Catholic News Agency: US News

Supreme Court upholds use of controversial lethal injection drug

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 29, 2015
Washington D.C., Jun 29, 2015 / 08:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the continued use of a drug that has been accused of causing excruciating pain in several controversial state executions. The 5-4 ruling in Glossip v. Gross was announced June 29. Lawyers for three death-row inmates in Oklahoma had argued before the court that the state’s three-drug protocol for executions violated constitutional bans on cruel and unusual punishment. The execution protocol includes the sedative midazolam. The drug’s effectiveness was recently called into question when it was used in several unusually prolonged executions in Ohio, Arizona and Oklahoma in which inmates appeared to suffer significantly during their deaths. In the 2014 execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett, the sedated man’s body writhed and he breathed heavily for more than 40 minutes until he died of a heart attack. Oklahoma officials had argued that the protocol was

FDA announces additional risks of Essure birth control device

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 28, 2015
Denver, Colo., Jun 28, 2015 / 04:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After receiving thousands of complaints about the adverse effects of the birth control implant Essure, the FDA announced late Wednesday that it has updated the list of risks and complications associated with the device, and that a public hearing would be held Sept. 24 to evaluate the product. Essure is a permanent type of birth control in the form of tiny metal coils inserted into women’s Fallopian tubes. When the coils are implanted they are supposed to stay in the Fallopian tubes, where they create a chronic infection that will cause scar tissue to form around the coils, effectively closing the tubes and rendering the woman sterile. Until this week, possible side effects of Essure listed on the product’s website included: “mild to moderate pain and/or cramping, vaginal bleeding, and pelvic or back discomfort for a few days. Some women experienced nausea and/or vomiting or fainting. In rare instances, an

Benedictine monks' disputed role at Catholic university in Illinois at center of new lawsuit

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 28, 2015
Chicago, Ill., Jun 28, 2015 / 06:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Seven monks of St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Ill. have filed suit against the leadership of Illinois’ Benedictine University, saying that the leadership has denied them their rights to help govern the university their abbey founded. Abbot Austin Murphy, who is also the university’s chancellor and a member of the board of trustees, said the dispute “goes to the very heart of maintaining the Catholic identity” of the university because of the monks’ oversight role in ensuring “that the university remains Catholic and Benedictine.” “They are surely not the only ones who contribute to the Catholic identity of Benedictine University, but they make an important contribution,” the abbot told CNA June 24. “So, if you take the monks of St. Procopius Abbey out of the picture, you are taking away an important contributing factor to the Catholic nature of Benedictine Univer

'The unthinkable is real,' author warns about persecutions of Middle East Christians

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 27, 2015
New York City, N.Y., Jun 27, 2015 / 04:07 pm (CNA).- Growing unrest in the Middle East is causing great concern for the Christian community around the world, and author George J. Marlin is hoping to enlighten Western Christians on how seriously matters are progressing, as their brethren in the Middle East continue to undergo persecution. His latest book, Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy, was published earlier this month by St. Augustine's Press, and details the rise of radical Islamism and its impact on Christians throughout the Middle East. “Western civilization was built on Christianity which, sadly enough, is being forgotten for Western Europe, and even in this nation here,” Marlin told CNA. “I think the Church’s job is to remind the West that its civilization was based on the concept that man is a creature made in the image and likeness of God, and therefore is entitled by his very nature … basic rights, i

Marriage has had its day at Court, but religious freedom could soon follow

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 27, 2015
Washington D.C., Jun 27, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Friday’s Supreme Court ruling against the traditional understanding of marriage may pose huge obstacles to the free exercise of religion and conscience across the US, the nation's bishops have said in response to the decision. “The free exercise of religion means that we have a right not only to debate it openly in the public square, but to operate our ministries and to live our lives in accordance to the truth about marriage without violence, or being penalized, or losing our tax exemption, or losing our ability to serve the common good through our social services and through education,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chair of the U.S. bishops conference’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, told EWTN News Nightly June 26. “The Church and its religious organizations serve millions of people with love and attention,” the archbishop said, adding that “it would be a sh

US bishops encourage Catholics to maintain witness to the truth of marriage

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 26, 2015
Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2015 / 11:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics are called to witness to the truth of marriage despite the Supreme Court of the United States recognizing a legal right to same-sex marriage, the nation's bishops said on Friday. “Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S bishops conference, in a June 26 statement for the conference. “Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman,” Archbishop Kurtz added. “As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.” In a 5-4 decision on Friday, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that under the Fourteenth Amendment, states must grant

Breaking: Supreme Court redefines marriage throughout US

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 26, 2015
Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2015 / 08:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a wide-reaching decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that same-sex “marriage” is a constitutional right and that states must recognize same-sex unions contracted as marriages in other states. By a vote of 5-4, the court ruled June 26 that states must recognize same-sex “marriages” under the 14th Amendment, and recognize such unions contracted in other states. The decision in Obergefell v. Hodges dealt with claims that Ohio’s marriage law discriminated by not recognizing same-sex unions contracted as marriages in other states. Several other states were also facing similar cases on the constitutionality of state marriage laws.  Backers of marriage as a union of one man and one woman argued that marriage is intrinsically connected to the procreation of children and cannot be redefined. Some also said the matter should be left to the people and the states and not decided in court

Assisted suicide bill stalls in California legislature, but pressure continues

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 26, 2015
Sacramento, Calif., Jun 26, 2015 / 06:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An assisted suicide bill in California has been temporarily pulled from a key committee in the state legislature, but its opponents say more work is necessary to sway legislators against it. Bill opponent Californians Against Assisted Suicide said the move was only “a brief respite.” “We know that the death promoters are committed to use every avenue they can, the media, the courts, the legislature,” the group said. “They will be back.” Bill sponsor State Sen. Lois Wolk agreed June 23 to pull the bill from the Assembly Health Committee until July 7 to avoid a required vote on the bill. She intends to work to gain more support for the bill, the Los Angeles Times reports. The California Senate has already passed SB 128, “The End of Life Options Act,” by a vote of 23-14. A similar bill failed to pass the California legislature in 2007. The legislation would allow do

Fathers play on Father’s Day: The priests of two Nebraska dioceses face off in softball game

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 26, 2015
Omaha, Neb., Jun 26, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In the state that’s home to the College World Series, a new kind of series came to town on Father’s Day. Priests from two of Nebraska’s three Catholic dioceses – the Diocese of Lincoln and the Archdiocese of Omaha – played each other in a softball game Sunday afternoon in an effort to raise awareness for vocations and to honor both spiritual and natural fathers. The game, dubbed the “I-80 Collar Series” (Lincoln and Omaha are just 60 miles apart along Interstate 80), was sponsored by local Catholic radio network, KVSS “Spirit Catholic Radio”. KVSS executive director Jim Carroll told CNA he was inspired to start the series after hearing of a similar game between the priests of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph and the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. He said he thought Father’s Day would be the perfect time for a game honoring priests – espec

Congress combats targeting of traditional marriage advocates

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: June 26, 2015
Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2015 / 12:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new bill protecting the religious liberty of traditional marriage advocates has the support of two leading U.S. bishops. But will the First Amendment Defense Act be enough to stem the rising tide of anti-discrimination lawsuits across the nation?  The First Amendment Defense Act establishes protections – largely regarding federal taxes and benefits – for individuals and organizations who conscientiously believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and that no sexual relations should take place outside this bond. “In a climate of increasing intolerance, these protections are very much needed,” wrote Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore in a letter to the bill’s sponsors. Archbishop Cordileone chairs the U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, while Archbishop Lori chairs the Bishops’ A