Catholic News Agency: US News

What is the Democratic Party's 'progressive' vision of religious freedom?

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 29, 2016
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 29, 2016 / 03:26 pm (CNA).- As the 2016 Democratic Party platform insists on a “progressive” notion of religious freedom, what might that look like in policy? The platform’s language must be interpreted “within the wider context of both the platform and what they [Democrats] have actually done over the last eight years,” Dr. Matthew Bunson, an EWTN senior contributor, explained to CNA. The platform, being a “far-left document,” he said, should be “seen through that lens of placing the rights of LGBT people at a clear legal advantage. Politically as well, and as far as they’re concerned, socially.” As the Republican Party platform included two sections on domestic and international religious freedom, the Democratic Party platform featured two sections on promoting LGBT rights both at home and abroad. Most of the platform’s focus on domestic religious freedom had to do with Republican nominee Don

At Baseball Hall of Fame, Mets star gives thanks for Catholic faith

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 29, 2016
New York City, N.Y., Jul 29, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Mike Piazza, the newest inductee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has given a shout-out to Pope Benedict XVI and his mother Veronica. “She gave me the gift of my Catholic faith, which has had a profound impact on my career and has given me patience, compassion and hope,” Piazza said in his induction speech Sunday. “Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘One who has hope, lives differently.’ Mom, you raised five boys, and you were always there for me.” Piazza, 47, played catcher for the New York Mets and other teams. He hit 427 home runs in his professional career. He began his professional baseball career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992 and played with the Mets from 1998-2005. He was a 12-time All Star player and a 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He retired in 2007. He is only the second Hall of Fame player to be inducted as a Met. Piazza had attended 7:30 Mass at Cooperstown&rsquo

Louisiana priest immediately suspended after child porn arrest

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 28, 2016
Lafayette, La., Jul 28, 2016 / 03:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Felix David Broussard, a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette, La., was arrested yesterday for allegedly possessing more than 500 images of child pornography, according to local police. In a statement, the Diocese reported that Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel and diocesan staff were “saddened” to learn of the arrest of the priest, who was immediately placed on administrative leave from active priestly ministry. “The Diocese takes these allegations very seriously and is cooperating fully in every way possible with the investigation,” the statement read. The arrest followed a complaint filed with the Louisiana State Police Special Victims unit, alleging that a computer that the priest had primary access to contained images of child pornography. The unit’s investigation reportedly uncovered over 500 images of pornography involving juveniles, and Fr. Broussard was placed under arrest and booked at t

Pa. Supreme Court lets stand ruling that priest's trial was tainted

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 28, 2016
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 28, 2016 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court let stand July 26 a ruling that prosecutors in a Philadelphia priest’s trial used prejudicial evidence related to clergy sex abuse. Philadelphia’s district attorney must now decide whether to re-try Monsignor William J. Lynn. The priest was not accused of sexually abusing children. However, he was convicted on one felony count of child endangerment for failing to protect children from an abusive priest, and was sentenced to three to six years in prison. Msgr. Lynn, now 65 years old, had served as the Philadelphia archdiocese’s Secretary for Clergy from 1992 to 2004. As such, he was responsible for investigating priests accused of abuse. He was the first Catholic official convicted for a supervisory role over priests accused of abusing children. That trial could be revisited, or the priest could be released for good. In December 2015 the Superior Court had ordered a new tr

Even a former Obama staffer thinks the Democratic platform is extreme

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 27, 2016
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 27, 2016 / 03:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Democratic Party platform has drawn the ire of critics – including a member of Barack Obama’s former campaign – who say its extreme positions on abortion shut out millions of pro-life voters. “It’s morally reprehensible,” Michael Wear, director of faith outreach for Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, told CNA of the pro-abortion plank. The party had an opportunity “to re-open the big tent” and adopt pro-life policies for pro-life Democrats, but did not, he continued. The Democratic Party platform acknowledges problems like wage stagnation, racism, and income inequality and calls for a broad range of polices; the list includes promoting abortion-on-demand, a “progressive” vision of religious freedom, supporting a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and expanding protections in “sex discrimination

Tim Kaine draws ire over flip-flop on Hyde Amendment

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 27, 2016
Washington D.C., Jul 27, 2016 / 12:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine has reportedly changed his mind on a long-standing policy preventing government funding of most abortions, less than three weeks after affirming his support for the measure. The reported change has led critics to charge that the Democratic Party is intolerant of those within its ranks who hold pro-life views – even moderate ones. For 30 years, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited certain taxpayer funds – generally those through the Department of Health and Human Services – from going toward abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is deemed to be at stake. The amendment has enjoyed widespread bipartisan support and has been renewed every year since 1976 in annual appropriations bills, regardless of which party was in power at the time. For the first time, however, the Democratic platform this year explicitly called for a repeal

Leaked e-mails show DNC meetings with anti-religious freedom project

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 27, 2016
Washington D.C., Jul 27, 2016 / 12:07 am (CNA).- Leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee show efforts to arrange a meeting with a key NGO working to end religious liberty protections. The emails were among thousands that surfaced on the website WikiLeaks July 22. The leak included emails to and from several DNC lead staffers during the period from January 2015 to May 25, 2016. Two May 16 emails from DNC lead staffers, titled “Who do you want at the religious exemption research meeting?”, discuss a presentation from the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBT advocacy group which has challenged religious freedom protections as harmful. The emails follow up on an April 11 email from Mike Gehrke, vice president of the Benenson Strategy Group consulting firm, to DNC communications director Luis Miranda and Mark Paustenbach, the DNC’s deputy communications director and national press secretary. Gehrke said his colleague Amy Levin has been working with the Mo

Tim Kaine, a Catholic VP? Bishops voice their concerns

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 26, 2016
Washington D.C., Jul 26, 2016 / 04:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After Senator Tim Kaine, a Catholic from Virginia, was named Hillary Clinton’s running mate last week, several bishops spoke out on the sanctity of life – implicitly criticizing the nominee's pro-choice stance. Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Kaine’s home diocese of Richmond, Virginia released a statement regarding Catholics in public office July 22. “The Catholic Church makes its position very clear as it pertains to the protection of human life, social justice initiatives, and the importance of family life,” he said. “From the very beginning, Catholic teaching informs us that every human life is sacred from conception until natural death. The right to life is a fundamental, human right for the unborn and any law denying the unborn the right to life is unequivocally unjust.” Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island also commented on the subject, mentioning Kaine by name a

From Philadelphia, prayers for a better country as DNC meets

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 26, 2016
Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 26, 2016 / 10:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Democratic Party leaders met to choose a presidential nominee and party platform, Philadelphia’s Catholic basilica hosted an interreligious prayer service for the United States. The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul hosted the July 25 prayer service. Father G. Dennis Gill, the cathedral’s rector, presided and gave a homily. “This was an invitation for people of all faiths to come together and pray, trusting in God to help our culture. We need to walk in that faith,” Fr. Gill told Catholic Philly. The prayer service was sponsored by the Philadelphia Liturgical Institute, an ecumenical foundation focused on Christian worship. Dr. Russell Mitman, a United Church of Christ pastor chief officer of the institute, convened the event. The event included prayers from Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox Christian leaders as well as scriptural readings. The Cathedral Basilica Choir helped provide the

In new book, millennial Catholic women chat faith, life and dating

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: July 26, 2016
Denver, Colo., Jul 26, 2016 / 12:48 am (CNA).- Megan Finegan and Kaylin Koslosky are not theologians, journalists, or youth ministers. But the 22-year-old friends believe that they can minister to other young women by writing a new book about femininity.  Their book, “Daughter of the King: Wait, Where’s My Crown?!,” addresses issues young women face in today’s society from the perspective of young women themselves. Finegan recently graduated from Benedictine University and is now a paralegal. Koslosky is finishing up her last year at Colorado State University and is hoping to teach high school science. In what they hope will be a fun and easy to read format, the two friends discuss faith, relationships, beauty, modesty, and what they call “twenty-first century buzz topics” like homosexuality and abortion. “We just felt incredibly called by God to help Him get this message out there to His daughters--our peers,” Koslosky told CNA.