Daily News

New Letter Opposes HHS Mandate's Distinctions for Religious Groups (3508)

June 11 letter was signed by evangelicals and Catholics and a variety of faith-based organizations.

06/13/2012 Comments (2)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

More than 150 faith-based organizations have spoken out against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate because it creates class distinctions for religious groups. The mandate and its narrow exemption create a “two-class scheme” of religious organizations that “honors acts of worship while burdening those whose faith leads them to service in our common life,” they argued.

In a June 11 letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, the leaders voiced “grave concern” over the two-class concept of religious organizations that was “embedded in federal law” in February, when the mandate was finalized in its original form.

The letter was organized by the...READ MORE

Filed under hhs mandate, religious freedom, religious liberty

Christians Help Israel's Poor by Practicing the Biblical Mandate of Gleaning (3097)

Pilgrims get to know the land where Christ walked — and help provide meals.

06/13/2012 Comments (15)
Courtesy of Leket Israel

A growing number of Christian pilgrims volunteer to harvest fruits and vegetables in the Holy Land during their pilgrimages.

– Courtesy of Leket Israel

Janara Walker, 30, wanted her first-ever visit to the Holy Land to be about giving, not receiving. So last October she and 11 other members of the non-denominational Vineyard Columbus Church in Ohio flew to Israel and drove just over an hour to the Palestinian-ruled West Bank.

Once in Bethlehem, the group met up with the Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian non-governmental organization that, among other things, recruits volunteers to assist Palestinian farmers during olive-picking season.

Covered in sunscreen to protect against the strong Middle Eastern sun, Walker and her friends spent most of their pilgrimage picking olives from about 8:30am until 3:30pm. During their free time, the Holy...READ MORE

Filed under agriculture, bible, farming, gleaning, holy land, hunger, israel, leket israel, old testament

Vatican Describes Talks With U.S. Sisters as 'Open And Cordial' (917)

06/12/2012 Comments (9)
CNA Vatican News

Sister Pat Farrell and Sister Janet Mock of the LCWR in Rome.

– CNA Vatican News

Vatican City — The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has described talks with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious as open and cordial.

“The meeting provided the opportunity for the Congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality,” said a statement issued by the Vatican press office June 12.

In April 2012 the Vatican called for a reform of the body after a four-year audit or “doctrinal assessment,” which concluded there was a “crisis” of belief throughout its ranks.

On June 12, Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell and St. Joseph Sister Janet Mock, who are...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop j. peter sartain, cardinal william levada, leadership conference of women religious, vatican

Commentary: The Decline of the Working Class and the New Evangelization (3260)

Charles Murray’s new study of white America, Coming Apart, offers a chance for the Church to find new avenues for spreading the Gospel.

06/12/2012 Comments (18)
American Enterprise Institute

Charles Murray

– American Enterprise Institute

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve yesterday released its Survey of Consumer Finances, a report that found that the median U.S. family income plunged about 40% over the past three years.

The Fed’s data also confirm that the incomes of affluent Americans have fallen rapidly, reducing income inequalities somewhat.

That news is unlikely to silence the Occupy Wall Street movement and others who allege that disparities in wealth are the result of the exploitative practices of the nation’s top banks and corporations.

Meanwhile, Charles Murray, the libertarian sociologist, offers a different take on the haves and have-nots in his new bestseller Coming Apart: The State of White America...READ MORE

Filed under charles murray, coming apart, evangelization, new evangelization, the bell curve

SDG Reviews ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ (3699)

The Central Park Zoo escapees’ third outing tops the box office … but parents may want to think twice before they ‘move it’ to theaters with the kids.

06/12/2012 Comments (5)

I blame the penguins for Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

The smugly unflappable Skipper (co-director Tom McGrath) and his three penguin cohorts were clearly the best thing about DreamWorks’ original Madagascar, and they went on to star in an ongoing series on Nickelodeon. In the same way, Scrat the saber-squirrel was arguably the best thing about Ice Age (though Sid the sloth gave him a run for his money), and he has gone on to star in a series of animated shorts. Likewise, Mater the tow truck was, well, certainly not the best thing about Cars, but the breakout supporting character who went on to have his own TV show, Mater’s Tall Tales, and largely took over the disappointing sequel....READ MORE

Filed under animation, dreamworks, family films, movies, sdg reviews

Archbishop Lori Highlights Role of Laity in Fortnight For Freedom (1467)

'It is the laity who are the ones that bring about the just and tranquil society,' says chairman of bishops' religious freedom committee.

06/12/2012 Comments (2)
CNA US Catholic News

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore speaks during the 2012 National Religious Freedom award dinner May 24.

– CNA US Catholic News

Washington D.C. —  Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore stressed the importance of laity involvement in efforts to defend religious freedom from the ongoing threats in the U.S.

“It’s important, of course, for bishops to be teachers and leaders.” But “it is crucial for lay men and women, mothers and fathers of families, lay leaders in all walks of life to advocate for freedom and justice in our society,” Archbishop Lori told CNA on June 9.

“Without those voices and without the involvement of the laity, we just won’t get very far,” he added.

“In the Church’s understanding,” he explained, “it is the laity who are the ones that bring about the just and tranquil society. It is the laity...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, archbishop william lori, bishops, contraception, fortnight for freedom, religious freedom, religious liberty

One Thousand More Syrian Christians Flee After Ultimatum (1387)

06/12/2012 Comment
FJuez/CNA World Catholic News

Syrian refugees

– FJuez/CNA World Catholic News

Beirut, Lebanon — An ultimatum from the Syrian armed opposition’s military chief caused over 1,000 Christians to flee the west Syrian town of Qusayr, adding to fears that believers may be forced out of Syria.

“The Christian communities fear being targeted, destroyed or driven out,” said Neville Kyrke-Smith, Aid to the Church in Need’s U.K. director. “We all need to stand in prayer and solidarity now.”

Kyrke-Smith, who returned from Lebanon on June 11, told CNA that the report of Christian flight echoes the concerns he heard from bishops, priests, and religious communities concerned about Christians’ fate in neighboring Syria.

“The message time and again was ‘please do not forget the...READ MORE

Filed under christians in the middle east, islam, syro-malabar catholics

Eucharistic Congress Opens With Reflection on 'Treasure of the Church' (1047)

06/12/2012 Comment
CNA US Catholic News

Cardinal Marc Ouellet

– CNA US Catholic News

Dublin, Ireland — The Church has nothing greater to offer than Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, Cardinal Marc Ouellet said as he celebrated the June 10 opening Mass of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.

“Our gathering is an act of faith in the Holy Eucharist, the treasure of the Church, which is essential to her life and to our communion as brothers and sisters in Christ,” said the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who is representing Pope Benedict as Papal Legate at the celebration in Ireland.

The Church, he told pilgrims gathered at the Royal Dublin Society Arena, “draws her life from the Eucharist,” and “receives her own identity from the gift of...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal marc ouellet, dublin, international eucharistic congress

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