The US bishops have launched a Website and video to mark the beginning of this year’s Fortnight for Freedom, focusing on religious freedom issues both at home and abroad. The Fortnight for Freedom takes place June 21-July 4.
The video, about 10 minutes long and viewable on the Fortnight for Freedom Website, features a number of legal, religious, and other personalities discussing the importance of religious liberty. Read more
As they begin the Spring General Assembly June 14-15, Bishops from across the US will gather at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis for a Mass of Prayer and Penance for survivors of sexual abuse within the Church. The Mass is being held in response to a call from Pope Francis for all episcopal conferences across the world to have a Day of Prayer and Penance for victims of sexual abuse within the Church: The liturgy will be held June 14, 2017 at 5 p.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Read more
As the US Senate begins to discuss health care reform, Card. Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Abp. William E. Lori of Baltimore, Bp. Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, and Bp. Joe S. Vásquez of Austin provided moral principles to help guide policymakers in their deliberations. Read more
Given new and expanded humanitarian crises in Iraq and elsewhere, Congress should respond generously to a request to approve additional aid funding, the US bishops and Catholic Relief Services leaders have said in a letter.
“As we have already learned in Iraq, individuals, communities, and countries divided by war face significant challenges amidst their suffering. They must rebuild their communities, and establish inclusive governance that protects majorities and minorities,” the letter said. Read more
A reputed “Catholic Spring” was recently in the news after hacked Emails from John Podesta, now Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, indicated plans for an effort to sow revolution within the Church.
But grants to the think tank Podesta founded also suggest links to other efforts targeting religion. The Center for American Progress appears to be part of an influence network that advocates restrictions on religious freedom while promoting dissent within Christianity on sexual morality, especially LGBT issues.
Both major presidential candidates say that the future of the Supreme Court depends on this election—but how important is the Court to Catholics, and will the next president really shape it?
“It is certainly one of the most important things that a president does,” said Professor Michael McConnell, a law professor at Stanford University and director of the school’s Constitutional Law Center. “And because the Supreme Court has been so closely divided with so many 5-4 decisions, even one justice can make a very big difference.” Read more
Treatable depression, financial gain from a patient’s death, doctors who can write a fatal prescription with little knowledge of the person it’s for—all things that supporters of physician-assisted suicide in the District of Columbia would perhaps prefer not to discuss.
But as the city council in the nation’s capital may soon legalize the procedure, both the Church and local citizens have taken up arms to label it as prejudiced against the “most vulnerable.”
The bill is immoral, unethical, and unjust, said Dr. Lucia Silecchia, a law professor at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, and a DC citizen. Read more
Following a leaked Email from prominent political actors about a possible “Catholic Spring” movement to plant “seeds of the revolution” within the Church, the US bishops’ conference has rebuked interference in the Church and a political discourse that marginalizes the faithful and demeans women.
“There have been recent reports that some may have sought to interfere in the internal life of the Church for short-term political gain,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the US bishops’ conference president. “If true, this is troubling both for the well-being of faith communities and the good of our country.”
“In our faith and our Church, Christ has given us a precious gift. As Catholics, we hold onto our beliefs because they come to us from Jesus, not a consensus forged by contemporary norms,” he said Oct. 13. Read more
The lack of jobs that can support families, particularly among those without access to higher education, has placed heavy burdens on families and communities across the country. This Labor Day, the Church draws close to these families and expresses words of hope, said Abp.
Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in the 2016 Labor Day statement. In the statement, attention is drawn to Pope Francis’ recent address to the US Congress, in which he highlighted the connection between economic pressures and stresses on the family. While the United States is undergoing a difficult time with political tensions, fear, and anxiety, Abp. Wenski challenges people to respond with faith and action. “For our dynamics to change, we must replace fear with a fuller vision that can be powerfully supported by our faith…the Church’s history is filled with communities that took seriously the call to be their ‘brother’s keeper’ (Gn 4:9), faced challenges together, and lifted up the ‘cry of the poor’ (Ps 34:7).” To those who are experiencing isolation and feel left behind in today’s economy, Abp. Wenski offers assurance of the Church’s solidarity. He said, “For those who feel left behind today, know that the Church wants to walk with you, in the company of the God who formed your ‘inmost being’ and who knows that you are ‘wonderfully made’ (Ps 139:13-14).”
In light of recent incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the US, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has invited all dioceses across the country to unite in a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities.
The day of prayer will be celebrated on the feast of St. Peter Claver, Sept. 9, and will serve as a focal point for the work of a special task force Abp. Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, KY, appointed to promote peace and healing during this time of great strain on civil society. Read more