Catholic News Agency: US News

For filmmakers, 'Little Boy' moved mountains of its own

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 25, 2015
Hollywood, Calif., Apr 25, 2015 / 03:54 pm (CNA).- A new film from award-winning writer and director Alejandro Monteverde proved to not only tell a story of faith, but to strengthen the faith of those working on it as well. “It was going to be a very, very difficult film to produce, but at the same time we were in love with the story which is about believing in the impossible,” said Eduardo Verastegui, one of the film’s producers and stars, known for his role in the 2006 movie Bella. From the beginning of the film, the town runt, Pepper Busbee (Jakob Salvati), and his dad, James (Michael Rapaport), share a special bond, but it’s tested when older brother London (David Henrie) gets rejected by the Army for being flat-footed, and their dad has to go to war instead. With thousands of miles between them, Pepper, the “Little Boy,” relies more than ever on his and his dad’s motto during their imaginary adventures. “Do you believe we

Archbishop Kurtz on March for Marriage: Sacrament is much more than "adult friendship"

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 25, 2015
Washington D.C., Apr 25, 2015 / 02:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A diverse crowd of thousands of people from across the U.S. gathered in front of the US Capitol to speak and stand in defense of marriage on Saturday. “We have too long taken for granted the gift of marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky. and President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops told CNA. The Archbishop cautioned that society’s view of seeing marriage only as “an adult friendship” looses sight of the “sacrificial love” and “one flesh union that Jesus Himself spoke of” that form the basis for marriage as an institution. “We have not cultivated the basis for sacrificial love but have, in a sense, fallen victims of a culture that tends to talk about adult choices and options,” he explained. “I think we’re returning now very much to our roots, saying that at the basis of a good, hea

A shepherd who smelled like his sheep – Chicago faithful pay final respects to Cardinal George

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 25, 2015
Chicago, Ill., Apr 25, 2015 / 05:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was laid to rest Thursday, religious and lay members of the archdiocese revered him as a caring shepherd who wouldn’t let cancer get in the way of his ministry. Sister Mary Paul of the Daughters of Divine Love, an international women’s religious order with a congregation in the Archdiocese of Chicago, recounted how Cardinal George’s predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, had invited the order to Chicago. When he died in 1996, they didn’t know what would happen next. “When Cardinal George came in, he continued to be a father to us. He knows us personally and he calls us by name,” she told CNA the night before the funeral. Cardinal George passed away April 17 at age 78 after a years-long bout with cancer. He was Archbishop of Chicago from 1997 until his retirement in 2014. That the late cardinal was a warm, fatherly figure to those who knew him w

Leader, son, friend: Cardinal George remembered through the eyes of his superior

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 24, 2015
Chicago, Ill., Apr 24, 2015 / 04:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A strong leader, yet humble. Approachable, yet not preoccupied with a desire to be liked. A high-ranking prelate and intellectual powerhouse, yet a friend to the poor who embraced the sufferings in his own life. The late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago might seem a man of contrasts, but his life was one of different virtues lived in harmony, said his superior in the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The oblates are an international missionary congregation of priests and brothers. As a leader in the order back in the 1970s and '80s, Cardinal George helped steer the oblates through much tumult and confusion that was rampant in the Church at the time, said the congregation’s current superior general, Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI. “(I)n those troublesome years, he helped the congregation be focused on our real strong values of religious life, consecrated life, life of prayer. The outreach to the poor through

Cardinal George praised at funeral for faith, conviction, courage in suffering

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 23, 2015
Chicago, Ill., Apr 23, 2015 / 01:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George received everything good from God and these gifts must now be passed on by those who mourn him, said the homilist at his funeral on Thursday. “The cardinal’s faith was simple, direct, without pretense or embarrassment. Spontaneous, bold, profound and even childlike,” Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle said in his homily at the cardinal’s Funeral Mass. “He was so utterly a Christian, so utterly a priest, that no circumstance would seem inappropriate to give witness to Christ. How could he not give witness to Christ everywhere?” Cardinal George was the first Chicago native to become the city’s archbishop, and the first Archbishop of Chicago to retire from office. He passed away April 17 at the age of 78, after fighting cancer for several years. Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago was main celebrant for the April 23 memorial Mass at Chicago

Senate reaches compromise on abortion funding in trafficking bill

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 23, 2015
Washington D.C., Apr 23, 2015 / 10:19 am (CNA).- After six weeks of gridlock, members of both parties in the Senate bridged a disagreement over abortion funding in a new human trafficking bill by dividing up funding streams for the new project. “The fund really is supposed to be about shelters and housing and victims' services and also, of course, law enforcement,” said Amy Klobuchar (D- Minn.), to NPR. Klobuchar has, along with party leaders, contributed to the legislative solution after facing pressure for not bringing the funding controversy to light earlier. “When I looked back on speeches, that's all we talked about. We didn't talk about health care.” The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which was passed 99-0 by the Senate, sets up a new fund for victims of sex trafficking to pay for counseling, care, and other necessities after rescue. Earlier in 2015, debate over a common provision against abortion caused division over the b

Marriage march in DC expects diverse, wide-ranging support

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 23, 2015
Washington D.C., Apr 23, 2015 / 03:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- People from a variety of faiths and backgrounds will unite in Washington, D.C., April 25 to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the third annual March for Marriage. “It’s going to be a diverse group, and it’s going to highlight how people of different faiths and backgrounds all come together to support the truth, and marriage is the union of a man and a woman,” Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, told CNA. The third annual March for Marriage will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and precedes April 28 oral arguments at the Supreme Court on a critical marriage case that could determine the civil definition of marriage nationwide. The march normally takes place in June, but Brown told CNA that this year it was rescheduled to April to coincide with the oral arguments for Obergefell v. Hodges. That case involves four marriage decis

Why no Catholic is exempt from caring about the environment

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 22, 2015
Washington D.C., Apr 22, 2015 / 04:25 am (CNA).- What does it mean to be truly pro-life? Amid debates over abortion and the death penalty, Catholic ecologists say that one issue is often overlooked in discussions involving human life and dignity – the environment. “Environmental truths are very much linked to and related to human life issues. They’re really one in the same,” said Bill Patenaude, a special lecturer in theology at Providence College and founder of the website “Catholic Ecology.” He explained that recent Popes have drawn a clear connection between the dignity of the human person and the surrounding environment. “The Church has had a fundamental respect for nature since the very beginning and has brought it to the world,” Patenaude told CNA. Discussions abound regarding environmental problems, their causes and a proper Catholic response. Pope Francis is expected to weigh in with an upcoming encyclical later this y

Beauty in Nebraska: College’s transformed church hopes to help students be saints

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 21, 2015
Lincoln, Neb., Apr 21, 2015 / 04:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On a Friday night in spring of 2010, nearly 150 Catholic students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln gathered at their Newman Center to share their ideas for a remodeling project. With iPhones in hand, the students found photographs of churches around the world and pointed out their favorite features: soaring arches, intricate stained glass, communion rails. Over the next five years, artisans and donors from across the world worked diligently to help the dreams of these Nebraskan students become a reality. The resulting St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and Newman Center is a bow to tradition and a beacon of hope and adoration of God in the heart of a secular campus. The original mural of storm clouds behind the altar has been replaced with a massive, awe-inspiring stained glass window. At the center of the window is a youthful Christ with an exposed sacred heart. Fourteen saints and blesseds are gathered in adora

Confirmed priest abuse allegations in single digits for 2014

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 21, 2015
Washington D.C., Apr 21, 2015 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- There are tens of thousands of Catholic clergy in the U.S. – but there were fewer than 10 substantiated allegations of clergy sex abuse committed in the 2013-2014 audit period, according to the U.S. bishops' latest report. In addition, almost all clergy, laity and other workers and volunteers at Catholic institutions have undergone safe environment training. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the bishops’ “first priority” is healing for victims and survivors of abuse. “We join Pope Francis in his desire that the response of the Church be pastoral and immediate,” the archbishop said in the preface to the annual report on the implementation of the bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. “Though our promise to protect and heal made in 2002 remains strong, we must not becom