Catholic News Agency: US News

Is the Catholic Church anti-woman? Two feminist scholars debate

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 26, 2017
Boulder, Colo., Feb 26, 2017 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For Erika Bachiochi, the Catholic Church has been able to offer a genuine pro-woman theology which not only safeguards and protects her stance as a feminist, but also enhances her ability to be strong in all aspects of her life. Dr. Mary Anne Case would like to differ. She believes that while Catholic feminism exists, the institutional Catholic Church – namely the Vatican and Magisterium – is overtly anti-woman. These two legal scholars from varied backgrounds met on the common stage of feminism at the Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought’s 10th annual Great Debate in Boulder, Colo. on Feb. 23. The two women presented dissenting arguments for both sides of the spectrum on Catholic feminism and tackled the question: is the Church anti-woman? Dr. Case, a law professor at the University of Chicago, answered in the affirmative, while Erika Bachiochi, a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an

Cincinnati Catholics hope to give Church a megaphone on racial, social problems

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 25, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb 25, 2017 / 04:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics in Cincinnati are hoping that an upcoming meeting of bishops and leaders will give the local Church a much stronger voice to address issues of racism and violence. “It is a blessing for this archdiocese, through the archbishop, to embrace addressing racism, the pervasive gun violence, restorative justice…race relations, and mental health, that our voice has to be heard,” said Deacon Royce Winters, director of African-American ministries for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. “That’s what we really wanted to do was to say as big and as powerful as the voice of the Catholic Church is in the United States, we have to do our part to bring about justice and the dignity of life for all peoples,” he told CNA. The Feb. 28 meeting of Catholic leaders at Xavier University – entitled “Promoting Peace In Our Communities” – is a continuation of a years-long effort by Cat

Archbishop Chaput and his new book are coming to NYC, DC

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 24, 2017
Philadelphia, Pa., Feb 24, 2017 / 04:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput will present his latest book in New York City and Washington, D.C. in the near future, discussing the changed situation for Catholicism in America. “As Christians, we're offering a salvific message in a therapeutic culture. It's a tough sale,” the archbishop told CNA. He suggested that new understandings of religion and civic life are very different from previous generations. “Jesus changed the world with 12 very flawed men,” Archbishop Chaput said. “We have plenty of good men and women, and more than enough resources, to do the same. But not if we’re too self-absorbed and too eager to fit into the world around us to suffer for our faith. We’re not short of vocations. We’re short of clear thinking and zeal.” His newest book, “Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World,&rdq

Supreme Court hears case of Mexican teen shot at border

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 24, 2017
Washington D.C., Feb 24, 2017 / 04:25 pm (CNA).- The Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in the case of a Mexican teen shot dead by a border patrol agent. But when it comes to legal standing in the case, the situation is far from clear. “This is a difficult case, as its facts are very compelling for the plaintiffs, but the law is less so,” said Mary G. Leary, professor of law at The Catholic University of America. Leary spoke with CNA about the case Hernandez v. Mesa currently before the Supreme Court.   At the U.S.-Mexico border in 2010, three Mexican boys played a game of “chicken” by seeing who would run the closest to the border. Fifteen-year-old Sergio Hernandez crossed the border and was noticed by border patrol agent Jesus Mesa. As Hernandez ran back into a culvert between the walls on either side of the border, the agent shot him dead. Mexico requested that Mesa be extradited for the killing, but the U.S. refused. Hernandez’s fami

New immigration rules will hurt the vulnerable, US bishops warn

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 24, 2017
Washington D.C., Feb 24, 2017 / 12:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Trump administration’s new border and immigration enforcement rules needlessly endanger the vulnerable, militarize the border and will cause many other problems, the U.S. bishops warned this week. “They greatly expand the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, who wrote the bishops’ Feb. 23 response. On Feb. 20, the Department of Homeland Security issued two memoranda to implement President Donald Trump’s executive orders regarding immigration enforcement on the border and in the U.S. interior. “Taken together, these memoranda constitute the establishment of a large-scale enforcement system that targets virtually all undocumented migrants as ‘priorities’ for deportation, thus prioritizing no one,” Bishop Vasquez said. Important protections for the vulnerable, including

Texas must fund Planned Parenthood, federal judge rules

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 24, 2017
Austin, Texas, Feb 23, 2017 / 08:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid the controversy over investigative videos appearing to show illegal activities at Planned Parenthood, a federal judge has temporarily barred Texas from denying Medicaid funding to the abortion provider. Attorney General Ken Paxton said the decision is “disappointing” and “flies in the face of basic human decency.” “The raw, unedited footage from undercover videos exposed a brazen willingness by Planned Parenthood officials to traffic in fetal body parts, as well as manipulate the timing and method of an abortion,” he said Feb. 21. “Even the remains of the most vicious criminals are treated with respect.” “No taxpayer in Texas should have to subsidize this repugnant and illegal conduct,” Paxton added. “We should never lose sight of the fact that, as long as abortion is legal in the United States, the potential for these types of horrors will continue.”

How old anti-Catholic laws still threaten religious freedom today

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 23, 2017
Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2017 / 03:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Anti-Catholic state laws from the 19th century are today being used by secularists to fight public funding of all religious organizations, warned a religious freedom advocacy group. State Blaine Amendment laws are utilized today “to counter religious organizations and religious individuals,” said Eric Baxter, senior attorney at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “The First Amendment was set in place to ensure that religious beliefs and religious exercise could have an equal part in our public life and culture,” he told CNA. These state laws, however, “are being used to thwart that, to say that somehow religion is like the ugly stepchild of the family of civil rights, and creates this idea that religion should be sidelined in public life.” What was the original Blaine Amendment, and how were state laws modeled after it? In the years following the Civil War, there was widespread suspic

Race-based death sentence rejected at US Supreme Court

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 23, 2017
Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2017 / 02:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A death row inmate in Texas deserves a new sentencing hearing because his own lawyers called on an expert who claimed he was more likely to be dangerous because he is black, the U. S. Supreme Court has said. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion in the Feb. 22 decision in Buck v. Davis, saying: “When a jury hears expert testimony that expressly makes a defendant's race directly pertinent on the question of life or death, the impact of that evidence cannot be measured simply by how much air time it received at trial or how many pages it occupies in the record. Some toxins can be deadly in small doses.” The man sentenced to death, Duane Buck, was convicted for two 1995 murders, which included killing his ex-girlfriend in front of her children. He also shot his step-sister at close range. Buck will now be able to argue before a lower court that he should have a new sentencing hearing. The 6-2 ru

Trump draws praise for withdrawing transgender bathroom regulation

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 23, 2017
Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2017 / 12:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday night, the Trump administration withdrew an Obama-era guidance that had directed schools to allow students to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender they currently identify with, not the facilities of their birth or biological sex. The guidance had prompted criticism on the grounds of safety and privacy. In dropping it, the Trump administration said the policy had created too much confusion and the issue should be left up to the states. The move was applauded by Dr. Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. “While we must be sensitive to the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of people who identify as transgender, that is not a reason to ignore the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of everyone else,” Anderson wrote in the Daily Signal. “Unfortunately, the Obama-era policies were entirely one-side

Catholics shouldn't totally reject human gene editing – but it still has ethical problems

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: February 23, 2017
Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2017 / 02:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Recent American guidelines for human gene modification have raised important ethical questions, especially with regard to modifying the genes of unborn children and of reproductive cells. The National Academy of Sciences last week released a 261-page report on guidelines for editing the human genome to treat diseases and other applications. The report covers a wide array of topics, from the editing of adult cells for therapies such as cancer treatment, to the editing of embryos and germ cells (reproductive cells, i.e. ova and sperm), to the question of human enhancement. John DiCamillo, an ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, spoke to CNA about the perils and the promises of gene editing, as well as the oversights contained in the National Academy of Sciences' report. “Gene editing generally can be morally legitimate if it has a directly therapeutic purpose for a particular patient in question, and i