St. Jude the Apostle School holds ‘Maddox Strong’ day (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
SANDY SPRINGS—When St. Jude the Apostle School parents, Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas Kelly, received a devastating medical diagnosis for one of their sons, the school community immediately flew into
action. Nick and Nour Kelly were told their youngest son, four-year-old Maddox, had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Within hours, prayer chains and special rosaries were underway to […] Full Story
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A call to action (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
This is a difficult time of year for me. March is the anniversary month of my son Christopher’s passing and so he is in my every thought. Christopher had a rare genetic disorder. He had multiple,
severe disabilities and was medically fragile. His disease caused him to have physical differences that were very noticeable to […] Full Story
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Pinocchio illustrations of Mussino a gift (Thu, 21 Mar 2019)
There are few issues upon which I disagree with Flannery O’Connor, but there is one critical appraisal she made that I have never appreciated, and it matters little to me that she passed this
judgment when she was just a child. As anyone who has been to O’Connor’s childhood home in Savannah knows, O’Connor was […] Full Story
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Lenten spirituality: Ways to accompany hurting people (Thu, 21 Mar 2019)
It ranks among life’s biggest temptations. Confronted by a highly difficult, ongoing life situation that feels overwhelming, a call to surrender hope begins to form within. Its tempting, weary
words go like this: “I have tried everything. Nothing works. I’ve given everything I possibly can.” This kind of situation might involve you, or me, or […] Full Story
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Parishes to observe Safe Haven Sunday April 7 (Thu, 21 Mar 2019)
ATLANTA—On April 7, the first Sunday of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and other dioceses will celebrate Safe Haven Sunday, a day of awareness to help parents
and families learn more about the harmful effects of pornography. This day will be acknowledged during Masses and free resources will be available in […] Full Story
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Puerto Rico: ‘An unprecedented level of need’ (Mon, 06 Nov 2017)
Catholic News Service was the first major Catholic news organization to send a photographer and a reporter to tour the island and document the efforts of the church and other organizations to help
many of the people far from the capital of San Juan. Continue reading → >> Read more
Historic Tomb of Michelangelo and altarpiece in dire need of repairs (Wed, 11 Oct 2017)
By Matthew Fowler ROME (CNS) — The historic tomb of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti family altarpiece in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence are in dire need of cleaning and restoration due to
sustained damage over the past 50 … Continue reading → >> Read more
A look back at the Legion of Decency (Thu, 17 Aug 2017)
By Mark Pattison and Julie Asher WASHINGTON (CNS) — It’s summertime and the movies are plentiful. As everyone knows the summer movie season is a big one for Hollywood, and when it comes to a close,
it is followed closely … Continue reading → >> Read more
Jamboree called ‘life-changing event’ for youths, adults (Fri, 28 Jul 2017)
Here’s a dispatch from Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia sent earlier this week by Msgr. John B. Brady from the national Scout jamboree, which closed today. A retired
priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, he became … Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 23, 2017 (Fri, 21 Jul 2017)
July 23, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A. Readings: 1) Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
2) Romans 8:26-27 Gospel: Matthew 13:24-33 By Sharon K. Perkins Catholic News … Continue reading → >> Read more
John C. Quinn tended to the ‘least of these’ in U.S. newsrooms (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
WASHINGTON (CNS) – I’m convinced that around the country, and perhaps the world, there are many letters similar to the one I received in the mail some 18 years ago. It was written by hand and it
ended with a … Continue reading → >> Read more
Some cheese with your ‘whine’: Pope ‘establishes’ complaint-free zone (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis left a not-so-subtle message outside his office in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence: anyone who is thinking of
making a fuss, leave your whining at the door. … Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 16, 2017 (Thu, 13 Jul 2017)
July 16, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A. Readings: 1) Isaiah 55:10-11 Psalm 65:10-14
2) Romans 8:18-23 Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23 By Jeff Hedglen Catholic News Service It seems as though every time … Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 9, 2017 (Fri, 07 Jul 2017)
The Scriptures this weekend contain a familiar, but difficult text. “Take my yoke upon you,” Jesus says. “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 2, 2017 (Fri, 30 Jun 2017)
July 2, Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A. Readings: 1) 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a Psalm 89:2-3,
16-19 2) Romans 6:3-4, 8-11 Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42 By Beverly Corzine Catholic News Service One winter morning I awoke …
Continue reading → >> Read more
Pope accepts resignation of embattled Chilean cardinal (Sat, 23 Mar 2019)
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a Chilean cardinal who has faced widespread criticism for his handling of cases of clerical sexual abuse in the country.
The pope accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago, the Vatican announced March 23; the Vatican did not give a reason for the cardinal stepping down. All bishops are required
to offer their resignations when they turn 75; Cardinal Ezzati is 77.
The cardinal’s is the eighth resignation Pope Francis accepted after almost every bishop in Chile offered to step down in May 2018 after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical
sexual abuse scandal. In each case where he accepted a resignation, the pope named an apostolic administrator to lead the diocese temporarily. For the administrator of Santiago, the pope chose Bishop
Celestino Aos Braco of Copiapo, who will turn 74 April 6.
Chile has 27 dioceses and other church jurisdictions led by a bishop.
The announcement of the cardinal’s resignation comes just over a week after a Chilean news outlet published a 2015 criminal complaint made against Cardinal Ezzati and the Archdiocese of Santiago
that revealed a case of sexual abuse that occurred in the cathedral of Santiago and its subsequent cover up.
Chilean prosecutors also are investigating an alleged sex-abuse ring in Rancagua as well as possible cover-ups of abuse cases in Santiago by senior members of the clergy, including Cardinal Ezzati
and his predecessor, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz.
Cardinal Ezzati was subpoenaed in July 2018 after prosecutors conducted several raids of diocesan offices in Rancagua and Santiago.
Although Cardinal Ezzati had said that he would cooperate with authorities in their investigation, he invoked his right against self-incrimination when he appeared in court in October.
Survivors of abuse have been critical of Cardinal Ezzati and the country’s bishops not only for mishandling cases of abuse, but also for allegedly misinforming the pope about the reality of sexual
abuse in the country.
Among the cardinal’s most vocal critics is Juan Carlos Cruz, who along with fellow survivors Jose Andres Murillo and James Hamilton, were invited to meet with the pope last April at the
Speaking to journalists May 2, Cruz said he told the pope how he was demonized by Cardinals Ezzati and Errazuriz in an email that was later leaked.
“They called me a ‘serpent,’ they called me everything. I told the Holy Father, and he said he was hurt,” Cruz said.
In a message to Catholic News Service March 23, Cruz applauded the pope’s decision to accept the cardinal’s resignation saying that “the pope knows what he is doing” and expressing hope that the
pope would “find someone who will lead Santiago on the right path.”
Cruz also expressed his support of Bishop Aos in the difficult task of leading the archdiocese back “to what is true, to its source.”
“With all my heart, I wish Bishop Aos all the best. Anything is better than Cardinal Ezzati. We must also support Bishop Aos so that he can unite the clergy, so that he can unite what has been
destroyed,” Cruz told CNS. “He doesn’t have an easy task ahead of him but obviously, we must support him.”
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Retired Sacramento Bishop Quinn, 97, dies; was oldest U.S. prelate (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
Retired Bishop Francis Quinn of Sacramento, California, who headed the Northern California diocese from 1980 to 1994 and later spent 13 years ministering to Native Americans in the Diocese of
Tucson, died March 21 at age 97.
Vespers and a rosary will take place the evening of March 31. His funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon April 1. All services will be at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown
The seventh bishop to head the Diocese of Sacramento, he was a much beloved figure in the Sacramento community.
"Bishop Quinn, at the time of his death, was the oldest Catholic bishop in the United States. A status he enjoyed sharing with the many who visited him," Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento said in a
March 22 statement. "In his quieter moments though, Bishop Quinn was ready and eager to meet the Good Shepherd whom he had served faithfully during his 73 years as a priest, 41 of which as
"As he approached the divine threshold," he said, "Bishop Quinn's heart resonated with the words of Paul to the Philippians: 'It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already
attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus.'"
Many admired and loved Bishop Quinn, "Catholics and non-Catholics alike," Soto said. "He was always accompanied by friends and family throughout his long stay at Mercy McMahon (an assisted living
residence). I am grateful to all those who were his companions during the final part of his sojourn.
"Let us continue to accompany him with our prayers. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. May perpetual light shine upon him."
Francis Anthony Quinn was born Sept. 11, 1921, in Los Angeles. He attended St. Joseph Seminary in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where he was ordained a priest June 15, 1946. He earned a
master's in education from The Catholic University of America in 1947 and a doctorate in education from the University of California- Berkeley in 1962.
He taught in archdiocesan high schools until becoming assistant superintendent of Catholic schools in 1955. From 1962 to 1972, he was editor of the archdiocesan newspaper, the San Francisco
Pope Paul VI appointed him as an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese, and he was consecrated on June 29, 1978. Quinn was appointed by St. John Paul II to Sacramento and was installed there in
While Quinn served 13 years as Sacramento's bishop, he made national news for his advocacy on behalf of the poor. He was known for giving money to the homeless, serving meals and washing dishes in
a soup kitchen and visiting migrant labor camps in the summer.
A member of the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, he called for nuclear disarmament before the U.S. bishops issued their pastoral letter, "The Challenge of Peace." He helped spearhead a civic
ecumenical partnership to build 1,000 homes for Sacramento's homeless population.
The Sacramento Bee newspaper lauded Bishop Quinn as "Sacramento's conscience."
"When he speaks for the poor and the homeless, he speaks with the authority of a bishop who ordered the sale of the church mansion and moved into the maid's quarters in the basement" of the
cathedral rectory, said a Bee editorial.
Throughout his tenure, he also supported school choice legislation and support for Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency.
He often invited faith leaders from other denominations to services at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, including a joint baptism on Pentecost in 1989, and in 2000 delivered a benchmark
address outlining "Beatitudes for an Ecumenical Era." He also issued in 1991 a new "Beatitudes for Elected Officials."
He retired in 1993, and the priests of the diocese game him a recreational vehicle as a retirement gift.
He retired at age 73, two years before the age canon requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. He was in good health and said his reason for early retirement was that "I've done
all the things I can think of."
A year later, he moved to Arizona to minister to the Yaquis and the Tohono O'odham in the San Solano Missions.
"A vocation is not a profession from which you retire," he said in 1994. "A vocation never ends."
Even in retirement he maintained a simple lifestyle, living in a trailer behind the residence of Tucson's bishop.
In 1999, he was one of eight bishops who signed a petition published in The New York Times calling for international debt relief in line with Pope John Paul II's designation of the year 2000 as a
In 2003, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery after serious coronary blockages were discovered following a routine angiogram.
In 2007, he stepped away from active ministry and returned to Sacramento. On that occasion, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, then head of the Tucson Diocese, wrote: "What a blessing his presence has been!
He is beloved among the people he served with such dedication and commitment, especially the people of the Pascua Yaqui Nation. ... I know all of us feel profound respect for Bishop Quinn and cherish
his gentle, loving and unassuming manner. He is a deeply spiritual man who has left a permanent impact on all of us."
"It's been a very happy 13 years," Quinn said.
Quinn still was not done in the public spotlight. In 2015, at age 93, he became a first-time author, penning a "fictional memoir" called "Behind Closed Doors: Conflicts in Today's Church." He
wrote the book during his first six years in Arizona. Proceeds from sales benefited a facility for the homeless, newly released prisoners and those just out of drug rehabilitation.
He retired to Mercy McMahon Terrace, a residence run by the Sisters of Mercy for seniors in Sacramento.
Quinn is survived by his sister-in-law, Betty Quinn, two nieces and numerous grandnephews and grandnieces and their families.
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New school choice federal tax credit bill introduced in House, Senate (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
Betsy DeVos is seen in Washington Feb. 7 prior to being sworn in as the U.S. education secretary at the Eisenhower
Executive Office Building next to the White House. (CNS/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
A new piece of legislation endorsed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos could put Catholic or other religious schools within reach of many families who would otherwise not be able to afford
The plan, called "Education Freedom Scholarships," is actually not a new federal program meant to redirect funds toward private school scholarships and away from public education or the like —
though that is what some of its opponents portray it as doing.
According to the program's website, the plan offers "a $5 billion annual federal tax credit for voluntary donations to state-based scholarship programs." The website also explains that it will not
take "a single dollar away from public schools and the students who attend them."
Essentially, each state that decides to participate in Education Freedom Scholarships would structure its own program, including provisions for which scholarships students can apply and what
schools those scholarships can be directed toward. The federal government's only role in making it work would be instituting the federal tax credit for those who donate to state entities which
Companion bills, called the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, have been introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Bradley Byrne,
R-Alabama, respectively. Cruz has said the idea "enables all students to access a personalized education experience that meets their individual needs."
Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, California, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Catholic Education, sent a letter of thanks on March 20 to Cruz and Byrne for
introducing the bill, saying, "The Catholic Church teaches that parents ... have the right to select the best education environment for their children." He emphasized judicial precedent indicates
that "since 1925, parental rights in education has been the law of the land in the United States."
Similar programs have already been accepted and rejected by some states. In Kentucky, for example, House Bill 205 would have implemented the plan at the state level but seemed to meet its demise
in committee earlier this month, according to the Courier Journal daily newspaper. The bill's proponents included Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville and many Republican politicians, while it was
uniformly opposed by teachers' unions, Democrats and superintendents across the state.
In response to critics of the bill who say that such a program covertly siphons money from public schools, Andrew Vandiver, associate director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, said the
state conference "has no problem with increased funding for public schools" and that the "issue was different" because the scholarship system would have used private funds only.
Vandiver also mentioned that the tax credit-and-scholarship program appears to have been successfully implemented in Florida, where the program has over 100,000 participants and public schools
seem not to have been detracted from, as they showed more improvement than most public schools around the country despite the new support for other schools.
There will be a number of challenges in attempts to gain bipartisan support for the bills in both houses of Congress and get a final bill passed, said the National Catholic Educational Association
in a fact sheet about Education Freedom Scholarships on its website, www.ncea.org.
"Coalitions of supporters will need to engage with one another and with parent groups to develop a blueprint for advocacy with their congressional delegates to dispel myths and promote benefits of
the program. NCEA will work with others in the private school community to advocate for congressional passage," it said.
President Donald Trump has said he will sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.
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Right to access clean water must be defended, pope says (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
A man fills a plastic drum with spring water from a mountain in Utuado, Puerto Rico, Oct. 21, 2019. Access to
clean, fresh water is a fundamental human right that must be defended, especially in poor areas where men, women and children are suffering the deadly effects of climate change, Pope Francis said.
Access to clean, fresh water is a fundamental human right that must be defended, especially in poor areas where men, women and children are suffering the deadly effects of climate change, Pope
In a message marking World Water Day, March 22, the pope said that water "is an essential asset for the equilibrium of ecosystems and human survival, and it must be managed and cared for so that
it is not polluted or lost."
"The new generations are called upon –
together with all the inhabitants of the planet –
to value and defend this good," he said. "It is a task that begins with raising awareness among those who suffer the unavoidable consequences of climate change and of all those who are victims in one
way or another of the exploitation and pollution of water due to various factors."
As the temperature of the planet continues to rise, he warned, "more and more people are suffering because of the lack of sources of water suitable for consumption."
Education is also crucial in teaching future generations to "value and love the resources" the earth provides, he said in the message addressed to Jose Graziano da Silva, president of the U.N.
Food and Agriculture Organization.
While the international community is beginning to invest in the future of the planet, the pope said it must also confront the challenge of helping those who suffer and are at the mercy of those
who place profit over people.
"It is necessary to elaborate financing plans as well as long-range water projects," Francis said. "This firmness will lead us to overcome the vision of turning water into a mere commodity,
exclusively regulated by the laws of the market."
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Austrian cardinal to undergo surgery for prostate cancer (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, pictured April 18, 2018, announced March 22 he has prostate cancer, will
undergo surgery in May and will be out of public view for several weeks. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna announced he has prostate cancer, will undergo surgery in May and will be out of public view for several weeks.
"The public will survive, and I hope I will, too," the cardinal said March 22 at a news conference concluding the spring meeting of the Austrian bishops' conference.
Schonborn, 74, is president of the conference.
The cardinal told reporters that having prostate cancer "is not particularly tragic" because in most cases it is curable.
Michael Pruller, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Vienna, said doctors believed the tumor was discovered early and a complete recovery is expected.
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Phoenix Eucharistic retreat seeks to foster sacramental devotion (Sun, 24 Mar 2019)
Phoenix, Ariz., Mar 24, 2019 / 03:26 pm (CNA).- At the end of this month, the Diocese of Phoenix will host a retreat that aims to
inspire devotion to and education on the Eucharist.
According to Catholic Sun, Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted expressed hope that the event will help participants “to have an even deeper sense of awe and wonder at the love of Jesus present under the
humble appearance of bread and wine.”
“The more we grow in love of our Savior, the more He can work through us for the good of others,” he said.
The Lenten Eucharistic Mission is sponsored by the diocese and Friends of the Cathedral. It will take place March 28-30.
The event will include Masses celebrated by Bishop Thomas Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares. Speakers from the Denver-based Augustine Institute will include president Dr. Tim Gray and
professors Dr. Michael Barber and Dr. Mark Giszezak.
MaryAnn Symancyk, a board member for Friends of the Cathedral and director of adult formation at St. Paul Parish, said the event is for everyone regardless of their theological background.
“They have a beautiful way of teaching the faith and catechizing on every level,” she said of the Augustine Institute, according to the Catholic Sun.
Symancyk said attendees will grow in their understanding about Scripture and its relation to the Eucharist.
“We need to know the biblical references, the history of the Eucharist from the Old Testament through to the New Testament. That’s what the Augustine Institute will bring us,” she said.
A recent study from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate found that 91 percent of Catholics who attend Mass weekly believe in Christ's True Presence in the Eucharist. However, this
number drops to 40 percent among those who attend Mass only a few times a year.
One of the main goals of the retreat is to equip Catholics to share their knowledge and love of the Eucharist with others. Attendees will have access to apologetic and educational material on the
“People leave our faith but what draws them back is always the Eucharist,” Symancyk said. “When we know our faith on that level, especially with the focus on the blessed sacrament, the more we can
evangelize and the more people stay in our faith or come back to the faith.”
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Disability rights activists protest assisted suicide bills as dangerous, discriminatory (Sat, 23 Mar 2019)
Washington D.C., Mar 23, 2019 / 04:17 am (CNA).- As multiple states consider assisted suicide legislation, disability activists are
speaking out, saying the bills are slippery slopes that put the lives of people with disabilities at risk.
Connecticut lawmakers are now considering HB 5898, “An Act Concerning Aid In Dying For Terminally Ill Patients,” which would permit doctors to prescribe lethal medication to people with less than six
months to live. The patient would be permitted to self-administer the medication when they wish to end their life.
HB 5898 is modeled after Oregon’s assisted suicide law, which was the first in the nation. On Monday, members of the state General Assembly’s Public Health Committee heard testimony from those who
are in favor of the bill, and from those who are opposed.
Cathy Ludlum, one of the leaders of the group Second Thoughts Connecticut and a woman who lives with a disability, provided written testimony that was emailed to all members of the public health
In the testimony, which was forwarded to CNA by Second Thoughts Connecticut, Ludlum explained that the language of the bill puts people with disabilities at risk.
“But the harsh reality is that (persons with disabilities) will be the collateral damage in any formalized death-by-choice system,” said Ludlum. “Many of us with severe and obvious disabilities are
already too frequently thought of by medical practitioners as having reached a final stage, where death might be expected in the near future.”
Ludlum said the definitions in the bill mean that she herself would be defined as someone who is terminally ill, even though she is not.
That section defines a “terminal illness” as “final stage of an incurable and irreversible medical condition that an attending physician anticipates, within reasonable medical judgment, will produce
a patient's death within six months.”
“Nowhere does it say ‘with or without treatment,’” Ludlum pointed out.
“Most people assume this legislation is for people who have exhausted all their treatment options, but that is not what it says.” Ludlum explained that she eats with a feeding tube and requires
respiratory support when she sleeps.
“Without these treatments, I would not last six months,” she said. “I probably would not last six days. What is to prevent someone like me from showing up at a doctor’s office and saying, ‘I have had
enough. I will be stopping all my treatment’?”
A typical person in this situation would not be allowed to kill themselves, and would instead receive counseling. Ludlum is concerned that someone with a disability “would be more likely to get
compassionate nods of approval.”
Ludlum is also concerned that the law would enable doctors to steer patients with disabilities into ending their own lives, or stopping treatment needlessly. She noted that due to the language of the
bill, which states that the lethal medication “may” be self-administered, as opposed to that it “shall be” self-administered, there would be nothing to prevent someone else from ending the patient’s
Another group opposed to assisted suicide laws is the United Spinal Association, which is a nonprofit organization dedicating to “improving the quality of life of Americans with spinal cord injuries
United Spinal’s President and CEO James Weisman told CNA that his organization was opposed to these bills not for religious or political reasons, but because “people - family members, and in the
medical profession - often don’t understand the latent capacity of quadriplegics to live full, meaningful lives with jobs and families in the community, after (they) break their neck.”
He believes that assisted suicide laws are rooted in discrimination, because people are afraid of what life would be like with a disability.
"Nobody wants to have a broken neck. Everybody says they'd rather be dead,” said Weisman.
“Every single one of our members who's a quadriplegic says they wanted to die when they found out they were going to be a quadriplegic. But the overwhelming majority go on to leave meaningful, full
Weisman told CNA that he would like to see expanded access to palliative care for those who are in pain, as well as increased education for people in the medical field about how it is possible to
live a meaningful life with a disability.
“The medical profession and the uninformed public encourage those who break their necks or have other injuries to end (their lives),” said Weisman. “It’s such a slippery slope when we decide who can
live and who can die.”
Elsewhere in the country, 16 other states are in the process of passing similar legislation, including Maryland and Nevada.
Members of Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee approved the “End-of-Life Option Act” on Friday. The bill had advanced through the state House of Delegates earlier in March.
In Nevada, the state Senate is considering SB 165, which would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients over the age of 18. The bill has passed through one
working session of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
That bill, similar to Connecticut’s, defines “terminal condition” as “an incurable and irreversible condition that cannot be cured or modified by any known current medical therapy or treatment and
which will, in the opinion of the attending physician, result in death within 6 months.”
Also like Connecticut, the bill does not specify if death will occur “with or without treatment.”
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Catholics bring pro-life voices to the UN Commission for Women (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
New York City, N.Y., Mar 22, 2019 / 04:49 pm (CNA).- As participants in the UN Commission for Women’s annual gathering advocated for
increased international access to abortion, side events hosted by the Vatican and other Catholic groups presented a pro-life perspective on women’s empowerment at the UN.
The ten-day international meeting in New York March 11-22 included debate as to whether this year’s final document will include “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights,” as a
part of the commission’s “agreed conclusions,” as it did last year.
The topic of the commission’s 63rd session this year is “access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.”
For some at the UN meeting, access to public services means access to abortion.
“It’s a crime to prevent a woman from having access to abortion,” said French Minister of Gender Marlene Schiappa at an event at the UN headquarters March 13.
Obianuju Ekeocha, president of Culture of Life Africa, said that her “head almost exploded” when she heard this.
She added that in her view, the UN Commission for Women’s annual gathering is “the heart of the pro-abortion movement.”
“The meetings that I have gone to … the people I have listened to speak right here at the United Nations, [for them] there is no room for compromise,” Ekeocha said in a video statement.
“They want abortion to be legal. They want it to be legal in every country in every situation,” she added.
Ekeocha said she attended a UN event in which an abortionist-midwife demonstrated how she trains other abortionists in developing countries. The UN event was entitled “All united for the right to
During the week of the commission meeting, a screening of Ekeocha’s documentary, “Strings Attached,” was streamed at the Nigerian Mission to United Nations on March 12. The documentary uncovers
“ideological colonization” of contraceptives and abortion into African countries and gives voice to African women who are suffering its effects.
Pro-life advocate Lila Rose spoke on the topic “Motherhood is a gift” at UN side event co-hosted by the Holy See Mission to the UN and C-Fam, entitled “Protecting Femininity and Human Dignity in
Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality Policies Today.”
The Holy See Mission to the UN sponsored five side events addressing issues that affect women, from human trafficking to protections for women and girls with Down syndrome.
In conjunction with the Catholic Women’s Forum, the Holy See helped to organize an event on “Valuing Unpaid Work and Caregiving.”
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations said at the event that there has been a presumption in the United Nations that “a
person’s work outside the home is far more valuable than a person’s work inside the home.”
Auza questioned whether “a prioritization of a person’s work in the labor markets over care work at home flows from woman’s deepest desires or whether it’s an emulation of a flawed, hyper-masculine,
way of looking at the world, one in which work, and what work can provide, is treated as the most important value.”
“No women who desires to give of her time in this way should be stigmatized by society or penalized in comparison to other women or to men. Work schedules should be continuously adapted so that if a
woman wishes to work she can do so without relinquishing her family life or enduring chronic stress,” he said. “Rather than having her readjust everything to the rules of the marketplace, the
marketplace itself should be adjusted to what society recognizes is the enormous personal and social value of her work.”
“Humanity owes its very survival to the gift of caregiving, most notably in motherhood, and this indispensable contribution should be esteemed as such, by both women and by men,” Auza said.
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Proposed changes to mercury regulations 'troubling,' bishops say (Fri, 22 Mar 2019)
Washington D.C., Mar 22, 2019 / 04:32 pm (CNA).- A proposal to ease regulations on mercury pollution levels in the air fails to show
proper respect for human life and health, said the heads of two committees at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday.
“The proposed change to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule is troubling since it is well-documented that pregnant mothers and their unborn children are the most sensitive to mercury
pollution and its adverse health effects,” said Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-life Activities.
Archbishop Naumann was joined by Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, who heads the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in voicing concern over the Environmental
Protection Agency’s proposed changes to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, decade-old regulations that have led to an 85 percent decrease in mercury emissions at coal-based power plans.
The EPA believes it is no longer “appropriate and necessary” to regulate mercury and other toxic pollutants from power plants.
It says the rules are unnecessarily expensive and is suggesting a change in the way that the costs and benefits of the regulations are calculated, in response to a 2015 Supreme Court ruling in which
the justices instructed the EPA to consider the costs of the regulations to determine whether they are justified.
President Donald Trump has called the Obama-era standards a “crushing attack on American industry,” saying they threaten miners, energy workers and companies.
Advocates of the regulations say they are necessary to protect the air quality from mercury contamination, which is known to cause brain damage and birth defects in children.
“The MATS rule reflects a proper respect for life of the human person and of God’s creation – a great example of the integral ecology called for in Laudato Si’,” said Bishop Dewane.
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US Catholics' awareness of Christian persecution increasing (Thu, 21 Mar 2019)
Washington D.C., Mar 21, 2019 / 03:54 pm (CNA).- Nearly half of American Catholics say global persecution of Christians is “very
severe,” a 16 percent increase from a year ago, according to a new survey commissioned by the papal charity Aid to the
Church in Need (ACN).
Despite this increase in awareness, the American Catholics surveyed ranked human trafficking, poverty and the refugee crisis as more urgent problems than the global persecution of Christians, the
“It is heartening to see that U.S. Catholics have a growing awareness of and concern about the persecution of Christians,” said George Marlin, chairman of ACN-USA, in a March 19 statement.
“It is telling that human trafficking, poverty and the refugee crisis get more attention from U.S. Catholics than the persecution of Christians,” he added, saying that the survey “strongly suggests
that the U.S. Catholic Church, both at the parish and diocesan levels, should get more engaged with the global persecution of Christians around the world.”
The study examined the extent to which American Catholics are aware of the persecution of Christians around the world; the countries and regions where they consider Christians to be most severely
persecuted; specific measures and policies they want the U.S. and other Western governments to pursue to help and protect persecuted Christians; the extent to which they feel that the pope, their
bishops and their parishes are prioritizing the persecution of Christians; and actions they believe they can and should take themselves.
Only 19 percent of the survey’s respondents said their parish is very involved with the issue of global persecution of Christians, down from 37 percent a year ago. In addition, 22 percent said they
are unsure about their parish’s involvement in this area.
Similarly, only 24 percent of U.S. Catholics believe their bishop is “very engaged” with the issue of Christian persecution, though over half say they think Pope Francis is “very engaged” with this
When asked what they themselves should do to help persecuted Christians around the world, American Catholics ranked prayer highest, followed by raising awareness at the parish level; donating to
agencies that work to support persecuted Christians; and contacting their members of Congress. However, the report found that almost half of U.S. Catholics have not donated in the past year to an
organization that helps persecuted Christians.
Regarding potential policies by the U.S. and other Western governments to deter the persecution of Christians, respondents ranked diplomatic pressure as most important, followed by economic
sanctions; granting victims of persecution emergency asylum; and supporting persecuted Christian communities financially.
U.S. Catholics are least in favor of military intervention and the arming and training of persecuted Christians, but more than 60 percent of U.S. Catholics say that the Church must play a hands-on
role in providing emergency and humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians around the world.
The study’s release comes amid increased persecution of Christians in many countries worldwide. ACN released a report last November that highlights 38 nations with significant religious freedom violations, and in more than half of
those countries, conditions for religious minorities have deteriorated since 2016.
Some notable countries where persecution of Christians is taking place include China, where the Communist government is brutally cracking down on the practice of religion despite a September 2018
provisional deal with the Vatican meant to ease tensions between the faithful “underground” Church and the state-sponsored Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the report said.
In other countries including North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Eritrea, “the situation [for religious minorities] was already so bad, it could scarcely get any worse,” it added.
Islamic extremism, fueled by conflict between Sunni and Shia Islam, accounted for the persecution faced by minorities in 22 of the 38 countries highlighted.
Interreligious conflict has been especially acute in Nigeria of late, where clashes between Christian and Muslim herdsmen have killed at least 120 people in the past few weeks, and has claimed
thousands of lives in recent years, according to local reports.
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