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Bishops Say Grave Concerns Remain Over Obama Drone War (4531)

The president insists the U.S. will use drones in accordance with just-war principles, but Catholic leaders say some moral questions still remain.

05/31/2013 Comments (8)

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle in action in Afghanistan.

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON – The United States has entered a new phase in the war against al Qaeda and its allies, drawing down from its large-scale combat operations in Afghanistan and moving to more targeted counterterrorism operations where military attack drones will play a major role.

However, the U.S. bishops are now warning increased U.S. dependence on military attack drones for “targeted killings” pose serious moral questions that President Barack Obama, Congress and the U.S. public must consider.

Bishop Richard Pates, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote a May 17 letter to the White House stating that the military use of...READ MORE

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Pope Reminds Faithful to ‘Listen, Decide and Take Action’ Like Mary (2840)

The Holy Father reflected on the Blessed Mother’s decisiveness in doing God’s will on May 31.

05/31/2013 Comments (2)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY — After a Rosary in St. Peter’s Square to mark the end of May, Pope Francis asked people to “listen, decide and take action” like Mary did.

“Listen to everyday reality, to people, to the facts, because the Lord is at our door and knocks in many ways. He places signs in our path; he give us the ability to see them,” the Pope said in front of thousands of pilgrims, following an 8pm Rosary on May 31.

He spoke about the Gospel reading for the feast of the Visitation that recounts Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist.

Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the Vatican city state’s vicar general and archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, led the...READ MORE

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Contraception Funding Charges Inaccurate, New York Archdiocese Says (5235)

The archdiocese had no other option but to pay into the fund which administers the union members’ benefits ‘under protest’ to continue to offer insurance to its union workers and remain in the health-care field in New York.

05/31/2013 Comments (46)
Richard Trois (CC BY-NC 2.0)

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City

– Richard Trois (CC BY-NC 2.0)

NEW YORK — Responding to media reports, the Archdiocese of New York said that its payments to a labor union fund that goes towards insurance coverage of contraception and abortion are involuntary and do not excuse the federal contraception mandate.

“The union, local 1199, is present in all health-care facilities. Even if a health-care facility chose not to negotiate with the union, it would be forced to abide by the same terms of the contract,” archdiocese communications director Joseph Zwilling told Catholic News Agency on May 30.

The New York Times on May 26 reported that the Archdiocese of New York “reluctantly and indirectly” funds objectionable health-care coverage for about...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, contraception, healthcare, obama, religious freedom

Abstinence Education Downplayed as Method of Combating America’s STD Epidemic (3997)

A key federal health official’s CNN commentary claims such diseases are ‘totally preventable,’ but omits any mention of chaste behavior as a solution.

05/31/2013 Comments (13)

ATLANTA — Sexually transmitted disease is rampant in America: Across the country, at any given time, 110 million people are afflicted with chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, syphilis and other sometimes silent, sometimes painfully obvious, damaging diseases.

That means that one in two Americans will be infected by an STD at some point in their life.

But despite this evidence of a comprehensive failure in existing strategies to control the spread of STDs, the nation’s public-health establishment continues to give short shrift to promoting sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage as a primary means of prevention.

According to the latest data from the...READ MORE

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Spiritual Generosity Is Form of Solidarity, Pope States (2916)

Pope Francis said that Jesus speaks in silence in the mystery of the Eucharist and following him means to ‘come out of ourselves and not make our life our possession, but a gift to him and to others.’

05/31/2013 Comment
Stephen Driscoll/CNA

Pope Francis gives a homily at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall on April 15.

– Stephen Driscoll/CNA

ROME — Pope Francis says that even though solidarity is an idea “frowned upon by the world,” people need to practice it by spiritually feeding others.

“A keyword that we need not fear is ‘solidarity,’ that is, knowing how to make available to God what we have, our humble capacity, because only in the gift of sharing our lives will we be fruitful,” he said during his homily May 30 at Rome’s Basilica of St. John Lateran.

“The solution of Jesus goes in another direction, a direction that surprises the disciples — ‘You give them something to eat,’” he stated.

The Pope based his homily on the  reading from Luke 9, which tells how Jesus multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish to feed...READ MORE

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Vatican Explains Availability of Pope’s Daily Homilies (2964)

Vatican Press Office reports that the full text of Pope Francis’ public events is made available, but the daily homilies are only summarized because of ‘the character of the situation and the spontaneity and familiarity of the Pope’s remarks.’

05/31/2013 Comments (1)
L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis preaches April 17 in the chapel of St. Martha's residence.

– L'Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is not publishing the full texts of the Pope’s daily homilies because it wants to avoid giving them a level of authority that is not intended.

“We must insist on the fact that, in all of the Pope’s activities, the difference between different situations and celebrations, as well as the different levels of authority of his words, must be understood and respected,” Vatican Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi said May 30.

He explained that, while the full text of Pope Francis’ public events is made available, the daily homilies are only summarized because of “the character of the situation and the spontaneity and familiarity of the Pope’s remarks.”

...READ MORE

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Study Documents Abortion’s Global Health Threat to Women (3168)

Pro-life group suggests that the World Health Organization adopt measures that ‘protect women from abortion’ and work to ‘improve women’s health care.’

05/31/2013 Comments (5)
Hillary Senour/CNA

– Hillary Senour/CNA

GENEVA, Switzerland — A new study released during the 66th annual World Health Assembly identified and exposed what it claimed to be the harmful and often overlooked impact that abortion has on women’s health.

Decades-long research analysis issued by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach and National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund makes the case that rather than being a routine medical procedure, abortion is detrimental to the health of women globally.

“The evidence is overwhelming: Abortion is dangerous for women,” executive director Scott Fischbach of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach said in a May 22 statement.

The analysis, “How Abortion...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, contraception, healthcare

Religious Differences Compatible With Freedom, Jewish Leader Says (2621)

Jewish leader said that being an American means both respecting the distinction between religious groups and standing for religious freedom for all members of American society.

05/31/2013 Comment
Courtesy of the American Religious Freedom Program

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik

– Courtesy of the American Religious Freedom Program

WASHINGTON — True religious liberty does not require religious individuals to minimize differences in the tenets of their faith, said Jewish Rabbi Meir Soloveichik.

Instead, he maintained, religious freedom demands that people of faith live “both as stranger and neighbor” within society.

“We do not need to deny our differences to achieve a covenant,” he emphasized.

Quoting Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of Great Britain, he explained that “utopias have no room for differences, and difference is what makes us human.”

Rabbi Soloveichik is a professor at Yeshiva College in New York, known for his writings on the relationship between Judaism, Christianity and society.

He...READ MORE

Filed under religious freedom, religious liberty

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