Catholic News Agency: US News

Who's behind the mysterious Eye of the Tiber?

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 4, 2015
Denver, Colo., Sep 4, 2015 / 03:45 am (CNA).- If you’re a Catholic on Facebook, or the internet in general, chances are Samer Noam has made you laugh. Or he’s made you angry. If he’s done his job the way he wants, he’s done both. Noam is the man, the myth, the legend behind the Catholic satire site, Eye of the Tiber. Catholic News Agency had a chance to sit down with the Californian writer and professional smart aleck to talk inspiration, excommunication (well, his nightmares of it), and of course all those people who think it’s actual news.    1: What first inspired you to start writing Eye of the Tiber? I've loved satire for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, anyone who loves the Church can recognizes that satire, like most everything else that's good in this world, like literature, poetry, music, the sciences and so on has been secularized. Heck, even Judeo-Christian symbols like the rainbow and the thunderbolt were

Trump's immigration plan undermines American identity, Archbishop Chaput says

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 3, 2015
Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 3, 2015 / 05:32 pm (CNA).- Caught between poverty and violence in their homelands and deportation in the U.S., immigrants face a plight that cannot be ignored by Christians, said Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. He pointed to a proposal by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as particularly problematic. “As Christians, our faith obligates us to protect migrant families,” he said Sept. 1. “The duty and the privilege of that commitment apply to all of us equally.” “Migration is about human beings.  So it has moral implications,” the archbishop added at a panel discussion on immigration in Philadelphia. The event’s sponsors included the Philadelphia archdiocese and the World Meeting of Families, which will host Pope Francis at the end of September. “Some in public life – notably, but not only, Donald Trump – have called for an end to birthright citizenship. T

DC choir hopes Pope Francis will sing along

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 3, 2015
Washington D.C., Sep 3, 2015 / 06:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Choir members from around the Washington, D.C. archdiocese chosen to sing for Pope Francis during his visit later this month hope to stir the soul of the pontiff – and maybe even inspire him to sing along. “Our purpose is to engage the assembly. It’s to unleash the song of the heart of the people who are gathered there,” said Thomas Stehle, director of music ministries for the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. Stehle is the chief of planning music for the papal visit to Washington, D.C. He also served as the director of music for the papal Mass of Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. “We believe music has a transformative power for those who engage in it. When you think a prayer, that engages a certain part of your body. When you say a prayer, that engages even more. And when you sing a prayer that engages so much more of you,” Stehle continued. “It has a way of

Are Pope Francis and the US bishops split? Don't believe the critics.

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 3, 2015
Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 3, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ahead of the papal visit to the U.S., some critics have painted a narrative pitting Pope Francis against the “conservative” American bishops – but the Archbishop of Philadelphia doesn't believe them. Claims that that Church ignores the poor while obsessing over things like abortion and human sexuality are nothing new to members of the Catholic hierarchy, not even to the Pope himself, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said in a recent column. “When Francis was an archbishop in Buenos Aires, Argentine political leaders reviled him publicly as ‘the leader of the opposition,’” Archbishop Chaput said. “When he defended Church teaching on issues like sexuality and marriage, they accused him of conducting ‘an inquisition.’” The archbishop said critics claim the United States’ Catholic bishops, especially the “conservative” ones, s

Meet the monks who decided to go green years before Laudato Si

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 2, 2015
Berryville, Va., Sep 2, 2015 / 04:38 pm (CNA).- Years before Pope Francis’ recent ecology encyclical was published, a Trappist monastery in Virginia went back to its spiritual roots by embracing environmental stewardship. “This really is a re-founding,” Fr. James Orthmann of Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Va. told CNA, a “real renewal and a re-founding, and in a real sense getting back to our traditional roots.” Since 2007, the community has taken concrete steps be better stewards of the earth in the tradition of the Cistercian Order, while also reaching into the outside world to draw more Catholic men to their monastic life. The abbey was founded in 1950 after a planned Trappist abbey in Massachusetts burned down. The Diocese of Richmond offered to accept the monks and they procured 1200 acres of pasture on the Shenandoah River in Northwest Virginia, just in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east. However the community has shrunk

Philadelphia seminary plants, blesses a tree for Pope's day for care of creation

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 2, 2015
Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 2, 2015 / 02:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Responding to Pope Francis' call for Catholics around the world to observe Sept. 1 as a Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia planted a tree on its grounds on Tuesday. The planting of a white oak was done in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and was followed by a blessing of the new tree by the seminary's rector, Bishop Timothy Senior. The seminary's tree was the 500,000th in the society’s “Plant One Million” campaign. The effort aims to plant 1 million trees throughout 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. “The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation,” Pope Francis said in his letter announcing the day of

Planned Parenthood's CEO validates suspicions, advocacy group says

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 1, 2015
Washington D.C., Sep 1, 2015 / 11:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Under fire after a series of recent sting videos, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) CEO Cecile Richards wrote a letter to Congress last week addressing the issues raised in the videos, which call into question Planned Parenthood’s procurement of fetal tissue for research. In a follow-up letter to Congress, the Center for Medical Progress – the non-profit group that released the sting videos – said Planned Parenthood’s letter corroborates their initial claims that the organization is illegally selling fetal tissue at a profit and altering abortion procedures in order to obtain intact specimens. In Planned Parenthood’s letter to Congress, Richards reveals that a California Planned Parenthood affiliate currently “receives a modest reimbursement of $60 per tissue specimen from the TPO.” According to Richards, “that affiliate also has a separate relationship

Citing Pope Francis, bishops call on Congress to renew religious freedom commission

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 1, 2015
Washington D.C., Sep 1, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Congress has only one month to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Many human rights activists and religious leaders have stressed its importance, and the nation's bishops suggest the commission would help the U.S. fulfill Pope Francis’ call to protect religious minorities. “Protecting religious freedom is critical to the health of societies,” said the U.S. bishops’ Aug. 26 letter to Congress. They noted that about a quarter of the world’s countries still face high levels of religious hostilities. “Christians and members of other minority groups are seeking refuge from violence in Syria and Iraq. Religious minorities are jailed on blasphemy and apostasy charges in Pakistan, Burma, and Sudan, just to note a few countries where vulnerable persons can be killed with impunity,” said the letter. It also noted the violence the radical Islamist group Bo

Ahead of US visit, Pope Francis is popular among Americans

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 1, 2015
Washington D.C., Aug 31, 2015 / 09:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Most Americans have a favorable view of Pope Francis and think he has a message for all the country's citizens, but most also know little about him and aren’t sure news reports about him are accurate, a new survey reports. “On his trip to the United States, not only will Pope Francis get to know the American people, but the American people will also get to know him,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus said Aug. 26. “The Pope is popular among Americans, and especially among Catholics, and there is a hunger for his message, with the vast majority of Americans understanding that he brings a message for all of us.” The Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll surveyed Americans about the Pope ahead of his visit in late September. Almost 60 percent of respondents said they had a favorable or very favorable view of Pope Francis. This is about the same rating Benedict XVI had b

Black leaders to Smithsonian: Don’t honor Planned Parenthood founder

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 31, 2015
Washington D.C., Aug 31, 2015 / 03:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger is sometimes hailed as a champion of women’s rights, she was no savior to minorities and those with disabilities, said speakers at a recent rally in Washington, D.C. “Saviors come to give life, not to take it away,” said pro-life activist Ryan Bomberger at an Aug. 27 rally to remove Sanger’s bust from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Bomberger was adopted after his mother, a victim of rape, chose to carry him to term. Last week, he was part of a group of black pastors and other pro-life advocates pushing for the removal of Sanger’s bust from the National Portrait Gallery’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit. Some of that group – a coalition of black ministers – had sent a letter to the gallery’s director on Aug. 7 asking her to remove the bust. They said that Sanger was a supporter of black e