Catholic News Agency: US News

Supreme Court rules in favor of pregnancy protection in the workplace

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 28, 2015
Washington D.C., Mar 28, 2015 / 06:25 am (CNA).- A recent ruling from the Supreme Court to clarify workplace protections for pregnant women will help remedy some of the pressure placed on working women to abort rather than continue pregnancies, pro-life legal experts say. “We’re very pleased to see the outcome here,” Clarke Forsythe, chief counsel for Americans United For Life, told CNA. “There needs to be strong protection against pregnancy discrimination because women are discriminated against, because we have legalized abortion. Unfortunately, people think that because women have a right to abort, they should abort in some circumstances, especially when there may be workplace conflicts.” On March 25, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Young v. UPS that Peggy Young should get another chance to argue before a lower court that her former employer, United Parcel Service, treated her unfairly by forcing her to take unpaid leave when a doctor advised tha

No, Indiana did not just pass a law discriminating against gay people. Here's why.

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 27, 2015
Indianapolis, Ind., Mar 27, 2015 / 05:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite media hype, a new Indiana law is not based on anti-gay discrimination, but on a 20-year legal precedent of protecting the rights of religious individuals and charitable organizations, say religious liberty advocates. “It’s both unfortunate and incredibly dishonest to say the things that they are saying about these bills,” said Kellie Fiedorek, litigation counsel with the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom. “The evidence of the past 20 years provides the strongest truth that what they’re saying is fundamentally false. Until yesterday, 19 states and the federal government have these exact same laws on the books, and none of these terrible things that are being said might happen have happened,” Fiedorek told CNA March 27. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law March 26, saying it ensures that religious liberty is “fully

Bullets or needles? Death penalty faces new scrutiny as states mull changes

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 27, 2015
Washington D.C., Mar 27, 2015 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Firing squads, gas chambers and the electric chair – these types of execution may seem like methods of the past, but some states in the U.S. are bringing them back, prompting a debate about the most humane form of the death penalty, or whether the very idea is a contradiction in terms. “I think we’re at a critical point right now where the myth that lethal injection was swift, effective and painless has been destroyed,” said Robert Dunham, director of the Death Penalty Information Center. “And there’s kind of an irony here, because lethal injection was the choice when states were moving away from other more extreme, more overtly violent forms of execution.” On Monday, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) signed a bill to legalize a five-person firing squad as the official back-up method of execution for the state, should it be unable to obtain the three drugs necessary for lethal inje

Two young religious orders look to expand to Denver this summer

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 27, 2015
Denver, Colo., Mar 27, 2015 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two rather new orders of religious sisters looking to expand their missions have set their sights on the Archdiocese of Denver.   The New York-based Sisters of Life and the Rome-based Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo will establish houses and begin their missions in the archdiocese by August of this year. In their first expansion to the western United States, the Sisters of Life will send four sisters to begin their mission in Denver. Besides the traditional religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Sisters of Life take a fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of every human life. The order is a contemplative and active community of women whose apostolate includes ministering to pregnant women in need, providing healing for post-abortive women, and fostering the “Culture of Life”. Founded just over 20 years ago in 1991 by Cardinal John O’Connor, the community currently has

Pope Francis to visit White House Sept. 23

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 26, 2015
Washington D.C., Mar 26, 2015 / 09:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- U.S. officials has confirmed that Pope Francis will make a stop at the White House to meet with President Barack Obama on Sept. 23, during his trip to the United States for the World Meeting of Families. “The President and the First Lady will welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to the White House on Wednesday, September 23,” said a March 26 statement from the White House press secretary. “During the visit, the President and the Pope will continue the dialogue, which they began during the President’s visit to the Vatican in March 2014, on their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues, including caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.” &

A grave problem – NJ ban on religious headstone sales could violate constitution

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 26, 2015
Trenton, N.J., Mar 26, 2015 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A New Jersey law crafted to ban the Archdiocese of Newark from selling cemetery headstones might not pass muster under judicial review, according to a constitutional law expert. Matthew Franck said the law “may well be violating the freedom of religion” guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution because it “singles out religious organizations for disfavored treatment.” Franck directs the Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Princeton, N.J.-based Witherspoon Institute. He characterized the law as “a direct assault on the freedom of churches to offer services to the bereaved in their own congregations.” In a March 16 article at the news site NJ.com, Mark Mueller wrote that “the measure, while applied broadly to all religious institutions, is designed to counter a move by the Archdiocese of Newark in 2013 to enter the headstone business at its Catholic cemeteries.”

Knights of Columbus launches Catholic investment opportunities

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 26, 2015
Bridgeport, Conn., Mar 25, 2015 / 10:02 pm (CNA).- With hopes of better serving the Catholic community, the Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors announced this week the development of their new faith-based investment opportunities, which are specifically geared toward Catholic institutions and organizations. The Knight of Columbus, with over 1.8 million members around the world, launched the formation of their Asset Advisors last year and are now moving forward in offering a few different services to Catholic institutional investors. These registered investment advisors are a part of the wholly owned subsidiary of the Knights of Columbus and are the same in-house group of portfolio managers, credit analysts, and traders that manage the Knights of Columbus's own substantial assets.   The Knights of Columbus advisors are equipped specifically to work with Catholic institutional investors who wish to commission the use of their funds within the realm of Catholic options. Th

Fifty years later, remembering the civil rights march that moved a nation

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 25, 2015
Montgomery, Ala., Mar 25, 2015 / 02:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders marked the 50th anniversary of the voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. with praise for those who advanced racial progress, calling on others to “march on” toward unity of hearts and minds. “What we beheld in the Selma to Montgomery March shed needed light on the toll of racism, and, for many, put a human face on those impacted by its evils,” U.S. bishops’ conference president Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz said March 24. “The perseverance, sacrifice and peaceful witness against violence we recall today moved a nation to earnestly seek to heal divisions within the human family.” The voting rights march concluded on March 25, 1965. On that day, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech on the steps of the Alabama state capitol asking how long racial injustice and racial prejudice would continue. “How long? Not long, because the arc of the

Archbishop Romero hailed for life producing 'great harvest'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 25, 2015
Los Angeles, Calif., Mar 25, 2015 / 10:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Los Angeles Catholics gave thanks for Archbishop Oscar Romero’s upcoming beatification and prayed that his “shining example” of sacrificial love and solidarity with the poor and oppressed will continue to be fruitful. “Archbishop Romero preached nonviolence and reconciliation in a time of hate and vengeance. He spoke out against every form of violence, every violation of the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said in a March 22 homily, noting that this included “the violence of abortion.” “Like the grain of wheat that dies, his life has produced a great harvest — fruits of love,” the Los Angeles archbishop continued. “As he did, let us live for the love of Jesus and give ourselves to the service of others. May our lives produce much fruit — in this world and for eternal life.” On

More Jews are leaving Europe and it's worse than you might think

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: March 25, 2015
Washington D.C., Mar 25, 2015 / 04:13 am (CNA).- It may not be 1941, but Hitler’s dream of a “Jew-free Europe” is taking shape, and it’s time for the world to take notice, say human rights advocates. A “virulent, open, and increasingly violent anti-Semitism” is rearing its ugly head across the European continent, according to Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, president and CEO of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The matter is a deeply personal one for Swett – her father, Tom Lantos, was the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress. Europe has long been seen as a haven for democracy and human rights, but that face is changing rapidly for Jews there, many of whom question if their children will even be able to live there. “Jews are being physically threatened. Their institutions are being physically attacked. They are being killed because they&rsq