Catholic News Agency: US News

What the Church can do about the powder keg of US racial tensions

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 26, 2014
Ferguson, Mo., Nov 26, 2014 / 04:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Beneath the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, are deep-rooted societal conflicts that are boiling over, say local leaders, and the Church has an opportunity to be at the forefront of reconciliation. “This has been a long time in the making, especially the St. Louis area,” said Dr. Norm White, a professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at St. Louis University. White spoke with CNA on the recent violence in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, leading up to a grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, for the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, in August. Wilson shot Brown multiple times following a confrontation with Brown and his friend. The incident has elevated racial tensions amid allegations of police brutality and excessive force, with contradictory claims about the facts, including whether Brown had his arms up in a gesture of surrender when he

Washington state matchup: Religious liberty vs. Plan B

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 26, 2014
Olympia, Wash., Nov 26, 2014 / 02:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Washington state regulations cannot constitutionally require pharmacies and pharmacists to dispense abortion-causing contraceptives, said lawyers leading a legal challenge to the rules. “The government has no business punishing citizens solely because of their religious beliefs,” Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said Nov. 20. “We’re optimistic that the court will not permit the government’s naked discrimination against people of faith.” The plaintiffs include the Stormans family grocery store and two pharmacists, Margo Thelen and Rhonda Mesler. The grocery store and the jobs of the two pharmacists are threatened by state rules that require pharmacies to sell the Plan B pill, ella and similar “morning-after” drugs, which have abortion-causing effects. In February 2012, a federal judge in Washington struck down the rules, saying

Reject 'false hope' of violence, archbishop implores after Ferguson ruling

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 25, 2014
Ferguson, Mo., Nov 25, 2014 / 10:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Archbishop of St. Louis rejected violent responses to a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer who killed a teenager, asking instead for prayer and action to solve underlying community problems. “Since the grand jury received the case in August, we have seen offensive and violent outbursts by protesters, and acts of civil disobedience. Despite our calls for peace, which Michael Brown's family have echoed, we continue to see that segments of our community have not fully renounced the tendency to lash out with antagonistic behavior and violence,” Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis said in a response to the grand jury’s decision. “I implore each of you: Choose peace! Reject any false and empty hope that violence will solve problems. Violence only creates more violence.” Riots erupted overnight in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand

LGBT activist leader faces sex crimes charges involving teen

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 25, 2014
Portland, Ore., Nov 25, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA).- A founder of the Human Rights Campaign, an influential gay advocacy group that has begun targeting Catholic bishops for protests, has been arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a teen boy in Oregon. Terrence Patrick Bean, 66, was indicted on two felony counts of third-degree sodomy and one misdemeanor count of third-degree sex abuse related to an alleged sexual encounter in Eugene, Ore. with a 15-year-old boy in 2013, the newspaper The Oregonian reports. Kiah Lawson, a 25-year-old reported to be an ex-boyfriend of Bean, was also indicted on the same charges. Both had met the teen through a homosexual dating app, CNN reports. Lawson had allegedly found that Bean had been surreptitiously videotaping his sexual encounters with Lawson and at least six other men. Lawson and his then-lawyer and demanded about $40,000 in alleged damages in return for screenshots of some of the videos. Bean went to police alleging that he was being ext

Pope's Philly visit will be 'powerful' witness to marriage, bishop says

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 25, 2014
Oklahoma City, Okla., Nov 24, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Next year’s World Meeting of Families – which Pope Francis has confirmed he will attend – will be a “tremendous catechetical moment” for the Church, affirmed one U.S. archbishop. “This will be an opportunity, I think, for a powerful catechesis on the dignity of marriage, the uniqueness of marriage, the importance of family for the Church and society,” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City told CNA. “So I think it will be a tremendous catechetical moment, a tremendous opportunity for evangelization as well.” The World Meeting of Families occurs every three years and is an international gathering to both celebrate and re-energize the family’s role in society and discuss the challenges facing today’s families. It was begun by Pope John Paul II in 1994. The next gathering is scheduled for September 22-27, 2015 in Philadelphia, and Pope Francis con

New Gary, Indiana bishop praised for focus on evangelization

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 24, 2014
Gary, Ind., Nov 24, 2014 / 02:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has named the next bishop of Gary, Indiana: Milwaukee’s Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying, who drew praise for his commitment to evangelization and to the sanctity of life. “I am humbled, honored and excited to embrace the call to serve the Church in the Diocese of Gary, Indiana,” Bishop Hying said in a Nov. 24 statement. “I am grateful to the Holy Father for his confidence and appointment, and I look forward to coming to know and love the People of God there.” Bishop Hying will become the fourth Bishop of Gary. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, 76, who has served as Bishop of Gary since June 1996. Bishop Melczek submitted his resignation upon reaching the age of 75, as is required by Church law. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki praised Bishop Hying’s work in his archdiocese. “There’s no doubt that he has earned the admiration and respect of the clergy

Website shines light on which health plans cover abortion

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 24, 2014
Washington D.C., Nov 24, 2014 / 10:47 am (CNA).- A new website informing Americans whether or not their health plans cover abortion is up and running, with advocates saying it provides the transparency in the health care law that the government failed to deliver. The website ObamacareAbortion.com seeks to “inform Americans about abortion coverage in Obamacare plans and expose the great difficulty in obtaining this information,” the Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu stated at a Nov 20 Capitol Hill press conference. Current U.S. laws such as the Hyde Amendment prevent the federal funding of abortion for many government programs. However, the amendment does not apply to the Affordable Care Act, which has its own sources of funding, rather than seeking funding through the annual appropriations bills. Debates over abortion funding in the 2010 health care law threatened to prevent its passage, as a group of pro-life Democrats said they would only support the l

Catholics on immigration order: more reform needed

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 21, 2014
Washington D.C., Nov 21, 2014 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration was met with both praise and concern from Catholic groups, who emphasized that more must be done to find long-term solutions for a broken immigration system. “I am happy that some temporary relief is being offered to help parents and children who right now are living in daily fear that their families will be broken up by arrests and deportations,” said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, the highest-ranking Hispanic bishop in the U.S.   However, he cautioned, “the relief is not permanent and the problems are still not fixed.” On Thursday night, President Obama announced that he would stay the deportation of certain undocumented immigrant parents for up to three years, allowing them to work legally. Eligibility requirements include having lived in the U.S. for at least five years, having children who are U.S. citizens or lega

Cardinal O'Malley expands on 'provocative' 60 Minutes interview

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 21, 2014
Boston, Mass., Nov 20, 2014 / 05:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has clarified his recent 60 Minutes interview, saying its “difficult questions” on women’s ordination and Vatican investigations of a Missouri bishop and a women’s religious conference needed more discussion and nuance.      “The program’s interviews include difficult questions that are often on many people’s minds. For some people, being featured on 60 Minutes would be exhilarating, but television interviews are not at the top of my list of favorite things to do,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his Nov. 19 column for the Boston Pilot. While he praised 60 Minutes reporters and the news show’s “trying to go deeper into the topics they address,” he said the “provocative” matters that he discussed “call for more time and consideration than can be given in a 20 minute broadcast segment.”

Knights donate $2 million for Middle East refugee housing

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: November 20, 2014
Washington D.C., Nov 20, 2014 / 04:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Knights of Columbus is putting more than $2 million toward new homes for Iraqi and Syrian refugees fleeing violence, and not a moment too soon, said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “We have tens of thousands of refugees in this area [Northern Iraq] who have been driven from their homes at the point of a gun. Many of them are sleeping outdoors, in hallways, three, four families together in a Christian school. And winter is coming,” Anderson told CNA in a Nov. 20 interview. “So we have to provide something for them on a more permanent basis because this isn’t going to be solved in the next few months or maybe even in the next few years,” he continued. “What we don’t want to have happen is people being born and dying in huge refugee camps, like what’s happened to the Palestinians, for example. So it’s important that we take some action.” Construction on the hou