Cath. seminarian with cancer opposes Conn. assisted suicide bill: My suffering has unleashed love

03/20/2015 Comments (11)
Photos courtesy of the Diocese of Raleigh

– Photos courtesy of the Diocese of Raleigh

I suffer, but this suffering has unleashed love into my life in ways that I could have never imagined. -- Seminarian Philip Johnson, in testimony before Connecticut legislators

This week, Connecticut state lawmakers heard testimony in response to proposed legislation that would legalize assisted suicide. One state representative testified that her father had needlessly suffered during the final stages of Parkinsons' disease, and finally killed himself by drowning. 

But Raleigh, N.C. seminarian, Philip Johnson, offered a very different message of hope amid the painful headaches and debilitating seizures that accompany his own battle with terminal brain cancer.  The Diocese of Raleigh...READ MORE

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San Fran Church Official to Union Critic: We Need Teachers Who Are Fulfilled in the Faith

03/17/2015 Comments (100)

The challenge is to really be in dialogue with the culture.  What the archbishop needs is for you to be bridging the gap between what appears to be ancient, awful teachings and where kids are. -- Father Anthony Giampietro, C.S.B. Archdiocese of San Francisco

Last night, various players in the ongoing dispute between Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and the local Catholic teachers' union and its allies, who oppose the proposed "morality clauses" to be added to the new teacher contracts, got a chance to air their arguments.   

The San Francisco forum, sponsored by City Visions, will serve as a wake up call for anyone who thinks it is still business as usual for Catholic...READ MORE

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Former Prez of Am.Congress of Obstetricians on NFP 'A 20% failure rate is unacceptable'

03/10/2015 Comments (36)

On March 10, PRI, a radio news program that airs on National Public Radio tackled the "debate over 'natural family planning': Does it work?" 

No, said one medical expert. And the show offered a narrative based on his view that NFP was especially ineffective 'in "places where women don’t necessarily have the power to say no to their husbands or partners.”

The show begins with a skeptical look at the position of Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, former president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. He opposes artificial birth control, backs natural family planning (NFP), and lives in an "upscale" neighborhood, PRI tells us. You can listen to the show here.

The archbishop's...READ MORE

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Did the Justices Signal that Notre Dame and the LIttle Sisters Will Prevail in HHS Lawsuits?

03/09/2015 Comments (6)

Kahunapule Michael Johnson/ Flickr (CC BY NC SA 20)

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a ruling that vacated a circuit court decision against the University of Notre Dame, as it pursued its lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate. 

The news media and some opponents of the mandate presented the ruling as another blow to the White House, which was still smarting from the high court's split decision last June that sided with Hobby Lobby, the for-profit family company that claimed the mandate violated its religious freeom.

"Supreme Court Says Obama Admin Can’t Make Notre Dame Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate," read a headline from Life News.

"The justices asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to...READ MORE

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4 Lessons from Downton Abbey’s Fifth Season

03/02/2015 Comments (31)

“I think in life there are people who are unlucky — the bread always falls with the butter side down,” Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of Downton Abbey told The New York Times, during an interview that marked the close of the PBS Masterpiece drama's 5th season.

“Edith is an example of that.

“Bates and Anna have that, with a key difference, which is that they have a very strong love with each other. Anna is one of the most admirable characterstv in the series. She’s come from a tough childhood, we know now, and yet she hasn’t allowed it to distort her,” Fellowes added, hinting at the Catholic-friendly natural law principles that undergird human relations at Downton.  “We live in...READ MORE

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San Fran Church Official on Teacher Contracts: "The Archbishop has not repealed anything"

02/25/2015 Comments (25)

Amid the ongoing negotiations between the San Francisco Archdiocese, and union leaders representing teachers in four Catholic high schools under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the San Francisco Chronicle announced that the local church leader was "reassessing [his] strict moral code for teachers."

"Under pressure from parents, students and staffers at the San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese’s schools, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Tuesday that he is reexamining strict guidelines he proposed for teachers that would require them to reject homosexuality, use of contraception and other 'evil' behavior." the Chronicle reported in a Feb. 24 news story.

That got...READ MORE

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Did James Foley Die a Muslim Convert or a Catholic Martyr?

02/23/2015 Comments (17)

– YouTube

When James Foley was publicly beheaded by militants from the Islamic State, the grisly video of the American reporter's execution led some Catholics to praise him as a martyr for the faith. 

But, later, other released hostages, who knew Foley, testified that the American had converted to Islam, and that his conversion appeared to be genuine.

Was Foley a Catholic martyr or a Muslim convert? asks The New York Times. And if he did formally embrace the religion of his captors, was that the free expression of his conscience, the result of violent coercion, or simply a tactic to secure a reprieve from the daily beatings he endured at the hands of ISIS?

Foley's mother, a practicing Catholic who...READ MORE

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Lawmakers to San Fran Archbishop: Drop Morality Clauses for Teachers

02/19/2015 Comments (73)
Lauren Cater/CNA

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.

– Lauren Cater/CNA

A group of California lawmakers asked Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco to remove "morality clauses" from a proposed contract for teachers in high schools under his jurisdiction, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The new language in the contracts direct teachers in four archdiocesan high schools to avoid public statements or actions that oppose Church teaching on contraception, pre-marital sex or homosexual relationships. My story on the proposed change in contract language is here.

In their letter to the archbishop, the California lawmakers argued that the morality clauses "conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we...READ MORE

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About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..