Catholic News Agency: US News

Relief workers welcome US action against Ebola

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 17, 2014
Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2014 / 04:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- President Barack Obama’s announcement of personnel and other aid to combat the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa drew praise from relief workers involved in the region. “The situation in West Africa requires an unprecedented response, and we appreciate President Obama’s commitment to scale-up U.S. government resources so the current outbreak can be contained,” Michael Ghebrab, Catholic Relief Services’ country representative in Sierra Leone, said Sept. 16. “The president’s plan will meet some of the urgent need for medical equipment, logistical support and training health personnel that will help save lives in the short-term.” President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced the deployment of over 3,000 U.S. military service members to the affected countries to help stop the disease’s spread, saying there is an opportunity “to save countless lives.”

Bishops praise agreement on low-income child care bill

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 17, 2014
Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2014 / 02:41 pm (CNA).- The U.S. bishops’ conference has praised federal lawmakers for reaching an agreement to reauthorize legislation that funds child care and job training for low-income families. “Child care is increasingly important for family stability, as well as finding and keeping decent work,” said Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. On Sept. 15, he said that the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act will “strengthen a program that has worked well over the last two decades and continues to provide low-income working families with the child care assistance they need, from the provider they choose.” Changes to the act are intended to improve parental choice in child care, to strengthen health and safety standards, and to improve child care programs’ quality. The program was last reauthorized in 1996.

Cardinal Dolan: Ukraine 'flowing with blood,' America must speak up

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 17, 2014
New York City, N.Y., Sep 17, 2014 / 01:51 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has urged U.S. Catholics to listen to the “chilling” pleas of Greek-Catholic bishops who say Ukraine is “flowing with blood” due to the Russian military’s actions. During the Cold War, Cardinal Dolan said, “Catholics in the United States were in solidarity with persecuted Christians in Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary, and the other countries under Russia’s jackboot. We spoke up for them; our government listened.” “We had hoped it would now be different. Things looked so bright in Ukraine for awhile. It appeared that religion was free, the Church encouraging a just, open, civil society,” the New York archbishop said in his Sept. 15 column. “Apparently, a prosperous, free, independent Ukraine, with freedom of religion leading to a revived faith, is a threat to a neighbor with a history of interference. The jackboot

Bishop Tobin on divorce: Changes needed in approach, not teaching

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 17, 2014
Providence, R.I., Sep 17, 2014 / 09:43 am (CNA).- The dilemma of divorced and remarried Catholics should prompt consideration of changes in the Church’s approach to annulments and the Eucharist, but without compromising Church teaching, said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I. “The challenge for the Church, of course, is how to maintain and proclaim the irrefutable teaching of our Lord Jesus that marriage entails a sacred and permanent bond between husband and wife, while also providing spiritual care for those Catholics who have fallen short of the ideal,” he said in a column written for the local diocesan paper, the Rhode Island Catholic. “Although the teaching of Christ and His Church about the permanence of marriage is clear and undeniable, the lived reality is that many individuals, for a variety of reasons perhaps – personal, catechetical or cultural – are ill-equipped to fulfill the lofty demands of the law,” he said. Nex

Christ Our Life conferences a 'shot of holy adrenaline'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 17, 2014
Des Moines, Iowa, Sep 17, 2014 / 04:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy Spirit's inspiration can strike at the most unexpected times - like while running on a treadmill. That's when Ellen Miller felt called to create the first regional Catholic conference for Iowa in 2010, the “Christ Our Life” conference. She ran the idea by her friend Marilyn Lane, who had felt similar promptings, and the two now co-chair the bi-annual weekend that serves as a “shot of holy adrenaline.” “It is a grassroots effort - Holy Spirit inspired, definitely,” Miller told CNA. “It really came to my heart that Iowa needed a Catholic conference, one that would bring us all together to help us grow in our faith, to help us understand what we believe, live and celebrate.” Perhaps most impressive about the conference is the well-known Catholic speakers it attracts. This year's lineup includes keynote speaker Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dol

US bishops praise continuing Civil Rights movement

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 17, 2014
Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2014 / 02:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was “a monumental step forward” for human dignity, but continued work is necessary to fight the “destructive influence of racism,” said the head of the U.S. bishops’ conference. “As America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 this year, I join together with my brother bishops in recalling the heroic history of that achievement,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky. said in a statement this month. “We honor the many civic, business, and religious leaders, students, laborers, educators and all others of good will who courageously stood up for racial justice against bigotry, violence, ignorance, and fear.” “We remember with deep gratitude the countless personal sacrifices they made, sacrifices that all too often included hardship, violence, and even death,” he said. “We honor the victory they

Defense of all persecuted believers highlighted at DC summit

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 17, 2014
Washington D.C., Sep 16, 2014 / 06:45 pm (CNA).- Support of religious freedom for all those being persecuted was reiterated at a conference in the nation’s capital following outcry over comments made by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Joseph Cella, spokesman for In Defense of Christians, told CNA that Cruz’s statement “actually united the parties, enhanced the dialogue, and further strengthened their resolve to protect Christians and others who are persecuted for their faith throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.” After his controversial keynote address at the recent In Defense of Christians summit in Washington, D.C., Sen. Cruz called the reception he received by some in the audience “a virulent display of hatred and bigotry.” Cruz spoke Sept. 10 at the event, which was being held to discuss the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. The event was attended by 1200 people including patriarchs and bishops of over a dozen Christian chu

Deluge of criticism after abortion funding revealed in health care law

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 16, 2014
Washington D.C., Sep 16, 2014 / 02:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life groups have responded forcefully to a new report finding that despite promises from President Barack Obama, more than 1,000 health care plans under the Affordable Care Act cover abortion. “[T]he President issued an executive order on March 24, 2010 that said: ‘the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges’,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) stated on Tuesday. “It turns out that those ironclad promises made by the President himself are absolutely untrue.” Smith was among numerous pro-life advocates who voiced sharp criticism following a new government accountability report finding abortion coverage in many subsidized health plans in the state exchanges, in violation of promises made by Obama. Current U.S. laws such as the Hyde Amendment prevent the federal funding of abortion

Catholic League withdraws from St. Patrick's Day Parade

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 15, 2014
New York City, N.Y., Sep 15, 2014 / 05:39 pm (CNA).- Controversy over the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade continues as the Catholic League has withdrawn its delegation, charging that parade organizers have not fulfilled a promise to include a pro-life Catholic group. “The decision is disappointing. The Catholic League will always be welcome in the parade,” said parade spokesman William O’Reilly to CNA Sept. 12. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, on Sept. 11 said parade organizers had consulted him about plans to include an LGBT advocacy group under its own banner in the 2015 parade. At the time, he had said he could only support the decision “if there were a formal revision in the parade's rules governing marching units.” “To be specific, I asked them to pledge that a pro-life Catholic group would also be permitted. I was told that a formal change in the rules had been approved and

Petition against OKC black mass draws support of 85,000

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 14, 2014
Oklahoma City, Okla., Sep 14, 2014 / 04:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 85,000 people have signed a petition asking the city-run Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall to cancel a scheduled black mass, saying that is a blatant attack on the Catholic Church. “A black mass is intended as an attack on another religious group, namely Catholics,” reads the “Stop the black mass” petition on CitizenGo.com. Although the organizer returned a stolen Host after a lawsuit threat, the petition tells the music hall’s general manager “it is clear that his intention to defile stolen property in a government facility should raise questions of basic appropriateness.” “While the Constitution protects freedom of expression, it does not protect stealing property from others and desecrating it,” the petition added. “We implore you to take a stand in favor of public decency by canceling the black mass.” The CitizenGo petition had