Catholic News Agency: US News

Resist 'hidden euthanasia' of elderly, Little Sisters stress

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 18, 2014
Steubenville, Ohio, Oct 18, 2014 / 06:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Receiving an award recognizing their works of service, members of the Little Sisters of the Poor stressed the need for loving attention and care for the elderly, particularly by the youth. “I urge you to fight against the tendency to marginalize and abandon the elderly, to commit what the Pope refers to as ‘hidden euthanasia’,” Sister Constance Veit, the Little Sisters’ U.S. national communications director, said Oct. 10. She spoke at an awards ceremony at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, where the Little Sisters were awarded the Poverello Medal in honor of their service. Sr. Veit said that the elderly “have become the contemporary outcasts” of society at a time when their numbers are increasing. The elderly will make up 19 percent of the U.S. population by 2030, she said. She called for a “covenant between generations” to join young and old toge

A historical faith – studying history through a Catholic lens

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 17, 2014
Front Royal, Va., Oct 17, 2014 / 03:41 pm (CNA).- The study of history is an opportunity to unite faith and reason and to recover a distinctly Catholic perspective that sees God acting in the past, present and future, the authors of a new book say. “From its earliest centuries, the Church understood itself as possessing not simply a faith with a history, but a historical faith,” Christendom College history professor Christopher Shannon told CNA Oct. 13. “That is, Church Fathers such as Eusebius and Augustine understood God as speaking to his people through history, and not simply Church history proper. The rise and fall of nations were to be understood in terms of God calling his people to himself.” Shannon is the co-author of “The Past as Pilgrimage: Narrative, Tradition, and the Renewal of Catholic History,” from Christendom Press. Through the book, he and Christopher Blum – a history and philosophy professor at the Augustine Institu

Fertility treatments fall short of expectations

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 17, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2014 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Tech giants’ new policies offering egg freezing options as a work benefit overlook the technique’s “highly problematic” failure rates and risks to potential children, says a leading ethicist in the field. “What the rationale seems to be is you don’t have to stop your career to have your children. You can bank your eggs and have them to use down the road,” said Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, regarding a new policy by Facebook and Apple to subsidize the freezing of female employees’ eggs. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way because egg banking, egg freezing and artificial reproductive technologies have a very high failure rate,” she explained to CNA in an Oct. 15 interview. “It’s highly problematic.” Apple has recently announced that as of 2015, it will begin offering coverage fo

From bad to worse – religious persecution growing in China

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 17, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2014 / 02:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The state of religious freedom in China is moving from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), responding to a new report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “There’s a huge gulf now” between China and the Catholic Church, Smith stated during an Oct. 9 conference call with reporters. He acknowledged that “the underground church has been brutally persecuted in China, both Protestant and Catholic,” but said that now even the state-recognized church is facing persecution.      “The Patriotic Church, the Catholic Church, they are being targeted with church demolitions and other kinds of repression which we have not seen before. So there’s a great deal of concern that religious freedom, as bad as it was, has further deteriorated in China.” Smith and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) co-hosted the teleconference, focusing on the latest annual

'Born toward death': a response to physician assisted suicide

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 16, 2014
Los Angeles, Calif., Oct 16, 2014 / 11:18 am (CNA).- Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles voiced concern this week over the physician assisted suicide case of 29-year old Brittany Maynard, saying her story fills him with sadness.   “We know that God has a plan of love for every life. But we also know that within his plan, people can find sickness and suffering that seems to have no reason, no justification,” Archbishop Gomez stated in an October 14 column, featured on The Tidings and at CNA. Although from California, Brittany and her husband moved to Oregon after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer; Oregon is one of five states that has legalized physician assisted suicide. Doctors predict that Brittany has a few months left to live, but she plans to kill herself with an overdose of pain medication before the cancer becomes too advanced. “Her story makes my heart heavy with sadness. And her public confession had led to an outpouring of prayers

Houston carries out 'witch hunt' on pastors opposing 'bathroom bill'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 16, 2014
Houston, Texas, Oct 16, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- City officials in Houston have filed a subpoena against local pastors over a lawsuit regarding a bill that would do away with sex-assigned restrooms. After citizens filed a lawsuit against the City of Houston for failing to accept petitions for the repeal of the controversial “bathroom bill” allowing members of each sex to use each other’s restrooms, the city has subpoenaed sermons and internal church communications of local pastors, some of whom are not even a part of the lawsuit. “City council members are supposed to be public servants, not ‘Big Brother’ overlords who will tolerate no dissent or challenge,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Erik Stanley said Oct. 13. “In this case, they have embarked upon a witch-hunt, and we are asking the court to put a stop to it.” The nonprofit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which advocates for the rig

No boundaries to prayer for nurse under Ebola quarantine

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 15, 2014
Dallas, Texas, Oct 15, 2014 / 05:10 pm (CNA).- Catholics in Texas are praying for the two nurses infected with Ebola, one of whom is a devout Catholic in communication with a priest. “It is with profound sadness that we learn of the two Dallas healthcare workers being treated for the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, Nina Pham and Amber Joy Vinson,” Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas said Oct. 15. “We pray not only for their recovery, but also for their families and loved ones.” Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, contracted the disease while caring for Thomas, an Ebola patient from Liberia who died Oct. 8. Vinson, another nurse who cared for Duncan, admitted herself to the same hospital on Oct. 14 reporting symptoms of the disease. “This situation reminds of the countless hours of selfless service that nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals and institutions provide in protecting us and our community,

Supreme Court halts parts of Texas abortion law, but it's not over yet

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 15, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 15, 2014 / 04:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Backers of a 2013 Texas law which strengthened health and safety requirements for the state's abortion clinics will continue to support the law as it winds through the court system, following a temporary block of some portions of the law. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked parts of the law on Tuesday, while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considers an appeal regarding the statute. A key part of the state law that was blocked required all abortion clinics to upgrade to surgical facility standards, and until now it had closed all but eight abortion clinics in Texas. The Supreme Court also allowed two clinics a temporary exemption from the part of the law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Opponents of the bill say the requirements are more about restricting abortion than about women’s safety. Supporters of the bill, such as Texas Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony

Witness through fitness: America's first pro-life half marathon

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 15, 2014
Jefferson City, Mo., Oct 15, 2014 / 02:26 am (CNA).- When three feet of snow canceled South Dakota’s Crazy Horse half and full marathons last October, thousands of runners were disappointed – among them, a group from the National LIFE Runners Team. But what could have easily devolved into a weekend of disappointment instead became part of the inspiration behind America’s first pro-life half marathon, slated for next month in Missouri. “We ended up essentially having, in hindsight, a great retreat,” explained Pat Castle, co-founder of the National LIFE Runners team. “I have to smile at the mystery of how what we had initially seen as ‘Oh, this isn’t a good thing,’ with the eyes of faith, became a blessing.” The National LIFE Runners team is now hosting, in collaboration with the national Vitae Foundation, the first ever pro-life half marathon on Nov. 9 in Jefferson City, Mo. The historic event also includes a 5K.  

Fr. Benedict Groeschel laid to rest

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 14, 2014
Newark, N.J., Oct 14, 2014 / 09:55 am (CNA).- Family and friends of the gray-habited friar Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel bid farewell to him Oct. 12 as he was laid to rest in the crypt of the Most Blessed Sacrament Friary after his funeral Mass at the Basilica Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Newark. The priest, who was an author, former EWTN host, and one of the founders of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, passed away at 11:00 p.m. on Oct. 3, at the age of 81. Fr. Groeschel was one of eight Capuchin friars in New York City who helped found the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in 1987, which is is committed to poverty and evangelization. Known for his love of the poor, he founded the St. Francis House for the homeless, and Good Counsel Homes for pregnant women in crisis. He also directed Trinity Retreat House in Larchmont, New York, and taught at Dunwoodie Seminary. In an Oct. 14 column for CNA, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, author and wife of the lat