Catholic News Agency: US News

Archbishop Gomez: It's time to end the death penalty

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 24, 2016
Los Angeles, Calif., Sep 24, 2016 / 04:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Californians should vote for Proposition 62, a ballot measure to end the death penalty, the Archbishop of Los Angeles has said in a reflection on justice, Catholic teaching and American society. “It is time for us to end the death penalty – not only in California but throughout the United States and throughout the world,” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said Sept. 21. “In a culture of death, I believe mercy alone can be the only credible witness to the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person.” His essay is part of a special issue of the Los Angeles archdiocese's newsweekly Angelus dedicated to the Church and the death penalty. Rather than condemn criminals to death, he said, Christians “should pray for their conversion and encourage their rehabilitation and ultimate restoration to society.” Those who seek an end to the death penalty must not forget the victi

Catholic event aims to answer 'challenging' sexuality questions with charity

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 24, 2016
Phoenix, Ariz., Sep 24, 2016 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic-run conference aims to help clergy, lay ministers, and medical and mental health professionals provide better support for people who experience same-sex attraction or confusion about sexual identity. Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix and Father Paul Check, the executive director of Courage International, invited to the conference clergy, vowed religious, lay ministers and other relevant professionals in a Sept. 15 letter. “The ‘Truth and Love’ project endeavors to bring the clarity and charity of Catholic teaching to challenging questions, while never losing sight of individual people,” they said. The event aims to offer “sound practical and pastoral guidance.” The Truth and Love Conference, now in its third edition, will be held Jan. 9-11, 2017 in Phoenix, Ariz. at St. Paul Catholic Church. The conference’s sponsors are the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, the Catholic apost

DC leaders discuss protection, justice for ISIS victims

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 23, 2016
Washington D.C., Sep 23, 2016 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With ISIS continuing to threaten vulnerable populations in Iraq and Syria, more action is needed to protect victims and offer justice before it’s too late, said human rights leaders this week. “The survivors of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria merit the fullest possible assistance of our government, including consideration for admission of victim refugees to the United States,” said David Scheffer, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. Without adequate aid and support, these communities face total eradication, warned other speakers. Policies focused on individual aid instead of helping whole communities increase “the likelihood that the complete eradication of these groups from the region – which was the intent of the genocide – will succeed,” warned Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Anderson and Scheffer sp

What do you say to a homeless person? Advice from Catholic urban missionaries

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 23, 2016
Denver, Colo., Sep 23, 2016 / 03:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- It’s a common sight in at a city intersection. A man or a woman holds a cardboard sign: “Homeless, Hungry. Please Give. Anything Helps.” Most motorists, stopped at the light and eager to move on, just ignore the person. But what should you to do before the light changes? The Denver-based urban ministry Christ in the City offers some advice. “Ask the person’s name,” said the group’s tip sheet. “One of our friends on the street told us he went four months without hearing his own name. Ask the person’s name and remember it.” Those with a regular commute should remember that name and say hello the next time. “You’ll be amazed how his or her face will light up that you remembered.” “To love is to know and be known,” Christ in the City said. “And so, the chronically homeless become unknown, they become separated, not just from society

Religious Christmas carols to be allowed in veterans' hospitals

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 23, 2016
Washington D.C., Sep 23, 2016 / 06:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- New clarifications about Department of Veterans Affairs rules have resolved a dispute about religious Christmas carols, gifts and displays in veterans’ hospitals, a chaplains’ group has said. “No one should try to water down Christmas for our veterans just because they object to any religious references or items. I am most grateful that the VA has clarified their policy prior to the upcoming holidays,” Chaplain Ron Crews, a retired Army Reserve colonel, said Sept. 21. The chaplain is executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, a group of Protestant Christian organizations and ministries that provide over 2,600 chaplains for the U.S. military. “This should make clear that churches may sing Christmas carols and distribute Christmas cards at VA hospitals,” Chaplain Crews continued. “The guidelines state that hospital administrators may allow this and provide reasonabl

What a Charlotte priest will tell his flock after a fatal police shooting

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 23, 2016
Charlotte, N.C., Sep 23, 2016 / 03:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Patrick Winslow is a priest at a Catholic church in Charlotte’s University City neighborhood. After a police shooting left a man dead and roused hundreds of people in protest amid conflicting stories, he’s been thinking about what he can say to his flock. “I think they need to hear a simple message of prayer, of charity, and reassurance that we are called to be a light in the midst of many darknesses in this world,” Father Patrick Winslow told CNA. “If there were a Christian way forward it would simply be one of drawing closer together and listening and relating, with a sense of vulnerability,” he said. Father Winslow is pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Charlotte’s University City neighborhood, which surrounds the main campus of University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In an apartment complex less than a mile from the church, a police shooting rocked the community. Kei

For Bishop Olmsted, Pope Francis shows continuity on marriage

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 23, 2016
Phoenix, Ariz., Sep 23, 2016 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has not changed Catholic practice on Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. Rather, his goal is to help welcome them to the Church, Phoenix’s Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted has said. The Pope gives “special attention to those who walk on the edge of despair” because of personal failures, family problems, and “the complex and contradictory situations in which they find themselves now,” Bishop Olmsted said in his Sept. 18 column for The Catholic Sun. The bishop considered Pope Francis' 2016 apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” especially as it concerns couples in irregular situations like the divorced and remarried. The exhortation does not advocate the reception of Holy Communion for those who are divorced and remarried, he said. “Pope Francis specifically calls those in this situation ‘to seek the grace of conversion’,” the Phoenix bisho

Vatican official: Religion has the responsibility to condemn terrorism

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 22, 2016
New York City, N.Y., Sep 22, 2016 / 03:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While genocide, war crimes, and violence against humanity continue to plague individuals across the globe, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin called for the protection of victims of atrocities and urged both religious leaders and national authorities to step up preventive measures. “In the face of these grave crimes, there exists a grave responsibility, first for nation States and then for the international community,” Cardinal Parolin said in a Sept. 20 address. “It seems entirely appropriate, therefore, to reflect on the responsibility of religious leaders, especially in an ever more interconnected world, to help counter the spread of hatred and violence in the name of religion and to promote more inclusive and peaceful societies,” he continued. Cardinal Parolin’s words came during a keynote address at the “Upholding the Responsibility to Protect: The Role of Religiou

Trump names 33 conservative Catholics as new advisers

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 22, 2016
Washington D.C., Sep 22, 2016 / 03:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 33 prominent conservative Catholic advisers for his campaign, according to reports from Philly.com, a website of The Inquirer and Daily News. The announcement comes in the midst of a highly contentious election season and at a time when Trump is struggling in the polls among Catholic voters, according to some reports. Among the released names of advisers are former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, who ran for president in 2012 and 2016. When he left the race in February, Santorum originally endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio. When Rubio left the race in March, Santorum endorsed Trump, citing the vacant Supreme Court seat as a key reason. Another key person reported as a new Catholic adviser for Trump is Joseph Cella, founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast who reportedly will be the chief liaison to the Trump campaign for Catholic affairs. Notably, Cella is

World's oldest Catholic bishop dies at age 104

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: September 22, 2016
Newark, N.J., Sep 22, 2016 / 11:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop emeritus Peter Leo Gerety of Newark, the oldest Catholic bishop in the world, passed away Sept. 20 at the age of 104 – 77 years after his ordination as a priest and after 50 years as a bishop. “Today this local Church of Newark mourns a remarkable Churchman whose love for the people of God was always strong and ever-growing,” Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark said. “He served as shepherd of this great Archdiocese during a time of spiritual reawakening in the years after the Second Vatican Council, and a time of deep financial difficulties. He very carefully led the Church, her people and institutions through those challenges,” Archbishop Myers continued. The archbishop was born July 19, 1912 in Sheldon, Conn. He was the eldest of nine sons of New Jersey natives Peter L. and Charlotte Daly Gerety. He grew up in Shelton and attended public schools. He won scholastic honors and captained