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Bullets or Needles? Death Penalty Faces New Scrutiny as States Mull Changes (650)

On Monday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill to legalize a five-person firing squad as the official back-up method of execution for the state.

03/27/2015 Comments (4)

WASHINGTON — Firing squads, gas chambers and the electric chair may seem like methods of state-mandated execution of the past, but some states in the U.S. are bringing them back, prompting a debate about the most humane form of the death penalty or whether the very idea is a contradiction in terms.

“I think we’re at a critical point right now, where the myth that lethal injection was swift, effective and painless has been destroyed,” said Robert Dunham, director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

“And there’s kind of an irony here, because lethal injection was the choice when states were moving away from other more extreme, more overtly violent forms of execution.”

On Monday, Utah...READ MORE

Filed under capital punishment, death penalty, electric chair, evangelium vitae, firing squad, lethal injection, mary rezac, prudential judgment

Cuomo’s Political Ploy Could Cost Catholic-School Tax Credits (2460)

By tying the education tax credit to a proposed state Dream Act, New York’s governor has jeopardized an initiative he has publicly endorsed.

03/27/2015 Comments (8)
nyscatholic.org

– nyscatholic.org

ALBANY, N.Y. — For the second consecutive year, it appears that an education tax-credit bill that would help parents afford to send their children to Catholic and private schools will be left out of New York state’s budget.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he supports the measure, and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature are reportedly on board, but Cuomo’s decision to tie the education tax credit with a state version of the Dream Act — which would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for college financial aid — may have torpedoed the bill’s chances of becoming law.

“To link the education tax credit, which has support in both houses, to a politically nonviable bill, at this time,...READ MORE

Filed under andrew cuomo, brian fraga, catholic schools, education tax credits, new york state

Unraveling New York Times' 'Unraveling Church Ban on Gay Sex', Peripheries and More! (2873)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/27/2015 Comments (2)

Click on Unraveling The New York Time’s “Unraveling the Church Ban on Gay Sex” by William M. Briggs of Statistician to the Stars link to read more.

Unraveling The New York Time’s 'Unraveling the Church Ban on Gay Sex' by William M. Briggs of Statistician to the Stars - BigPulpit.com

Pope Francis’ Evolving Curial Reform – Andrea Gagliarducci, Monday Vatican

Quiz: Which Saint Said It? - Tatiana Federoff, Epic Pew

Why Are Seminaries Afraid of the Extraordinary Form? – Father Christopher Smith, One Peter 5

People of the Lie by Steve Roney of ‘Od’s Blog! - BigPulpit.com

No Excuses: Catholic Schools Must Evangelize – Glenn B. Siniscalchi, Crisis Magazine

Just the Moral Facts, Ma’am - Anthony S. Layne, Catholic Stand

A Tale of Two Suitors: Finding Mister Right – Emily Shaw, Restless Press

The 'Pernicious Habit of Charity' – Elaine...READ MORE

Filed under catholic schools, catholicism, charity, communion on the tongue, curial reform, extraordinary form of the mass, moral facts, pope francis, saint, seminary

Black (and Catholic) Like Me in Ferguson (2879)

A Department of Justice report reveals a pattern of institutional racism in the depressed Missouri town, but one observer says the problem of fatherlessness is another key factor that must be addressed.

03/26/2015 Comments (14)
Wikipedia/Jamelle Boule/CC BY 2.0

Protesters gather outside of Ferguson police headquarters in August 2014, following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

– Wikipedia/Jamelle Boule/CC BY 2.0

FERGUSON, Mo. — When her two sons were growing up in the St. Louis metropolitan area, Alice Reese and her husband sat them down for “that special talk.” It wasn’t the talk most Catholic parents in the United States expect to give to their young sons approaching manhood — unless you’re African-American, that is.

This “talk,” Reese explained, involves sitting down with your children and telling them how they need to interact with police safely, avoiding any kind of confrontation.

In short, “If you ever get stopped, be respectful; don’t argue; don’t talk back,” she instructed her sons.

“It’s sad that you have to do that — that you have to warn your children,” Reese said.

Reese is a black...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of st. louis, department of justice, ferguson, michael brown, peter jesserer smith, police, racism, ryan bomberger

The Bishops Farrell: An Answer to an Irish Mother’s Prayers (2596)

Bishop Brian Farrell calls the Vatican home, while younger brother Kevin shepherds the Diocese of Dallas.

03/26/2015 Comments (2)
Pat Conway photo

Bishop Kevin Farrell (l) and Bishop Brian Farrell concelebrate Mass in Dublin, in June 2012, while attending an international Eucharistic council.

– Pat Conway photo

WASHINGTON — Bishop Kevin Farrell remembers what his Irish mother would do when her four boys got especially rambunctious at home in 1950s Dublin: “She’d bow her head before the Sacred Heart, and say, ‘All for you, O sweet Jesus and holy mother the Church.’”

And by the Church’s measure, Mrs. Farrell’s prayers were fulfilled: Her two oldest sons, Brian and Kevin, were ordained as priests, in 1969 and 1978 respectively.

Today, they are literally brother bishops, serving the Church in very different ways, in different parts of the world: Bishop Brian Farrell, 71, is the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity based in Rome, while Bishop Kevin Farrell, 67, has served...READ MORE

Filed under bishop brian farrell, bishop kevin farrell, diocese of dallas, pontifical council for promoting christian unity, victor gaetan

Pope Francis to Visit White House Sept. 23 (956)

The announcement of the Pope’s visit to the White House comes at a time of mixed relations between President Obama and U.S. Church leaders.

03/26/2015 Comments (10)
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis for a private audience at the Vatican, March 27, 2014.

– Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials has confirmed that Pope Francis will make a stop at the White House to meet with President Barack Obama on Sept. 23, during his trip to the United States for the World Meeting of Families.

“The president and the first lady will welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to the White House on Wednesday, Sept. 23,” said a March 26 statement from the White House press secretary.

“During the visit, the president and the Pope will continue the dialogue, which they began during the president’s visit to the Vatican in March 2014, on their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues, including caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, catholic news agency, pope francis, u.s. papal visit, white house visit, world meeting of families 2015

A Grave Problem: NJ Ban on Religious Headstone Sales Could Violate Constitution (3005)

The bill, signed into law March 23 by Gov. Chris Christie, bars any 'religious corporation, association, organization or society' that owns, controls or manages a cemetery from selling memorials, vaults or mausoleums.

03/26/2015 Comments (12)
CNA/Peter Griffin (CC0 1.0)

– CNA/Peter Griffin (CC0 1.0)

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey law crafted to ban the Archdiocese of Newark from selling cemetery headstones might not pass muster under judicial review, according to a constitutional-law specialist.

Matthew Franck said the law “may well be violating the freedom of religion” guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution because it “singles out religious organizations for disfavored treatment.”

Franck directs the Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Princeton, N.J.-based Witherspoon Institute. He characterized the law as “a direct assault on the freedom of churches to offer services to the bereaved in their own congregations.”

In a March 16 article at the news site NJ.com, Mark...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of newark, catholic cemetery, chris christie, kevin j. jones, new jersey

‘Led by God’s Hand’: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and Communion With Christ (2679)

Sister M. Regina van den Berg’s book opens a new chapter in the life of a philosopher saint.

03/26/2015 Comments (3)
Ignatius Press

– Ignatius Press

ROME — Edith Stein — St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross — is well known for her heroic journey from Judaism to atheism to Catholicism and, ultimately, her martyrdom in the Auschwitz extermination camp in 1942.

But in a new book, Communion With Christ: According to Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, U.S. Sister M. Regina van den Berg, of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George (FSGM), goes deeper into St. Teresa’s life and writings in the context of the “spirituality of communion.” She explains how, as a philosopher, St. Teresa was directed towards attaining communion with the Truth and how she discovered that Truth was a Person, Jesus Christ.

In these March 14 comments to the...READ MORE

Filed under communion of saints, edith stein, edward pentin, philosophy, sister m. regina van den berg, st. teresa benedicta of the cross

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