Catholic News Agency: US News

Ariz. inmate's grueling execution lamented as preventable

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 29, 2014
Phoenix, Ariz., Jul 29, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Not only could the nearly two-hour execution of an Arizona inmate last week have been avoided, but the number of botched deaths by lethal injection is increasing in the U.S., says one observer. “The problems that occurred in the execution of Joseph Wood on July 23 should have been foreseen and prevented,” Richard Dieter of the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center told CNA July 25. He said that the rate of failed executions is “greater than any other year since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.” “Over 1,000 lethal injections were conducted earlier with only comparatively minor problems,” Dieter noted. “It is the secrecy and experimentation with new drugs that is causing the increased number of botched executions.” On July 23, Arizona prison authorities executed Joseph Rudolph Wood by lethal injection at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Flore

'Amazing Parish' movement unites clergy, laity in renewal

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 29, 2014
Denver, Colo., Jul 29, 2014 / 02:06 am (CNA).- A new movement seeking to unite the faithful and their pastors in the formation of thriving parishes has seen a wide scope of interest throughout the U.S. in the time since it was started little more than a year ago. “The response has been great,” Pat Lencioni, one of the founders, told CNA. The Amazing Parish movement seeks to give Catholic leaders, both clergy and lay, the resources and support they need to create strong, fruitful parishes.   “For most Catholics, the parish is where they come to know Christ and the Church. If parishes aren’t vibrant and strong, it’s really tough for most Catholics to connect with their faith,” Lencioni said.   The movement will have its first conference Aug. 27-28 in Denver, but before the leaders had a chance to publically advertise, the 500 person capacity had already been reached simply by word of mouth. “Praise God, the Holy Spirit jus

Expert: Religious freedom pick will fail without resources

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 28, 2014
Washington D.C., Jul 28, 2014 / 05:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While welcoming the proposal for a new global religious freedom ambassador after a nine-month vacancy, one expert warned that adequate resources must be given for the position to be effective. Former American diplomat Dr. Thomas Farr told CNA that “Rabbi (David) Saperstein is a well regarded, long-time advocate for religious freedom.” However, he cautioned that the rabbi “will fail if the administration in general, and the State Department in particular, do not provide him the tools to succeed, tools they did not provide his predecessor.” On July 28, the Obama administration announced the president’s intent to nominate Saperstein as the next U.S. Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom. The ambassador position was vacant for months following the resignation of Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook last October. The choice of Rabbi Saperstein follows criticism of the administration for no

US must adapt foreign policy to solve migrant crisis, says bishop

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 27, 2014
Washington D.C., Jul 27, 2014 / 04:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the U.S. bishops’ international justice and peace committee implored Secretary of State John Kerry to utilize U.S. foreign policy to address the “root causes” of child migration from Central America. “The crisis on our borders will not be minimally resolved until drugs and arms flows, harmful trade provisions, and other critical economic policies that contribute to violence are addressed and rectified,” wrote Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines in a July 24 letter to Secretary Kerry. Bishop Pates wrote the letter after his “solidarity trip” to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the origin countries of many of the child migrants coming to the U.S. He outlined the root causes of migration there – violence at home, human and drug trafficking, and lack of economic opportunity – and asked Secretary Kerry to focus more on U.S. investment in education and

Papal visit to US not confirmed, but archbishop confident

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 25, 2014
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 25, 2014 / 10:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Reports that Pope Francis will travel to the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families in 2015 remain unconfirmed by the Vatican; however, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia is confident of the pontiff’s attendance. On July 25, reports began to circulate the Archbishop Chaput had confirmed Pope Francis’ presence at the meeting in his cathedral city next year. However, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia explained in a statement that there “has been no official confirmation by the Vatican or The Holy See of Pope Francis' attendance.” “We still expect that any official confirmation will come approximately six months prior to the event,” the archdiocese said, explaining that “Archbishop Chaput's comments do not serve as official confirmation, (but) they do serve to bolster our sincere hope that Philadelphia will welcome Pope Francis next September.” “Ar

Rubio: Economic health tied to morality, community

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 25, 2014
Washington D.C., Jul 25, 2014 / 06:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A strong national economy requires strong families, supported by both government and the broader community, said Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in a recent policy speech. “Too often in modern politics, debates about our values have been viewed as either wedges to win elections or unnecessary distractions to be avoided,” Rubio said during a July 23 talk at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.   “But the truth is that the social and moral wellbeing of our people has a direct and consequential impact on their economic wellbeing.” Rubio, who has been viewed as a potential Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election, told CNA on July 23 that he and his family have been prayerfully considering a run for presidential office. He explained in his talk that in his own life, the strong marriage of his parents and the moral values they taught him “gave me an enormou

Film: People with same-sex attraction find peace in Church

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 25, 2014
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 25, 2014 / 04:07 am (CNA).- Dan, Rilene and Paul knew that once their stories were out, life would not be the same. “We’ve been advised not to google ourselves,” Rilene said, laughing. These three are the subjects of a recently released documentary, “Desire of the Everlasting Hills,” which chronicles their stories of having same-sex attraction, and how they eventually found peace in the Catholic Church. The film made its world premiere in Pennsylvania July 19 at a conference for Courage, the Vatican-approved apostolate that reaches out to Catholics with same-sex attraction with the goals of growing closer to God, engaging in supportive friendships, and learning to live full lives within the call to chastity. Its simple style and universal themes of human love and longing, however, make the film a touching and moving experience for a much broader audience. All three said they approached their involvement in the film wit

Federal judge strikes down Colo. marriage defense amendment

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 25, 2014
Denver, Colo., Jul 24, 2014 / 08:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A federal judge ruled Wednesday against Colorado’s marriage defense amendment, leading the state attorney general to say the case will ultimately be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.   The ruling comes after another district court judge struck down the amendment on July 10, saying that preserving marriage “bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest.” The state’s bishops rebuked the decision that day and called on Catholics in Colorado to defend marriage. The bishops said the decision “advances a misinterpretation of the institution of marriage in modern society, reducing marriage to a sheer emotional arrangement that can simply be redefined to accommodate the impulses of culture.” “Marriage and the family are cornerstones of every culture. Marriage has long been recognized as the lifelong relationship between one man and one woman that allows for

EWTN to open new studio at Orange County cathedral

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 24, 2014
Orange, Calif., Jul 24, 2014 / 04:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday, EWTN Global Catholic Network announced it has begun construction on a television studio on the West Coast, located on the campus of the Diocese of Orange's Christ Cathedral. “As we transform the Christ Cathedral campus into a dynamic and inspirational center of Catholic worship and outreach, we are blessed to partner with EWTN to share our community’s energy and faithful witness with the world,” Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange said July 24 at the Napa Institute. “EWTN’s partnership will profoundly benefit our Church, enabling us to share the love of Christ with millions across the world in multiple languages from the Cathedral campus, here in Orange County.” The new studio is expected to be operational by the end of 2014, transmitting news and Masses across the world. Bishop Vann made the announcement along with Michael Warsaw, chief executive officer of EWTN, who said

New auxiliary bishop for US Syro-Malabar eparchy named

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 24, 2014
Chicago, Ill., Jul 24, 2014 / 04:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Thursday named a Chicago-area priest to become an auxiliary bishop of the Syro-Malabarese Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Chicago. Father Joy Alappat, 57, the vicar of Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral in Bellwood, Ill., will become a bishop for the diocese which serves the faithful of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in the U.S. He was born in Parappukara, in the Indian state of Kerala, in 1956. The bishop-designate attended St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary in Vadavathoor and was ordained a priest of the Syro-Malabarese Diocese of Irinjalakuda in 1981. Fr. Alappat undertook graduate studies at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Institute in Aluva and at Adheva University in Wattair. He then did pastoral work in Chalkudy, Mala and at the Irinjalakuda cathedral. He was a chaplain in Chennai before he was transferred to the U.S. in 1993. Fr. Alappat served as a chaplain at  Georgetown University Medical