Catholic News Agency: US News

UN intervention against ISIS would fit Pope's call, scholar suggests

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Front Royal, Va., Aug 28, 2014 / 05:48 pm (CNA).- The Pope’s support of international action against attacks by the Islamic State should be met with United Nations intervention, one Catholic professor said.    “I think Pope Francis, in his own opinion, he clearly called for the United Nations to take the lead,” Christendom College history professor Brendan McGuire told CNA. “And generally this is true in terms of the orientation of the Papacy’s attitude toward international affairs, they would rather see things handled by international bodies than by individual nations.” U.S. President Barack Obama is weighing options as the Islamic State – a terrorist group also known as ISIS – continues sweeping though Iraq and Syria, targeting religious minorities including Christians and demanding that they convert to Islam, pay a significant tax, or die. More than 1 million Iraqis are estimated to have fled their homes, seeking shelte

Successful Okla. lawsuit could stop future black masses

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug 28, 2014 / 04:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A lawyer who helped recover a stolen Host that organizers of an Oklahoma City black mass intended to desecrate said that the Church’s legal victory could have far-reaching effects. “I don’t think we’re going to see Satanists doing this again, or they’ll going to understand we’re going to come after them, anywhere, any time this happens,” attorney Michael W. Caspino of the Irvine, Calif.-based law firm Busch & Caspino told CNA Aug. 27. “We’ve now gutted the significance of their black mass. Now it’s really just a bad show with bad actors,” Caspino said. The occult group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu scheduled a black mass at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall Sept. 21. A black mass is a sacrilegious ceremony that invokes Satan and mocks the Catholic Mass. It involves the desecration of the Eucharist, generally by stealing a consecrated Host from

US bishops to honor 50th anniversary of civil rights milestones

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2014 / 12:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops are encouraging commemorations of the 50th anniversary of milestones in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, saying they should inspire further work for the common good. “The Civil Rights Era was an important time in the history of our country,” Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., said Aug. 25. “In constructive ways, many priests, religious sisters, religious brothers and lay Catholic faithful were involved in the struggle for civil rights.” “Recalling the Catholic Church’s past participation in these important historic moments serves to challenge the faithful to work constructively today to enhance the common good for people of all races and ethnicities,” said the bishop, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on African-American Affairs. Over the next year, the bishops’ subcommittee will remember the Mississippi Freedom Summer

Scholars: Boko Haram caliphate claim may be inspired by ISIS

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2014 / 08:00 am (CNA).- The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram’s claim to have established a caliphate – or a state ruled under Islamic law – in part of Nigeria draws inspiration from ISIS insurgents and from a desire for more world attention, said experts. Boko Haram has claimed that Gwoza town in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state is now under an Islamic caliphate, Agence France Presse reports. However, the meaning of the declaration is unclear. Experts said that the move may be an effort by Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau to raise his own profile, given the recent success of ISIS, which has claimed a caliphate in Iraq. David Cook, a Rice University religious studies professor who studies Boko Haram, told Agence France Presse that he believes the caliphate proclamation comes from “a desire to emulate” ISIS. He said the statement was largely about “trying to get more media attention.” Shehu Sani, a

EWTN series to profile Catholics who 'come home'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 28, 2014
Roswell, Ga., Aug 27, 2014 / 08:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The evangelization group Catholics Come Home is set to premiere a 13-episode television series that fosters engagement in the “New Evangelization” and interviews people who have recently returned to the Catholic faith. “I believe God’s mercy is reaching the hearts of returnees, converts, agnostics and atheists through creative media, helping to bring them home,” Tom Peterson, founder president of Catholics Come Home, said in a video announcement for the series. “Join us as we travel across North America with incredible stories of redemption, as the Holy Spirit transforms souls.” Dr. Gloria Sampson, a former atheist and linguistics professor who is now an active Catholic, will be featured in the first episode, which will air on EWTN Sept. 4. She will discuss her recent return to the Catholic Church after 52 years away from God. She credits seeing a Catholics Come Home commercial

Law group defends pro-life students restricted to college 'speech zone'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 27, 2014
Mobile, Ala., Aug 27, 2014 / 01:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A student group at the University of South Alabama is challenging the university administration after being told its pro-life display must be limited to the school’s small “speech zone.” The non-profit legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom filed an amended complaint on behalf of the students in their lawsuit against the university on Aug. 23. “Free, spontaneous discourse on college campuses is supposed to be a hallmark of higher education rather than the exception to the rule,” said ADF senior counsel Kevin Theriot. “We hope that the University of South Alabama will revise its policy so that its students can exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.” Following university guidelines, Students for Life USA requested permission last October to host a “Cemetery of the Innocents” which would have consisted of planting small crosses in the ground to honor t

Archbishop: Be vigilant against US religious freedom threats

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 27, 2014
Orlando, Fla., Aug 27, 2014 / 11:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Amidst increasing violent religious persecution in the Middle East and Africa, it is vital for Christians in the U.S. to remain on guard of their own freedoms, said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore. “I'm not given to apocalyptic predictions, but I do believe that we have to be vigilant,” Archbishop Lori said. “It's easy to see that the threats to religious liberty in the West are starting to constrict religion more and more.” Archbishop Lori serves as chairman of the U.S. bishop conference's ad hoc committee on religious freedom as well as the supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. He spoke with CNA in early August at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Florida. There are two main challenges in regards to religious freedom in the United States, he said, and the first is the increasingly popular view of seeing religion as a purely private affair. “(Religion

San Diego's Bishop Flores undergoing cancer treatment

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 27, 2014
San Diego, Calif., Aug 27, 2014 / 10:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of San Diego has announced that Bishop Cirilo Flores is now being treated for prostate cancer, as he continues dealing with effects of a stroke that occurred four months ago. “Please continue to keep Bishop Flores in your prayers,” Monsignor Steven Callahan, the diocese’s vicar general, said in an Aug. 25 announcement on the diocese’s website. The bishop’s doctors at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles report that the cancer’s full extent is not yet determined, the monsignor said. Bishop Flores suffered a stroke April 17 at his office. He is still “dealing with some of the after effects,” according to the diocese. Msgr. Callahan asked priests and others not to try to contact the bishop by phone or attempt to visit him at present. He said he and San Diego Bishop emeritus Robert Brom would visit Bishop Flores to personally assure him o

Full release of faith education program to help form Catholics

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 27, 2014
Denver, Colo., Aug 27, 2014 / 02:01 am (CNA).- The release of the complete adult faith formation series “Symbolon: the Catholic Faith Explained” hopes to offer a profound way of encountering the truths of the Catholic Church. “Symbolon is designed to be a resource for adult faith formation for the new evangelization,” Dr. Edward Sri of the Denver-based Augustine Institute told CNA Aug. 20. “The Symbolon video series proclaims the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith in a way that meets people where they are at, captivates their hearts and minds for Christ and His Church and forms them with a Catholic worldview that prepares them to engage the many cultural influences today that undermine Christian living.” Sri is the program director for the Symbolon faith formation series, produced by the Augustine Institute and distributed by Ignatius Press and Lighthouse Catholic Media. Symbolon is now available in its complete form on DVD and also o

Outcry flares over Calif. abortion push in Catholic colleges

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: August 26, 2014
Sacramento, Calif., Aug 26, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid backlash from religious liberty and education advocates, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has ordered abortion coverage in health insurance plans for two Catholic universities. “California Catholics are no longer safe to practice their faith within their own institutions. Gov. Brown's decision demonstrates that, in California, tolerance does not extend to people of faith and moral conscience,” David Luke, co-founder of Renew LMU, told CNA Aug. 26. Luke's group aims for the renewal of Catholic identity at the Los Angeles-based Loyola Marymount University, from which he graduated in 1993. He said that Gov. Brown and his administration has given the university leadership “a unique opportunity to prove that being a Catholic institution still means something.” Brown, he noted, “has given them an opportunity to stand in defense of innocent human life and religious