Catholic News Agency: US News

Denver's Archbishop Aquila restores sacraments to original order

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 23, 2015
Denver, Colo., May 23, 2015 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In an unprecedented change for an archdiocese, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver announced that the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion – will be restored to their original order. “In an increasingly secular world, the reality is this: the souls of our children are the battleground. As the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Denver, I must do everything I can to help those who form children win that battle,” he explained in his pastoral letter “Saints Among Us” released May 23. “The world needs saints. Even as our society becomes more distant from faith and more forgetful of God, it still hungers for joyful witnesses who have been transformed by Christ,” he explained. “At the same time, new generations of Catholics need grace to sustain them in a non-Christian environment.” In response to those needs, Archbishop Aquila said he&rsq

Rabbi: Vatican II's interreligious document was 'life-saving'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 22, 2015
Washington D.C., May 22, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A 50 year-old declaration of the Second Vatican Council established a new era in Christian-Jewish relations and enabled members of both religions to unite against present-day secularism, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York reflected on Wednesday. Nostra aetate, the council's declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions, acknowledged what is true and holy in other religions, particularly Judaism, and began a period of dialogue with them. The declaration "has borne much fruit," remarked Cardinal Dolan May 20, at a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of the document held at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The declaration enabled dialogue between Christian and Jewish leaders, which spurred St. John Paul II to lead a joint response to atheism and secularism. The shortest of Vatican II's documents, Nostra aetate was widely approved by the Council'

Nebraska bishops praise move to repeal death penalty

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 21, 2015
Lincoln, Neb., May 21, 2015 / 05:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nebraska’s Catholic bishops on Wednesday praised the Nebraska legislature’s veto-proof vote to end the death penalty, saying  capital punishment “cannot be justified” in the state at present. The bishops said their support for the bill was based on Catholic teaching and their prudential judgement that the death penalty is now unjustifiable. Their support “also flows from our prayerful reflection on the words of Jesus Christ himself: ‘love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father’,” they said. Nebraska’s unicameral legislature on May 20 voted 32-15 to pass LB 268. The legislation replaces the death penalty with life in prison without parole. The state last executed a prisoner in 1997, and there are currently 11 men on death row in Nebraska, the Associated Press reports. Legislators opposed to the death

Notre Dame is refused an injunction, after replay of HHS mandate challenge

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 21, 2015
South Bend, Ind., May 21, 2015 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A federal court has again denied the University of Notre Dame’s request for a preliminary injunction against federal mandates it says violate its religious freedom, though a trial can still go forward. “We are reviewing the opinion and weighing our options,” the University of Notre Dame’s vice president for public affairs and communications said in a statement provided to CNA. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request for a preliminary injunction on May 19. In February the same court also rejected the university’s request for an injunction, upholding the decision of a lower court. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court nullified the decision and returned the case to the federal appeals court, instructing the court to take into account the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision that ruled the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects the Evangelical Christian owners of Hob

A priest's powerful impact on the New York Times' David Brooks

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 21, 2015
Denver, Colo., May 21, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- New York Times columnist, best-selling author and all-around pundit David Brooks has made headlines recently for his bold new book making the case for a societal return to morality.   Perhaps lesser known, however, is some of the inspiration behind the work – a humble priest described by Brooks as an “insanely joyful” man who sparked a nagging, internal question. Why was this cleric so happy and fulfilled? What followed was a meticulously researched and engaging book which poses a provocative thesis: we as a modern society are cultivating outwardly impressive but ultimately superficial “resume virtues” – not character. And it's costing us dearly, the author says, both personally and communally. In a conversation with CNA editors, Brooks recounted his experience with the priest along with his thoughts on why his book – “The Road to Character” (Random House/201

Converted by love, not ideology: An archbishop's reflection on Dorothy Day

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 20, 2015
Fort Wayne, Ind., May 20, 2015 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Last week, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles told scholars at the Dorothy Day Conference at St. Francis University that the social activist was not converted by ideology, but by love. “It was not the teachings of the Church that convinced her to leave the past behind and change her life. She was changed by Love, changed by the over-powering awareness of the reality of God’s love and mercy,” the archbishop said during his May 14 keynote address at the Dorothy Day Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Archbishop Gomez said he admires the social activist for the example of holiness that she has left for today’s Catholics. As a young woman in the early 20th century, Day embraced what she and many others in her generation believed would bring happiness: a life that included abortion, communism and “free love.” “Dorothy and many others thought they had found the ‘answers

Nearly every House member voted for this anti-human trafficking bill

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 19, 2015
Washington D.C., May 19, 2015 / 05:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The House overwhelmingly passed a bill on Tuesday establishing a fund for victims of human trafficking and strengthening federal and state enforcement against trafficking. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act passed on May 19 by an unusually large bipartisan margin of 420-3, almost a month after it passed the Senate following a weeks-long hold-up by Senate Democrats. The bill hikes penalties against convicted traffickers and directs the fines to a fund for human trafficking victims, for aid to the victims and grants to local and state enforcement against trafficking. The Democrats had derailed its passage because of provisions restricting abortion funding. The original legislation extended Hyde Amendment protections to the fund, meaning that no money from the fund could go to abortions. Democrats successfully stalled the bill’s passage in the Senate for weeks. The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funds

Boston bomber gets the death penalty – how should Catholics respond?

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 19, 2015
Washington D.C., May 19, 2015 / 03:42 pm (CNA).- The death sentence for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a legitimate use of state authority, even if Catholics may disagree with it, said a moral theologian in the nation’s capital. “We accept that the state has done its job, that this is the decision of the state which the state is morally free to make, according to the Church’s teaching,” Fr. Thomas Petri, O.P., dean at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., told CNA. “I think a Catholic response now is to pray for Tsarnaev, to pray that he repent, that he repent and come to the Lord.” Catholics were among the most vocal proponents of sparing Tsarnaev the death penalty. The 21-year-old former student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was convicted in a federal court for his role in the bombings that killed three and injured hundreds at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Sister Helen

These twin monks are taking it to the streets - and your TV - to save souls

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 19, 2015
New York City, N.Y., May 19, 2015 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- It’s a good thing Brother Angelus wears glasses, otherwise it would be really hard to tell him apart from Brother Innocent. It’s tricky enough as it is, given that they’re brother-Brothers: siblings and consecrated Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (or CFRs). They’re also twins – or rather, two-thirds of a triplet. Their triplet sister Katie is (no, not a nun) back home in Nebraska with her husband and family. Besides their looks and matching grey habits, Brothers Angelus and Innocent share an infectious zeal and joy for the Gospel that they’re taking to the streets – and to TV – come fall 2015 with a new documentary-style show called “Icons”. “The traditional concept of icons, especially in the theology of the East, is that icons are really a sacramental, there’s a real presence of Christ there,” Brother Angelus told CNA. “So the fact

US bishops: without disarmament, nuclear weapons still threaten peace

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: May 19, 2015
Washington D.C., May 19, 2015 / 12:48 am (CNA).- The U.S. bishops have urged more action to ensure nuclear disarmament and to combat the proliferation of nuclear weapons “For most Americans, there is an assumption that the nuclear threat receded with the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth,” said the May 12 letter from Bishop Oscar Cantu to Secretary of State John Kerry. “In a multi-polar world where there are risks of nuclear proliferation and even nuclear terrorism, it is imperative that the world move systematically and relentlessly toward nuclear disarmament and the securing of nuclear materials.” Bishop Cantu, who heads the Las Cruces, N.M. diocese, wrote the Secretary of State in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. “Please be assured of our prayers as you work for a world without nuclear weapons,” the letter said. The letter comes as th