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Federal Abortion Funding Harms Women, Experts Tell Congress (3574)

A House subcommittee addressed the proposed No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would prohibit federal funds for support of abortion in the U.S.

01/14/2014 Comments (9)
Michelle Bauman/CNA

Helen Alvare, law professor at George Mason University

– Michelle Bauman/CNA

WASHINGTON — A proposed law blocking federal funding of abortion would be a big step towards “women’s health” and a true “women’s agenda,” experts told members of Congress at a recent hearing.

“It’s time once and for all to settle the matter of abortion funding across federal legislation and move on to a real women’s agenda,” said Helen Alvare, law professor at George Mason University.

Alvare testified Jan. 9 at a congressional subcommittee hearing alongside Susan Woods, an associate professor of health policy at George Washington University, and Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

The hearing...READ MORE

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‘USA Today’ to Obama: Leave the Little Sisters Alone (4081)

The daily newspaper’s editors call the administration’s effort ‘a political loser.’

01/14/2014 Comments (6)
Courtesy of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

– Courtesy of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

WASHINGTON — The editors of USA Today have urged the Obama administration to stop trying to require the Little Sisters of the Poor to abide by the federal contraception mandate in violation of their religious beliefs.

“When the Obama administration picked a fight with Catholics and other religious groups over free birth-control coverage for employees, sooner or later, it was bound to end up doing battle with a group like the Little Sisters of the Poor,” the USA Today editorial board said.

In a Jan. 12 editorial entitled “Obamacare overreach tramples Little Sisters,” the publication’s editors argued that the administration’s move is “a political loser,” “constitutionally suspect” and...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, contraception, little sisters of the poor, obamacare, religious freedom, u.s. constitution, women religious

Jahi McMath Case Renews Moral Debate Over Brain-Death Diagnoses (22161)

Catholic experts are divided over the question of whether life support should continue to be provided to the 13-year-old girl.

01/14/2014 Comments (63)

Jahi McMath

– nbcbayarea.com

OAKLAND, Calif. — The tragic case of Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old California girl who was declared brain-dead by an Oakland hospital and a month later reluctantly released into the custody of her family, has drawn national attention to end-of-life issues and raised important questions about the definition of death in this technologically advanced age.

In addition, the ethical debate over brain death has divided some reliable pro-life voices, with many citing statements from Blessed John Paul II that the Church recognizes an accurate diagnosis of whole brain death as true death and others questioning the entire concept of brain death when a patient is on a respirator and the heart is still...READ MORE

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Cease-Fire in Syria ‘a Humanitarian Imperative’ (2046)

Attendees at a Jan. 13 Vatican summit on resolving the crisis, sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, urged material and diplomatic cooperation of all regional and global participants.

01/13/2014 Comments (3)
Elizabeth Arrott/VOA News/Wikimedia Commons

A Syrian soldier mans a checkpoint at the edge of Damascus in January 2012.

– Elizabeth Arrott/VOA News/Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN CITY — Political authorities and leading Church figures, taking part in a Vatican summit on resolving the conflict in Syria, have called for an immediate cease-fire, saying it is a “humanitarian imperative.”

They have also urged generous help towards reconstruction even before political and social questions are resolved, intercommunity dialogue and the full participation of all regional and global actors.

The Jan. 13 meeting — hosted by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences under the theme “Syria: With a Death Toll of 126,000 and 300,000 Orphans in 36 Months of War, Can We Remain Indifferent?” — was held ahead of the Geneva II conference on Syria that will begin Jan. 22.


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Pope Francis’ First Consistory Will Feature International Flavor (2371)

The names of the new cardinals were announced by the Holy Father Jan. 12 at his weekly Sunday Angelus.

01/13/2014 Comments (4)
Lewis Ashton Glancy/CNA

Consistory of cardinals held Nov. 4, 2012.

– Lewis Ashton Glancy/CNA

VATICAN CITY — From Pope Francis’ choice of 16 cardinal-electors, it looks as though the Holy Father’s first cardinal-making consistory will steer the Church away from its perception as a predominantly Eurocentric and Western institution  and towards an international one, more representative of today’s Church.

The names of the 16, announced after the Angelus Jan. 12, mostly come from the Southern Hemisphere; only six are from Europe. None are from the United States, and there are just four from Italy. Many Vatican observers see this as a logical progression, given that Catholics are most populous in Latin America, and the Church is growing fastest in Asia and Africa. 

“It’s certainly...READ MORE

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Federal Government's ‘Disregard’ for State Marriage Laws Criticized (2545)

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco encouraged Congress to support the State Marriage Defense Act.

01/13/2014 Comments (12)

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. bishops deplored federal agencies’ decisions to ignore state marriage laws, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government will recognize the “gay marriages” briefly contracted in Utah.

“State marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman deserve respect by the federal government,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on the Defense of Marriage.

The archbishop’s comments came in a Jan. 10 letter to Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, sponsor of the State Marriage Defense Act.

Archbishop Cordileone said the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision United States v. Windsor...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop salvatore cordileone, marriage, objective morality, same-sex 'marriage', u.s. attorney general, u.s. conference of catholic bishops

Pope to Parents: ‘Hand on the Faith’ (3230)

During his Sunday homily, Pope Francis reminded parents who had brought their infants to be baptized of their duty to be part of ‘the chain of faith’ that began with Jesus.

01/13/2014 Comments (7)

Pope Francis baptizes a baby during Mass Jan. 12 at the Sistine Chapel.


VATICAN CITY — During his homily at Sunday Mass Jan. 12 at the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis reminded parents who had brought their infants to be baptized of their duty to pass on the faith to their children.

“Today, carry this thought home with you: We must be transmitters of the faith. Think of this, think always of how to hand on the faith to [your] children,” he told the families who were gathered for Mass in the Sistine Chapel.

“These children are links in a chain,” he said of the 32 infants brought for baptism. “You parents have a baby son or daughter to be baptized, but, in several years, it will be they that have a baby to baptize or a grandchild; and so, the chain of faith!”


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California Bishops Pray for Rain as State’s Drought Continues (2401)

Water reserves in the state are low, and California farmers are asking the governor to declare a state of emergency.

01/13/2014 Comments (7)
Michelle Bauman/CNA

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif.

– Michelle Bauman/CNA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Catholic bishops of California have called for prayers for rain to bring relief to the drought in the state, as well as for those threatened by the lack of water.

“May God open the heavens, and let his mercy rain down upon our fields and mountains,” said the prayer composed by Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento. “Let us especially pray for those most impacted by water shortages and for the wisdom and charity to be good stewards of this precious gift.”

The prayer also asked that political leaders “seek the common good as we learn to care and share God’s gift of water for the good of all.”

Many major California reservoirs are below 50% capacity, while the state...READ MORE

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