profile Catholics who 'come home'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Roswell, Ga., Aug 27, 2014 / 08:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The evangelization group Catholics Come Home is set to premiere a 13-episode television series that fosters engagement in the “New Evangelization” and interviews people who have recently returned to the Catholic faith. “I believe God’s mercy is reaching the hearts of returnees, converts, agnostics and atheists through creative media, helping to bring them home,” Tom Peterson, founder president of Catholics Come Home, said in a video announcement for the series. “Join us as we travel across North America with incredible stories of redemption, as the Holy Spirit transforms souls.” Dr. Gloria Sampson, a former atheist and linguistics professor who is now an active Catholic, will be featured in the first episode, which will air on EWTN Sept. 4. She will discuss her recent return to the Catholic Church after 52 years away from God. She credits seeing a Catholics Come Home commercial

Law group defends pro-life students restricted to college 'speech zone'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 27, 2014
Mobile, Ala., Aug 27, 2014 / 01:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A student group at the University of South Alabama is challenging the university administration after being told its pro-life display must be limited to the school’s small “speech zone.” The non-profit legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom filed an amended complaint on behalf of the students in their lawsuit against the university on Aug. 23. “Free, spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule,” said ADF senior counsel Kevin Theriot. “We hope that the University of South Alabama will revise its policy so that its students can exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.” Following university guidelines, Students for Life USA requested permission last October to host a “Cemetery of the Innocents” which would have consisted of planting small crosses in the ground to honor t

Archbishop: Be vigilant against US religious freedom threats

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 27, 2014
Orlando, Fla., Aug 27, 2014 / 11:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Amidst increasing violent religious persecution in the Middle East and Africa, it is vital for Christians in the U.S. to remain on guard of their own freedoms, said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore. “I'm not given to apocalyptic predictions, but I do believe that we have to be vigilant,” Archbishop Lori said. “It's easy to see that the threats to religious liberty in the West are starting to constrict religion more and more.” Archbishop Lori serves as chairman of the U.S. bishop conference's ad hoc committee on religious freedom as well as the supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. He spoke with CNA in early August at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Florida. There are two main challenges in regards to religious freedom in the United States, he said, and the first is the increasingly popular view of seeing religion as a purely private affair. “(Religion