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DOMA Decision Cited to Block Michigan Law (2807)

Federal judge says there can ‘never be a legitimate purpose’ in denying health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees.

07/08/2013 Comments (8)

DETROIT — A federal judge has blocked a Michigan law barring domestic-partner benefits for public school and local government employees, citing the Supreme Court ruling that struck down portions of the Defense of Marriage Act.

U.S. district Judge David Lawson’s June 28 ruling said it can “never be a legitimate purpose” to deny health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees. He said the plaintiffs who lost benefits or had to pay for more expensive private health insurance have a “plausible claim” that the law violates the U.S. Constitution.

The 2011 law ended same-sex partner benefits for a few school districts, the counties of Ingham and Washtenaw and the cities of Ann...READ MORE

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Ready for Rio! (4204)

U.S. pilgrims are anticipating World Youth Day in Brazil.

07/08/2013 Comments (6)

BOSTON — Holding car washes, dances and yard sales, cooking tamales and tacos de asada, raffling off photos of parish icons and writing good, old-fashioned letters have all contributed to helping prepare U.S. pilgrims for this month’s World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. 

Youth leaders around the U.S. are now finalizing their preparations, as anticipation grows for the big event in Brazil with Pope Francis.

World Youth Day officially runs from July 23-28, but many pilgrims will arrive earlier for a mission week held in Brazilian dioceses beginning July 14.

The theme of WYD Rio 2013 is “Go, and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and the event will mark the return of Pope...READ MORE

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Gift of Knowledge Helps to Sanctify the World Around Us (6222)

Part of a Register series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

07/06/2013 Comments (4)

Holy Spirit imparts knowledge to St. Thomas Aquinas.

As we discussed previously, the gift of knowledge is there to make us “complete thinkers,” to connect one thing with another and to connect what is of earth to what is of heaven. This is often surprising both to secularists and to Christians of a certain stripe who imagine that the only thing a spiritual gift should concern is “spiritual” (by which they mean “disembodied”) things.

So it can be disorienting to hear that, say, Nicolaus Copernicus, who was a priest, was being a good Catholic in working through his calculations to show that the Earth went around the sun or that Father George Lemaitre was being a good Catholic in formulating the Big Bang Theory or that St. Albert the Great...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, counsel, fear of the lord, fortitude, gifts of the holy spirit, knowledge, rational thought, reverence, understanding, wisdom

Egypt Christians Greet Revolution Against Muslim Brotherhood (8475)

After suffering severe persecution under ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Christians hope the regime change will improve their situation in the Arab nation.

07/06/2013 Comments (16)
Getty Images

Egyptians celebrate in Cairo's Tahrir Square July 4 following the military ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

– Getty Images

CAIRO — Christians in Egypt have thrown their full support behind the popular uprising that has toppled the Islamist government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood after suffering the worst persecution in decades.

Egypt’s Christians have celebrated the Egyptian Army’s decision to force President Morsi out of power and set up a new government, after millions of Egyptians took to the streets to demand Morsi’s ouster.

The June 30 protests sponsored by the Tamarod (“Rebel”) movement are being called the largest mass demonstration in world history.

With Morsi under arrest, Adli Mansour was sworn into office as Egypt’s interim president, while new presidential elections are set...READ MORE

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New Encyclical Truly a Spiritual ‘Light,’ Vatican Publisher Affirms (2710)

According to Father Giuseppe Costa, Lumen Fidei ‘well portrays the spirit of a spiritual renewal.’

07/05/2013 Comments (1)

VATICAN CITY — As its title suggests, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith) — the first encyclical by Pope Francis, released July 5 — is truly a “light,” said Father Giuseppe Costa, director of the Vatican Publishing House.

In a July 5 interview with Catholic News Agency, he described the new encyclical as “really beautiful and spiritually exciting.”

“It well portrays the spirit of a spiritual renewal. It really is a light.”

Father Costa observed that Lumen Fidei, which translates as “The Light of Faith,” contains a style that is “part Benedict’s and part Francis’, especially the introduction where Pope Francis makes the encyclical his own.”

However, unlike other commentators, he said...READ MORE

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It’s Official: John Paul II and John XXIII to Be Canonized (13444)

Pope Francis approves decree on the second miracle attributed to John Paul’s intercession, and in an unusual move, he approves a ‘favorable vote’ for John XXIII’s sainthood.

07/05/2013 Comments (32)

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has confirmed that both Blessed Pope John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII will be canonized, and possibly at the same time, although a date has yet to be set for the canonizations.

Reading from a statement, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters today that Pope Francis had approved a decree on a second miracle attributed to John Paul II’s intercession.

He also said the Holy Father had approved a “favorable vote,” taken by a commission of cardinals and bishops, “on the canonization of Blessed Pope John XXIII.”

The commission has decided to “convoke a consistory” so that both canonizations can take place at the same time, but it’s not clear...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, catholic faith, causes for canonization, opus dei, papacy, pope john paul ii, pope john xxiii

Not Only One Way: Catholics Debate Social Teaching in Immigration Reform (4061)

Some involved Catholics examine the issues in play, as debate in Washington shifts to the House of Representatives after the Senate passes its reform bill.

07/05/2013 Comments (17)

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration.

– la-archdiocese.org

WASHINGTON — Immigrants living and working illegally in communities throughout the United States may soon have a path to citizenship, thanks to a new U.S. Senate bill. But the legislation has Catholics debating how best to tackle the problem of illegal immigration with the Church’s social teachings.

The Senate passed the 1,200-page comprehensive immigration-reform bill June 27 in a bipartisan 68-32 vote — a move praised by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles as a positive step.

“The status quo of our current system causes much suffering among immigrants and their families and must end,” Archbishop Gomez, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, said in a June 28...READ MORE

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Panelists Predict Widespread Impact of Marriage Rulings (4544)

Catholic Information Center panelists voiced doubt that the current administration would provide sufficient religious-freedom protections.

07/05/2013 Comments (11)

Carrie Severino


WASHINGTON — Although the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on marriage were narrowly constructed, legal experts say they will likely have far-reaching consequences for society.

Hadley Arkes, professor of jurisprudence and American institutions at Amherst College, warned that the decisions “will have wide-reaching effects” within states because they make an “underlying moral judgment” that “sets off a dynamic of its own.”

Arkes spoke at a July 1 panel at the Catholic Information Center in downtown Washington on the effects of the Supreme Court’s June decisions on two cases concerning same-sex “marriage.”

Also on the panel were Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, marriage, religious liberty

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