Catholic News Agency: US News

Catholics speak out against execution of two more Arkansas inmates

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 24, 2017
Little Rock, Ark., Apr 24, 2017 / 04:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As Arkansas prepares to conduct the first double execution in the U.S. since 2000, Catholics prayed for all involved in the execution and the victims of the capital crimes. “All of the actions around these executions in Arkansas display the flaws of the death penalty,” said Catholic Mobilizing Network in a statement to CNA April 24.   “Both Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are in poor health, raising the risk of complications likely to occur with the lethal injection protocol. Kenneth Williams, set to be executed on Thursday, has an outstanding intellectual disability case as well,” the organization said. Voicing prayers for both the victims and those involved in the scheduled executions, the group noted that both “Jones and Williams have taken responsibility for their crimes,” and said that this action “should be met with mercy.” “This forces you to ask the questio

University meets harsh criticism for Plan B in vending machine

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 24, 2017
Washington D.C., Apr 24, 2017 / 04:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A California university came under fire for dispensing Plan B contraceptive pill in a vending machine, with one critic calling the move inadequate in meeting the real needs of women. “Colleges and universities should be offering pregnant and parenting students options of housing, financial aid, diaper decks, and childcare instead of handing over abortion drugs,” said Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life. “No woman should be forced to choose between the life of her child and her education,” she told CNA. A study room at the University of California Davis recently installed a “Wellness To Go” vending machine that includes Plan B among other items such as condoms, tampons, pregnancy tests and Advil. The move has been met with mixed reactions from students, with one calling it a “great thing for women,” according to CNN affiliate KTXL. However, another student

Christians are the most widely targeted religious group in the world

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 23, 2017
Washington D.C., Apr 23, 2017 / 04:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- When it comes to religious persecution, Christians are the most widely targeted community, said a new report released this week. But despite oppression and threat of violence, the faithful “should not be afraid,” said a Pakistani archbishop. Pakistan’s Christians have made vital contributions to the country’s history and must not refrain from professing their faith in the midst of the current persecution, Archbishop Sebastian Shaw, OFM of Lahore, Pakistan. “Even under discrimination or some violent actions,” Christians should take courage, he said, citing the words of Jesus that “people will hate you on account of My name.” “You are not guilty, but because you are Christians and because you are following the Gospel values…being honest, being more responsible, being more dutiful, more charitable,” he said of Pakistan’s Christians, violence and harassmen

Virginia bishops welcome commutation of prisoner's death sentence

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 22, 2017
Richmond, Va., Apr 22, 2017 / 03:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic bishops of Virginia welcomed a decision by the governor to commute a prisoner’s death sentence on the grounds that false information was presented during his sentencing. “We are all children of the same merciful, loving God, and he alone has dominion over all life,” the bishops said April 20. Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington said they welcomed the decision to commute the death sentence “because we have a profound respect for the sanctity of every human life, from its very beginning until natural death.” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday commuted the death sentence of Ivan Teleguz, 38, to life without parole. He was scheduled to be executed April 25. The governor had denied his petition for a pardon, but said that the sentencing phase was “terribly flawed and unfair.” He said false information about Teleguz was presen

Feminists and pro-lifers can join forces – and why they should

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 22, 2017
Washington D.C., Apr 22, 2017 / 06:12 am (CNA).- On a Monday evening in Washington, D.C., well over a hundred women – and a few men too – gathered together to take up some of the most intense questions from earlier in 2017: Can feminists be pro-life? Can pro-life activists be feminists? Self-described feminists from both sides of the abortion debate opened a panel discussion this month, continuing a conversation that started when pro-life participants were barred from formal co-sponsorship of the Women’s March on Washington earlier this year. While there were no easy answers from any of the participants, the women discussed what it means to be a feminist, what it truly means to be pro-life, and how pro-life activists and feminists can work together – even when they may not see eye-to-eye on abortion. For Aimee Murphy, a pro-life activist and feminist, abortion is directly opposed to the stated aims of feminism. “It is the ultimate in ‘might makes

Catholic leaders urge extreme caution for new Netflix series

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 21, 2017
Denver, Colo., Apr 21, 2017 / 05:23 pm (CNA).- It’s only been out for a few weeks, but that’s enough time for “13 Reasons Why” to have become the latest teenage Netflix binge craze. Based on the 2007 young adult novel by the same name, “13 Reasons Why” follows the story of Hannah Baker, a troubled 17 year old who took her own life. But instead of leaving the typical note, Hannah leaves 13 cassette tapes, explaining the 13 reasons why she took her life - and each of these “reasons” is a person, who either did something to Hannah, or didn’t do enough, according to her. The creators of the Netflix original series insisted in a follow-up video that 13 Reasons was meant to be helpful - to bring up important conversations about serious topics like suicide, bullying and assault, and to get viewers talking about solutions to suicidal thoughts. However, suicide prevention groups and youth leaders have raised concerns because the show is

In Missouri, a court decision means lower health standards for abortion clinics

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 21, 2017
Jefferson City, Mo., Apr 21, 2017 / 08:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Stronger medical standards for abortion clinics were thrown out in Missouri by a federal judge who cited a Supreme Court decision on a similar law in Texas. The Missouri law required abortion clinics to have the same standards as similar outpatient surgical centers. The clinics’ doctors were also required to have hospital privileges. U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs of the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City said April 19 that “relief should be prompt, given the needs of women seeking abortions and the need for available clinics to serve their needs.” He cited the 5-3 ruling of the 2016 Supreme Court decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said he would appeal the decision, the St. Louis Dispatch reports. “Today a federal court struck down large portions of Missouri law that protect the health and safety of women who seek to obtain an abor

Cardinal Cupich praises governor's pledge to veto abortion funding

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 21, 2017
Chicago, Ill., Apr 21, 2017 / 06:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A promise from the governor of Illinois to veto an abortion funding bill drew the gratitude of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, who called it a “principled stand.” “Abortion is a controversial issue in this country, but using public money to provide abortions should not be,” the cardinal said April 19. “The federal government prohibits the practice, and polls show a substantial segment of the American public reject it.” Governor Bruce Rauner had pledged to veto Illinois House Bill 40. The legislation would fund elective abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason through the Medicaid and employee health insurance programs. It would also make a symbolic commitment to maintain legal abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the decisions mandating legal abortion nationwide. A spokesperson said last week the governor is committed to protecting current abortion law but recognizes the &ldqu

After court ruling, Tennessee to stop enforcing two pro-life laws

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 20, 2017
Nashville, Tenn., Apr 20, 2017 / 01:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The state of Tennessee has agreed to stop enforcing two abortion restrictions which are similar to those in Texas that were struck down by the Supreme Court last year. State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, said the laws’ enforcement will cease immediately “in light of the Supreme Court's current case law and to avoid the expense and utilization of resources on continued litigation.” One of the Tennessee laws, introduced to the state in 2012, required doctors who perform abortions to receive admitting privileges at a local hospital in case there were any serious complications during or after the procedure. According to The Tennessean, two abortion clinics were forced to close after physicians failed to receive clearance. Another restriction was added in 2014, which required clinics performing over 50 surgical abortions a year to meet the same safety requirements as ambulatory surgical care centers

Ukrainian Catholic eparchy of Chicago receives new bishop

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: April 20, 2017
Chicago, Ill., Apr 20, 2017 / 11:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on April 20 appointed Bishop Venedykt (Valery) Aleksiychuk as Bishop of the Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Eparchy of Chicago. Bishop Venedykt, 49, was born in Borshchivka, Ukraine in January 1968. He graduated from Rivne medical college in 1987, and worked as a physician’s assistant for several years. He also served in the Ukrainian military for two years. He attended the seminary of Drohobych and was ordained a priest of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Lviv in 1992, at the age of 24. Until 1994 he was responsible for organizing missionary work in eastern Ukraine, and he also served in Belarus. He was professed as a member of the Ukrainian Studite Monks in 1995, and earned a master's degree in theology at Lublin Catholic University the following year. Bishop Venedykt was transferred to St. Catharines, Canada in 1996 to found a monastery, and while there he served at several parishes of the Ukrainian Eparchy of