Catholic News Agency: US News

Rethinking her death, Brittany Maynard praised for seeing life's value

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 30, 2014
Denver, Colo., Oct 30, 2014 / 05:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As a 29 year-old woman with terminal brain cancer reconsiders her resolve to end her life, one scholar says the change of heart indicates a more mature level of thinking. “That’s advanced thinking, that’s higher order thinking – when you can let go of the trappings of this world and realize there is something else,” reflected Dr. Julie Masters, chairman of the Department of Gerontology at the University of Nebraska. She told CNA Oct. 30 that Brittany Maynard’s reconsideration is an “interesting development.” “I think reading some of the things she has said about this idea that she is there with her family and seeing the value of that offers people another perspective on end-of-life care, and what that means,” Masters said. After being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Maynard announced earlier this month that was planning to end her life Nov. 1. She and h

How one cardinal proposes to correct ignorance of marriage's nature

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 30, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 30, 2014 / 03:50 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- According to the Archbishop of Washington, the recent Synod on the Family worked to address the challenge that many young people today don’t fully understand the nature of marriage. “There were a good number of us within the synod who felt, given the heavily secular climate today in which so many of our young people are living – what they see in media, television, electronic print, in movies, the music they listen to, the world they’re engaged in – (that) the idea of a permanent, enduring bond that would be life-giving and at the same time be indissoluble is not uppermost in their awareness of marriage,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl asserted in an Oct. 30 conference call. Cardinal Wuerl was speaking about the Oct. 5-19 extraordinary Synod of Bishops, which was held in anticipation of next year's World Meeting of Families and the ordinary Synod on the Family. After the 2015 synod, Pope Fran

Philly archdiocese: RNS blogger 'inventing own reality'

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 30, 2014
Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 30, 2014 / 09:48 am (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has shrugged off a recent blog post that sought to pit Pope Francis against Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on the death penalty.   “Some blogs are like videogames; they invent their own reality,” Kenneth Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told CNA Oct. 28.   “Archbishop Chaput has been vocal and vigorous in opposing the death penalty for more than 40 years. That’s a matter of public record.”   Gavin’s comments came in response to an Oct. 24 blog post on Religion News Service by writer Mark Silk.   The blog post, entitled, “Pope Francis clarifies Archbishop Chaput’s confusion,” focused on Pope Francis’ recent call for the abolition of the death penalty.   Silk claimed that “What His Holiness has done is definitively reject the assertion of former Denver and current Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput

Archbishop Aquila: Media missed message of joy at synod

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 30, 2014
Denver, Colo., Oct 30, 2014 / 02:47 am (CNA).- The joy of the Gospel of Marriage is alive, said Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, explaining that although the mainstream media may have missed the message at the recent Synod on the Family, Pope Francis’ remarks were “especially clear.” “In the days since the Synod on the Family ended, I have had some people tell me they are confused or worried about the results of the gathering,” Archbishop Aquila stated in an Oct. 27 column for the Denver Catholic Register. “Many of them have listened to the secular media reports that openly advocate for the Church to change her teaching on marriage and human sexuality, but they did not read the actual documents.” Saying that the beautiful testimonies and conversations at the Synod were “outside of the media spotlight,” the Denver archbishop recalled the numerous couples and bishops from around the world who “experienced the truth o

Who can help end women's sexual exploitation? Christian men

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 29, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 29, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Men – particularly men within the Christian church – have a crucial role in changing cultural attitudes surrounding the sexual exploitation of women, say organizers of an upcoming New York conference. Rather than being confined to a matter of personal behavior or morality, the need to put an end to the scourge is a greater issue of societal justice, according to Paul Horrocks, founder of Justice NYC.   Christian men, he told CNA, “acknowledge that this is a problem and it is a problem within the churches,” but also tend to view the issue of sexual exploitation through media such as pornography as a topic “that we can't do anything about.” “This can change,” he urged. “We can bring about cultural change, and it can start in the church.” Justice NYC is a New York-based organization that will host a conference on the sexual exploitation of women on No

Mandate revisions not enough - district court grants injunction to Ave Maria

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 29, 2014
Naples, Fla., Oct 29, 2014 / 02:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A federal court in Florida has granted Ave Maria University preliminary protection from the federal contraception mandate, which the school has challenged on religious freedom grounds. “After dozens of court rulings, the government still doesn't seem to get that it can't force faith institutions to violate their beliefs,” said Eric Baxter, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the university. “Fortunately, the courts continue to see through the government’s attempts to disguise the Mandate’s religious coercion,” Baxter said in an Oct. 28 statement. “We congratulate Ave Maria for its courage, even under the threat of crippling fines.” On Oct. 28, a federal district court in Florida ruled that the new regulations surrounding the Department of Health and Human Services’ controversial contraceptive mandate do not adequately prot

John Paul II 'taught me how to be a person,' secretary recounts

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 28, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 28, 2014 / 04:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Saint John Paul II’s deep love for the world and for God continues to inspire people today to draw near to Christ, teaching them not only about sanctity, but about humanity, say those who were close to the late Pope. “He was just a human being and he taught me how to be a person, how to be a man,” said Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine, who served as papal secretary under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. “We lost our beloved pope when he died, but this sense of sorrow has been transformed in the joy of him being a saint.” Saint John Paul II’s first universal feast day after his canonization earlier this year was celebrated on Oct. 22, the anniversary of his papal inauguration. Speaking to CNA on the feast day, Archbishop Mokrzycki relayed some of his favorite stories of John Paul II, highlighting the saint’s love for the world. Once, when traveling

Philadelphia priest placed on immediate leave following arrest

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 28, 2014
Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 27, 2014 / 06:21 pm (CNA).- A 55-year-old priest in Philadelphia was placed on immediate administrative leave after being arrested on child pornography charges. According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Father Mark J. Haynes was arrested by Chester County Police and “charged with two counts of dissemination of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of criminal use of a communications device.” “These charges are serious and disturbing,” the archdiocese said in an Oct. 24 statement. “The Archdiocese is cooperating fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care. Child pornography is a scourge that must be eradicated.” The charges involve lewd photos of underage children posted to an Instagram account that was traced to the rectory of the paris

Want to prevent threats like ISIS? Religious freedom key, official says

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 27, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 27, 2014 / 05:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Promoting religious freedom abroad is vital for U.S. national security interests in preventing the rise of threats such as ISIS, said the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Monday. “Many of our most dire national security threats are founded and have their origins in countries, in regions, societies, that fail to provide this most fundamental human protection,” Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett told CNA on Oct. 27, International Religious Freedom Day. The day marked the 16th anniversary of the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The commission, created by the act, is an independent, bi-partisan advisory group that monitors religious freedom around the world and makes policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State and Congress. With “a world in flames,” it is imperative now more than ever for the U.S. to “encourage and nudge and pu

Educate, legislate, fund: three responses to Down syndrome

By: CNA Daily News - US
Source: Catholic News Agency: US
Date: October 27, 2014
Washington D.C., Oct 27, 2014 / 02:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In order to halt the abortion of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, much must be done for education, research, and legislation to help parents choose life, a panel of experts has said. “In a sense, Down syndrome is the canary in the coal mine, it’s the test case of how we in a society will deal with difference in disability,” said Mark Bradford of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation. “Will we welcome individuals into our communities who have genetic differences? Or will we exclude them from our society, marginalize them, push them away, and not allow them to be born?” The March for Life hosted a panel discussion on the theme for the upcoming march “Every Life is Precious,” to discuss the high abortion rate in pregnancies where the unborn child is diagnosed with a disability such as Down syndrome. The event, held Oct. 23, commemorated Down syndrome Awareness Month. According to a