Priestly influence (Tue, 09 Aug 2022)
One day, when Peter Julian Eymard was 5 years old, his sister found him on a stepladder behind the high altar, with his ear against the tabernacle. “What are you doing?” she cried out. He
answered, “I am listening to Jesus.”
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A desiderata for new college students (Mon, 08 Aug 2022)
I am convinced that Southern students and educators will spend less time in Purgatory than perhaps any other breed of either pupil or academic. Anyone who has to go back to school in August
endures penitential suffering.
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Be vigilant to God’s presence in life, pope says (Mon, 08 Aug 2022)
Christians should not only face life’s challenges without fear but also not be overcome by the temptation to remain idle to the Lord’s presence in those moments, Pope Francis said at the Aug. 7
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Now is time to build new world without inequality, injustice, pope says (Sun, 19 Apr 2020)
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) — As the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a risk it will be struck by an even worse virus — that of selfish indifference,
Pope Francis said. This … Continue reading → >> Read more
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
Catholic radio stations ordered closed, parish raided in Nicaragua (Wed, 03 Aug 2022)
A protester is picture in a file photo being detained during a demonstration against Nicaraguan President Daniel
Ortega's government in Managua. The Nicaraguan government has closed another Catholic radio station, and a report says Catholic young people were detained from a parish. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas,
Nicaraguan authorities have ordered the closure of Catholic media outlets and raided a parish in the Diocese of Matagalpa, the latest attack on the Catholic Church by the Sandinista regime.
Police entered the Infant of Prague chapel in the community of Sébaco Aug. 1 to seize radio equipment, prompting parishioners to protest outside. Police rebuffed the protests and fired gunshots in
the air as church bells rang, according to video posted to social media by the Divine Word parish. The parish also posted a video showing police taking away "young people from our Catholic
"We call on the national police to abandon our installations, which belong to the Catholic people," the parish said in a Facebook message at 6 a.m. Aug. 2. A message earlier at 1:20 a.m. said the
"police are removing the kitchen door to the parish residence." Another message asked the Immaculate Heart of Mary for intervention.
Fr. Uriel Vallejos, pastor, posted photos of the police entering the chapel -- breaking locks to do so. He also posted a letter from the authorities saying Radio Católica de Sébaco was operating
without a valid license and "therefore operating illegally."
In an Aug. 1 statement, the Diocese of Matagalpa said communications regulator TELCOR had ordered the closure of its Catholic radio station for similar reasons, saying it had operated without a
valid license since 2003. The diocese disputed that claim, saying Bishop Rolando José Álvarez of Matagalpa "personally submitted documentation" to TELCOR in June 2016.
"We will continue to report and denounce any situation that, like this one, continues violating the freedom of expression and religion in Nicaragua," the statement said. "We invite the people of
God to continue praying," the statement added, praying for the protection of priests Aug. 4, feast day of St. John Vianney, followed by a day of prayer and fasting Aug. 5, "because only prayer will
The administration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has been treating the Catholic Church as an enemy, with priests arrested and media outlets closed. Catholic leaders have been cautious in
the comments as the repression is ramped up and the regime targets church charitable and educational initiatives.
The government ordered the Missionaries of Charity to leave the country in late June, alleging the order founded by St. Teresa of Kolkata "failed to comply with its obligations." The sisters
officially left Nicaragua July 6, crossing the border into neighboring Costa Rica.
Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Baez of Managua is currently based in Miami due to safety concerns.
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Catholic Extension launches program for Uvalde children in wake of shooting (Wed, 03 Aug 2022)
Teresian Sister Dolores Aviles speaks to children attending Camp I-CAN in Uvalde, Texas, July 25, 2022. Sponsored
by Catholic Extension, the July 25-28 camp offered survivors of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting a safe space to heal, have fun and gently reintegrate into a school-like setting around their
peers. "I-CAN" stands for inner strength, commitment, awareness and networking. (CNS photo/Juan Guajardo, courtesy Catholic Extension)
Chicago-based Catholic Extension launched the first of many initiatives it has planned over the next 18 months to support Uvalde, Texas, following the devastation of the Robb Elementary mass
It sponsored Camp I-CAN July 25-28 at the St. Henry de Osso Project Center in Uvalde to provide third, fourth and fifth graders a safe space to heal, have fun, and gently reintegrate the children
into a school-like setting around their peers.
I-CAN stands for inner strength, commitment, awareness and networking.
The majority of the children who attended the camp are survivors of the May 24 shooting, although all Uvalde children of age were invited to participate.
Led by Sr. Dolores Aviles and 13 other religious sisters, the camp offered faith-based activities; arts and crafts; 30-minute intervals of physical activity; a game room for playtime, music and
entertainment led by the sisters; and a family supper for the children and family members.
Born and raised in Uvalde, Aviles said she felt a strong calling to minister to the very people she grew up with. Among those who perished in the school shooting were her own family members --
three children of her cousins. Although heartbroken, she committed to her mission of serving the local church.
With the support of Catholic Extension, and with her fellow Uvalde-based Teresian sisters and other sisters from across the country, Camp I-CAN was born.
"Jesus simply said to me, 'Let the children come to Me', and that is exactly what this camp was designed to do," Aviles said. "This week, we wanted the children and their families to know that we
are praying for them, we love them, and that we will also take action for them. That's what community is. We support each other. God sends us out two-by-two."
Catholic Extension and Uvalde share a long and rich history. Uvalde was one of the first communities Catholic Extension supported, helping build Sacred Heart Church in 1906 and Sacred Heart
Catholic School in 1912, both of which remain relevant institutions "in this grieving city," a news release said.
"Uvalde has experienced an unspeakable and senseless violence, and the community is undoubtedly still traumatized and processing grief," said Fr. Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension.
"It is our goal, that through the spiritual accompaniment of religious sisters, the children and their families of Uvalde, Texas, feel God's presence, and are reminded that they are not forgotten
or alone in the coming year and beyond," the priest said.
Catholic Extension also will dedicate funds to support ongoing mental health programs to augment existing services as needed, with the help of Catholic counselors.
Since its founding in 1905, Catholic Extension's mission has been to build up Catholic faith communities in underserved regions by raising funds to help these communities. It helps construct
churches in U.S. mission dioceses, many of which are rural and cover a large geographic area. Many have limited personnel and pastoral resources.
Besides Uvalde, Catholic Extension has supported 1,400 other church communities in rural Texas and along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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Small businesses invest in common good in local communities, pope says (Tue, 02 Aug 2022)
A vendor sells vegetables at a market in Damascus, Syria, March 18, 2022. In a video message released by the
Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network Aug. 2, Pope Francis offered his August prayer intention to small- and mid-sized business owners. (CNS photo/Firas Makdesi, Reuters)
Pope Francis asked people to pray for those running small- and medium-sized businesses since they contribute so much to the good of the local community and are still hard-hit by so many
"As a consequence of the pandemic and the wars, the world is facing a grave socio-economic crisis. We still don't realize it! And among those most affected are small- and medium-sized businesses,"
the pope said.
In a video message released by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network Aug. 2, the pope offered his prayer intention for the
month of August, which he dedicated to the owners of small- and medium-sized businesses. At the start of each month, the network posts a short video of the pope offering his specific prayer
The pope highlighted the importance of small businesses, whether they be "stores, workshops, cleaning businesses, transportation businesses" and others.
These kinds of businesses are the ones "that don't appear on the world's richest and most powerful lists and, despite the difficulties, they create jobs, fulfilling their social responsibility,"
They are "the ones that invest in the common good instead of hiding their money in tax havens. They all dedicate an immense creative capacity to changing things from the bottom up, from where the
best creativity always comes from," he added.
"With courage, with effort, with sacrifice, they invest in life, creating well-being, opportunities and work," he said.
Concluding his prayer intention, Francis said, "Let us pray for small- and medium-sized businesses, hard-hit by the economic and social crisis, so they may find ways to continue operating and
serving their communities."
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En Washington, católicos latinoamericanos se preparan para nueva época (Tue, 02 Aug 2022)
Magdalena Santa María, socióloga de Perú, posa para una foto el 28 de julio de 2022, durante un descanso en la
Academia de Líderes Católicos en la Universidad Católica de América en Washington. La academia es parte de un proyecto internacional que trabaja en colaboración con los obispos de los países
latinoamericanos para ayudar en la formación de líderes, informando de temas sociales, políticos y económicos con los valores cristianos. (Foto CNS/Rhina Guidos)
Con las altos y bajos de la economía estadounidense dominando las noticias en el país norteamericano, pocos han prestado atención a los disturbios que se están produciendo en toda América
Noticias de grandes manifestaciones por el aumento del costo de las necesidades básicas en Ecuador, donde hombres y mujeres indígenas bloquearon el acceso a los pozos de petróleo en junio, lo que
le costó al país $1 mil millones, por ejemplo, apenas se dieron a conocer en los EE. UU. incluso cuando ese producto global continúa infligiendo gran dolor económico en todo el mundo.
Sin embargo, en Washington, un grupo de alrededor de 100 hombres y mujeres católicos, directores de organizaciones católicas, ministros laicos, religiosas y obispos, se reunieron a fines de julio
para definir su papel y el de sus iglesias locales en América Latina en sus respectivos países durante un periodo de transición pospandemia.
"Hemos profundizado cuáles son los desafíos para un nuevo bien común global después de la pandemia", dijo José Antonio Rosas, de la Academia de Líderes Católicos, a Catholic News Service el 28 de
julio sobre la reunión en la Universidad Católica de América del 23 al 30 de julio.
Esos desafíos incluyen la política, el aspecto social y económico y como afecta al pueblo, no solo en la Iglesia Católica en los EE. UU., pero a lo largo de América Latina, regiones
inextricablemente unidas, no solo por la fe, sino también por la historia y la gente.
Es por eso era importante que los líderes de la iglesia de cada región, el cardenal Carlos Aguiar Retes de la Ciudad de México y el cardenal Wilton D. Gregory de Washington, se dirigieran al
grupo, dijo Rosas.
"Presentaron cuál es el papel de la iglesia hoy día en el cambio de época, desde una mirada de la iglesia anglosajona, la norteamericana, y desde la mirada de la iglesia latinoamericana",
Los 100 participantes, de 12 países, abordaron temas relacionados con el crecimiento económico, la desigualdad, la justicia social, el auge y el peligro del populismo, la democracia, así como las
crisis institucionales en las Américas.
La academia, que organiza el encuentro de una semana, es una iniciativa internacional que trabaja con los obispos de la Iglesia Católica de América Latina para ayudar a instruir a los líderes en
la doctrina social de la iglesia con temas sociales, políticos y económicos vistos a través de una mirada cristiana.
En grupos y a través de encuentros entre individuales, los participantes pudieron discutir los desafíos en sus respectivos países, que tienden a ser parte del panorama general de América Latina,
pero ocurren en cada uno en diferentes grados.
"Hay una crisis en distintos países porque el modelo de organización política económica, social, del continente no ha resuelto los problemas más graves generacionales, problemas como la
desigualdad y la pobreza, sistemas de pensiones donde hay gente que no se puede jubilar o si se jubila son compensaciones que no le va a permitir sobrevivir, con sistemas de salud donde hay miles de
personas que no se pueden atender", dijo Rosas.
"Entonces esa problemática ha generado en américa latina estallidos y crisis sociales donde la gente está exigiendo que el modelo o la forma de relación cambie y se transforme, y en ese contexto
es en (el cual), en américa latina, los católicos estamos llamados a encabezar, a dirigir y darle sentido a los procesos de transformación social".
Abordar algunos de esos problemas significa comprender posturas políticas como el populismo, que ha afectado a varios países de América Latina, así como a los EE. UU.
"El populismo es la negación del diálogo", de señalar los errores del otro, de presentarse como el único camino a seguir, dijo al grupo el 28 de julio el panelista Enrique Segura, un empresario
argentino con formación en economía.
Animó al grupo a volver a casa "como instrumentos de cambio".
La educación, dijo, es lo que combate muchos de los males de una sociedad, y animó a los líderes católicos no solo a estar más informados, sino también a compartir eso con otros, a convertirse en
profetas y señalar la verdad.
La socióloga Magdalena Santa María, de Perú, dijo que esperaba usar la información para capacitar a otras mujeres en su comunidad en Lambayeque, al norte de la capital de Lima. Es un desafío,
había expresado antes, porque muchos han sembrado la idea de que los católicos no deben involucrarse en la política.
Pero el seminario de una semana, que convocó a personajes con una variedad de perspectivas políticas, económicas y sociales, ayudó en el proceso de discernimiento, para profundizar en uno mismo,
dijo Santa Maria, a confrontar realidades y ser protagonistas del cambio desde la base, dijo.
"No somos solo números", dijo. "Yo creo que las organizaciones sociales que nacen debajo se fortalecen desde abajo y fortalecen al resto".
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In Washington, Latin American Catholics find tools for 'new epoch' (Tue, 02 Aug 2022)
Magdalena Santa María, a sociologist from Peru, poses for a photo July 28, 2022, during a break at the Catholic
Leaders Academy at The Catholic University of America in Washington. The academy is part of an international project that works in collaboration with the bishops of the Latin American countries to
help with the formation of leaders, mixing social, political and economic fields with Christian values. (CNS photo/Rhina Guidos)
With news of the economy dominating news cycles in the U.S., few in the country have paid attention to the unrest taking place throughout Latin America.
News of major protests over the rising cost of basic necessities in Ecuador, where Indigenous men and women blocked access to oil wells in June, costing the country $1 billion, for example, was
hardly noticed in the U.S. even as that global commodity continues to inflict major economic pain around the world.
Yet in Washington, a group of about 100 Catholic men and women -- directors of Catholic organizations, lay ministers, women religious and bishops -- gathered in late July to define their role and
that of their local churches in Latin America as their respective countries transition into a post-pandemic period.
"We have looked in-depth at the challenges toward a global common good after the pandemic," José Antonio Rosas, of the Catholic Leaders Academy, told Catholic News Service July 28 about the
gathering at The Catholic University of America July 23-30.
Those challenges are political, social and economic in nature, but they are ones that extend the distance of the Catholic Church in the U.S. to Latin American, inextricably tied, not just by
faith, but also history and people.
That's why it was important to have church leaders from each region -- Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico City and Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington -- address the group, according to
"It's the change of an epoch, an age, from the view of an Anglo-Saxon church and the view of the church in Latin America," he said.
The participants, from 12 countries, engaged in topics dealing with economic growth, inequality, social justice, the rise and danger of populism, democracy, as well as institutional crises in the
Americas, Rosas said.
The academy, which organizes the weeklong seminar, is an international initiative that works with the bishops of the Catholic Church of Latin America to help instruct leaders in the social
doctrine of the church with social, political and economic topics seen through a Christian lens.
In groups and via individual camaraderie, participants were able to discuss challenges in their respective countries, which tend to be part of the general landscape of Latin America but occur in
each in different degrees.
"There is a crisis in each different (Latin American) country because the political, economic and social organization model of the continent has not resolved the most serious generational
problems, problems such as inequality and poverty, pension systems, meaning people who cannot retire or if they can (what they are paid) will not allow them to survive, with health systems, where
thousands of people who cannot be treated," said Rosas.
"These problems have generated a shock wave of social crises in Latin America where people are demanding that the model ... change and transform," he said. "And in this context in Latin America is
where we, as Catholics, are called to lead, direct, give meaning to the processes of social transformation."
Tackling some of those problems means understanding political stances such as populism, which has affected several countries in Latin America as well as the U.S.
"Populism is the negation of dialogue," of pointing out another's errors, of portraying oneself as the only way forward, panelist Enrique Segura, an Argentine entrepreneur with an economics
background, told the group July 28.
He encouraged the group to return home "as instruments of change."
Education, he said, is what combats a lot of a society's ills, and he encouraged the Catholic leaders not just to become more informed, but also to share that with others, to become prophets and
point out the truth.
Sociologist Magdalena Santa María, from Peru, said she looked forward to using the information to train other women in her community in Lambayeque, north of the capital of Lima, to become more
engaged politically and socially. It's a challenge, she had expressed earlier, because many have sown the idea that Catholics should not get involved politically.
But the weeklong seminar, which involved a range of speakers from various political, economic and social perspectives, helps in the discernment process, to dig deep inside oneself, she said,
confront realities and be protagonists of change from a grassroots level, she said.
"We're not just numbers," she said. "Social organizations (groups) born from the base strengthen the rest."
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Lightning strike causes major fire damage to historic Illinois Catholic church (Tue, 09 Aug 2022)
Firefighters work to put out a roof fire at historic St. James Catholic Church, in Rockford, Illinois, on Aug. 8, 2022. The Diocese of Rockford
said a lightning strike was a possible cause. / Screenshot of Rockford Diocese video
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 9, 2022 / 15:10 pm (CNA).
A lightning strike caused a roof fire Monday that severely damaged a historic Catholic church in Rockford, Illinois, and left three firefighters injured, authorities said.
The Rockford Fire Department determined that lightning set the roof on fire, Mike Rotolo, the department's fire prevention coordinator, told CNA Tuesday. The damage to the church may exceed $3
million, he said.
The city's building department posted a yellow sign with the message “Condemned: Do Not Enter” outside the church Monday, Rotolo said. This means that the building is not safe to use in its
current condition, he said.
The church is located outside the Chicago metropolitan area in the far northern part of the state. The church was first blessed in 1853, according to the parish’s website.
In a statement, the Diocese of Rockford said the fire broke out before 7 a.m. on Aug. 8. The diocese posted a video on its Facebook page showing firefighters responding to the blaze.
No one was inside the church during the time of the fire and the pastor safely removed the Holy Eucharist from the building, the diocese said.
Three firefighters responding to the scene suffered non-life-threatening injuries, the fire department said in a tweet.
#UPDATE. 400 North 2nd Street. 3 firefighters were injured in two separate Maydays. All are
currently being evaluated at local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. pic.twitter.com/oNdcyGIZdG
— Rockford Fire (@RockfordFire) August 8, 2022
“Bishop David Malloy extends his profound gratitude to all the first responders, the vigilant neighbors, and all those around the diocese who have offered prayers during this extremely sad and
unfortunate event,” the diocese’s statement said.
“Prayers are also being offered for those three courageous firefighters reported to have sustained injuries while fighting this fire,” the statement added.
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Reacting to pontifical academy, theologian says teaching of Humanae vitae can't change (Mon, 08 Aug 2022)
St. Paul VI / public domain
Denver, Colo., Aug 8, 2022 / 19:01 pm (CNA).
The teaching of Humanae vitae on contraception is an instance of the ordinary and universal magisterium, and as such is irreformable, a moral theologian has said in response to a
statement from the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Father Thomas Petri, O.P., president of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., noted that even critics of the teaching on contraception have “acknowledged that this was always the
Church’s teaching” and that nowhere in the Church’s teaching has there been permissiveness, of any form, of contraception.
“This suggests that this has always been the teaching of the Church, so it's part of the ordinary, universal magisterium,” Petri said. “So even if it's the case that any particular encyclical”
such as Humanae
vitae “is not infallible, the teaching that it presents is in fact irreformable, because it's part of the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Church.”
In Humanae vitae, his 1968 encyclical on the regulation of birth, St. Paul VI wrote that “any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically
intended to prevent procreation — whether as an end or as a means” is “excluded,” as an unlawful means of birth control.
The Pontifical Academy
The Pontifical Academy for Life, an institution associated with the Holy See but which is not itself a magisterial body, hosted a 2021 seminar on ethics in which a participant discussed “the
possible legitimacy of contraception in certain cases.”
A synthesis of the seminar was recently published by the Vatican Publishing House, which has given rise to questions about whether the Church’s teaching on birth control is reformable.
The Pontifical Academy for Life has defended the discussion it hosted of the permissibility of contraception, tweeting Aug. 5 that “History records by Abp. [Ferdinando] Lambruschini confirmed that
Paul VI said him directly that HV were not under infallibility.”
Then in an Aug. 8 statement, the academy wrote that “many people on Twitter seem to believe that Humanae Vitae is an infallible and irreformable pronouncement against contraception.”
It noted that “when the moral theologian of the Pontifical Lateran University Msgr. Ferdinando Lambruschini presented Humanae Vitae in a press conference … he stated under the mandate of Paul VI —
that the encylical Humanae Vitae is not to be considered part of the infallible pronouncements. Lambruschini stressed that Humanae Vitae did not express a definitive truth of faith granted by
‘infallibilitas in docendo.’”
The statement added that as Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyła asked Paul VI to define Humanae vitae’s teaching as infallible. “Pope Paul VI did not do it and neither did Pope John Paul
II during 26 years of his pontificate," the academy's statement said.
Father Petri’s response
Petri noted that St. John Paul II had confirmed Humanae vitae’s teaching as part of the ordinary and universal magisterium.
“In Veritatis splendor — which the Pontifical Academy does not note — in Veritatis splendor John Paul II does say that contraception is an intrinsically evil act, so there can be
no reason or purpose for contraception. Benedict XVI gave several speeches in which he spoke about contraception, and it can't be changed. What was true yesterday is true today.”
While there can be “legitimate discussions of how to present it or how to help people understand it, or how to help people who are in difficult situations, whether medically or even because of
moral pressure,” the teaching itself is not a topic for debate, explained Petri, author of "Aquinas and the Theology of the Body" (Catholic University of America Press, 2016).
“There could be a real discussion about how to do that, but there can't be any sort of rollback of the teaching, because it's what’s always been taught, and that's how Catholic theology, and
Catholic doctrine, works.”
“These things aren't really meant to be argued over Twitter,” he reflected. “It's not the forum to sort of put these things out there.”
Petri added that “It's not helpful to simply focus on infallibility and what is named infallible in an extraordinary way. The First Vatican Council, when it spoke about papal infallibility, was
very clear that it was supposed to be an extraordinary act.”
Petri compared an infallible statement to an ecumenical council. He described it as “a very extraordinary act, and which usually only happens when the matter at issue, whether it's a doctrinal
matter or a moral matter, has become so entirely embroiled in conflict … that it requires such an extraordinary act as a pope or a council declaring something infallibly.”
“That's not normally how Church teaching works — that's why the ordinary magisterium is important.”
When a pope does not intend to teach infallibly, “that doesn't mean we're supposed to ignore what he's teaching, or to act like his opinion is just one opinion among many," Petri said.
“Even if he's not intending to proclaim something infallible, especially when he's teaching things that popes have been teaching for centuries, it has a certain weight to it.”
While one might disagree with how things are expressed, “that doesn't mean that what he's teaching is up for grabs," Petri said.
“All the more so when you're talking about a teaching which multiple popes have repeated over multiple decades. And in the case of contraception we could say centuries," he said.
"You simply can't say, ‘Well, Humanae vitae wasn’t declared infallible, Paul VI didn’t declare it infallible, therefore because it’s not infallible, it’s up for grabs.' This is not a
A similar point was made in a 2019 article by Augusto Sarmiento.
Sarmiento wrote about the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1990 instruction on
the ecclesial vocation of the theologian, which discusses various levels of magisterial statements. The article appeared in “Dizionario su Sesso, Amore e Fecondità,” edited by Father José Noriega
and René and Isabelle Ecochard.
A professor at the Univerisity of Pamplona, Sarmiento noted that “the pope, with Humanae vitae, did not will to propose an extraordinary teaching of the Magisterium ex
To support this, he quoted from Lambruschini’s comments at the press conference presenting the encyclical: “However, it is always an authentic pronouncement, especially since it is part of the
continuity of the ecclesiastical magisterium.”
Sarmiento wrote: “On the nature of the authority with which the norm of Humanae vitae is proclaimed, there is no doubt that it is part of the ordinary, universal magisterium,” and that
the encyclical “is a teaching of the ordinary universal Magisterium of the Pope and of the bishops that must be considered definitive.”
Humanae vitae and its precedents
In Humanae vitae St. Paul VI taught that “sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive” is thereby “intrinsically wrong.”
The pope discussed artificial birth control in the context of defining and analyzing marital love and responsible parenthood.
“The Church … in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its
intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life,” St. Paul VI wrote, adding that this doctrine has been “often expounded by the magisterium of the Church.”
He presented his statements as a reply, given “by virtue of the mandate entrusted to Us by Christ,” to questions on the moral doctrine of marriage.
St. Paul VI referred especially to the teaching of Gaudium et spes, the Second Vatican Council’s pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world.
Gaudium et spes stated that spouses “must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church's teaching
office, which authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel … Thus, trusting in divine Providence and refining the spirit of sacrifice, married Christians glorify the Creator and
strive toward fulfillment in Christ when with a generous human and Christian sense of responsibility they acquit themselves of the duty to procreate.”
This statement, in turn, referred in a footnote to Casti connubii, Pius XI’s 1930 encyclical on Christian marriage, which proclaimed “any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act
is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”
In that encyclical Pius XI referred to “frustrating the marriage act” as a “criminal abuse," and said that “those who in exercising [the conjugal act] deliberately frustrate its natural power and
purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.”
Casti connubii also states that “Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime,” and cites St. Augustine’s interpretation of
Scripture as such.
The present day
Pope Francis was asked about a re-evaluation of the Church’s doctrine on contraception, or whether the use of contraceptives may be considered, on his July 29 flight from Canada to
The pope responded that “dogma, morality, is always on a path of development, but always developing in the same direction.” He cited St. Vincent of Lerins as saying “that true doctrine, in order
to move forward, to develop, must not be still, it develops … it is consolidated over time, it expands and consolidates, and becomes always more solid, but always progressing. That is why the duty of
theologians is research, theological reflection. You cannot do theology with a ‘no’ in front. Then it is up to the Magisterium to say, ‘No, you’ve gone too far, come back.' But theological
development must be open, that’s what theologians are for. And the Magisterium must help to understand the limits.”
He referred to the acts of the Pontifical Academy for Life’s seminar, saying, “those who participated in this congress did their duty, because they have sought to move forward in doctrine, but in
an ecclesial sense, not outside of it, as I said with that rule of Saint Vincent of Lérins. Then the Magisterium will say, ‘yes, it is good’ or ‘it is not good.'”
Mónica López Barahona, a board member of the academy, told ACI Prensa last month that “It’s not true that the Church or the Magisterium have changed their moral criteria regarding some questions
of bioethics; not even that the Vatican has begun a process of reviewing these issues.”
López stressed that "the book is not an official declaration of the Pontifical Academy for Life on these issues" and that it does not represent "the moral criteria of all its members,” adding that
“some were disconcerted when they saw the news about the publication of the book and the seminar, about which they knew nothing until that moment."
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Drive-by gunshots target Denver-area Catholic church (Mon, 08 Aug 2022)
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Adams County, Colorado, sustained thousands of dollars in estimated damage from a pair of
drive-by shootings Aug. 6 and Aug. 8, 2022. / Courtesy of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church
Denver, Colo., Aug 8, 2022 / 17:30 pm (CNA).
A gunman shot at a Denver-area Catholic church in separate early morning incidents Saturday and Monday. No one was hurt, but one estimate suggests the gunshots caused tens of thousands of dollars
Parish staff stressed the need to pray for the perpetrator and emphasized that they are taking the utmost security precautions.
“We are praying for the conversion of whoever did this,” Deacon Derrick Johnson of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church told CNA Aug 8. “If there’s any opportunity to speak to
that person, we’d be happy to speak with them and have a dialogue.”
Johnson spoke after two separate rounds of gunshots hit the parish church in unincorporated Adams County just north of Denver. The Adams County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation.
“In the early morning of Aug. 6 and 8 there were two separate incidents of shootings that hit the front doors at Assumption Parish,” Johnson recounted.
Security footage of the first incident, the deacon said, appears to show “a single motorcyclist shooting what we believe to be a pistol as he drove by.”
“These incidents happened after hours,” Johnson said. “We don’t believe they are targeting people. Just targeting the church for whatever reason.”
Photos of the church sent to CNA show damage to the church exterior, including a bullet hole in a window. Doors and doorframes also were damaged. Photos show a broken outer window above a set of
double doors, with shattered glass beneath.
“The first morning we discovered three shots, two into the door and one through the stained glass in the door,” Johnson said. “Two of the bullets were recovered and given to the Adams County
“On Monday morning, another bullet impact was discovered, this time above the doors, impacting the protective layer of the stained glass. The projectile was also given to the sheriff’s office,”
the deacon added.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Adams County, Colorado, sustained thousands of dollars in estimated damage from a pair of drive-by
shootings Aug. 6 and Aug. 8, 2022. Courtesy Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church
News of the shooting has not yet become widespread among parishioners, Johnson said, though the first incident took place hours before a wedding.
Johnson wanted parishioners to know that parish staff is committed to their safety.
“We are absolutely conscious of security, between our security team and ensuring that we have adequate camera coverage and lighting in front of the parish. We’ll do our best to make sure that
whoever did this is prosecuted,” he told CNA.
Though the bullet fractured one outer window, it did not break through a stained-glass window behind it.
The church’s custom-fit doors were recently completed at a cost of $75,000. The deacon described Assumption as a “very, very old parish.” The parish church was first dedicated in 1912, though the
structure has gone through several renovations and expansions incorporating the original building.
Johnson estimated the damage at about $75,000.
The parish church is on the same property as Assumption School, which serves about 130 students in pre-K through eighth grade. The shooting has not affected the school, as the school year has not
“Hopefully it’s limited to a late-night incident,” Johnson said. “We will be taking the highest security precautions for the school like we always do.”
Though the parish wants the perpetrator brought to justice, the parish is praying for its attacker.
“We’re praying for whatever is going on in the life of the person who did this,” the deacon said. “The parish is here for them.”
CNA contacted the Adams County Sheriff for comment but did not receive a response by publication time Monday.
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Indiana’s broad abortion ban overshadows another pro-family law passed the same day (Mon, 08 Aug 2022)
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signs bills in Indianapolis, March 10, 2022. / Governor Eric Holcomb via Flickr (public domain)
St. Louis, Mo., Aug 8, 2022 / 17:04 pm (CNA).
The same day last week that Indiana adopted an abortion ban with limited exceptions, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law another measure the state’s Catholic conference says has the potential to
Known as SB2, the legislation, which received broad bipartisan support, provides for a tax exemption for an adopted child, cuts the state’s tax on children’s diapers, caps the gas tax, and
increases the adoption tax credit, the Indy Star reported.
It also creates a $45 million fund for a variety of family-related programs and initiatives, the Criterion, the newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, reported.
“The Catholic Church has a history of providing aid, comfort, and support for mothers and families,” said Angela Espada, executive director of the Indiana
Catholic Conference, the Criterion reported.
“It hopes that the allotted $45 million will improve the lives of Hoosiers by supporting adoption, pregnancy planning, the health of pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and infants, along with
supporting the needs of families with children less than 4 years old,” she said. “Additionally, there are funds to address the barriers to long-acting reversible contraception.”
The legislation was overshadowed by the sweeping abortion ban Holcomb signed into law the same day, Aug. 5.
The law represents the first state abortion ban passed in the U.S. following the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, giving states the authority to regulate
Set to take effect Sept. 15, Indiana’s law outlaws all abortions with exceptions for abortions performed to preserve the life of the mother, as well as exceptions for instances of rape, incest, or
“fatal” fetal anomaly.
The law stipulates that doctors must certify in writing to the hospital or center in which the abortion is to be performed that the abortion is necessary, under their reasonable medical judgment,
to preserve the mother’s life or health, or that the unborn baby will not survive because of an anomaly.
The Indiana Catholic Conference wrote ahead of the final vote that it supports the measure, while also highlighting the bill’s flaws.
“Most importantly, the bill needs stronger enforcement mechanisms and a continued tightening of the language around exceptions,” the Indiana Catholic Conference wrote July 27. On that point, the
conference has noted that while direct attacks on unborn human life ought to be prohibited, that need not preclude medical interventions that indirectly result in a loss of unborn life when the intention is to save the life of the mother.
Any abortion law should, however, convey the equal dignity of the mother and child, the conference said.
Alexander Mingus, associate director of the Indiana Catholic Conference, said the conference supports the bill under the teachings of St. John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical Evangelium
Vitae, which urged support for laws that would limit the harm done by intrinsic moral evils such as abortion if a complete ban is not politically possible.
The new Indiana law came just days after voters in Kansas failed to approve a constitutional amendment that would have allowed the state’s legislature to pass new abortion
restrictions. A 2019 Kansas State Supreme Court ruling found that the state’s constitution supports a right to abortion, preventing lawmakers from passing new restrictions on abortion beyond the
current 22-week limit.
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Meet Michael McGivney Schachle, the miracle baby who helped make his namesake a Blessed (Sun, 07 Aug 2022)
Daniel and Michelle Schachle with their son, Michael McGivney Schachle, 7, at the annual convention of the Knights of Columbus held Aug. 1-4,
2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. / Joe Bukuras/CNA
Nashville, Tenn., Aug 7, 2022 / 04:00 am (CNA).
Seated in a small black wagon pulled by his father, 7-year-old Michael McGivney Schachle happily rolled along the hallways of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville last
week, innocently unaware that people were staring at him in awe as he passed by.
His parents noticed. They’re used to it by now.
“He's like a living relic,” his mother Michelle Schachle said.
Numerous U.S. prelates and other Catholic dignitaries attended the Knights of Columbus’ annual convention at the hotel on Aug. 1-4. But few could match Michael’s star power, which radiated from
his megawatt smile.
Doctors gave Michael McGivney Schachle "zero" chance of survival before his birth. Thanks to the intercession of Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the
Knights of Columbus, he was miraculously healed in the womb of a life-threatening condition. Courtesy of the Schachle family
For good reason: Michael, whose family lives in Dickson, Tennessee, is the boy whose miraculous healing in his mother’s womb from a life-threatening condition led Pope Francis to beatify Father
Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, placing him one step from sainthood.
Michael’s parents — his father Daniel is a knight and an insurance agent for the fraternal order — spoke to CNA at the convention about their son, their faith, and the miracle that will follow
Michael for the rest of his life.
‘Zero’ chance of survival
Michelle found out that she was pregnant with Michael, the couple’s thirteenth child, in December 2014. It was only one month later that Michael, who was originally intended to be named Benedict
after Michelle’s grandfather, was diagnosed with Down syndrome.
In February 2015, an ultrasound revealed another complication: Michael had a rare condition called hydrops fetalis, in which fluid builds up in the baby’s tissues and organs, causing swelling. The
doctor told Michelle that the baby’s condition was fatal and encouraged her to abort the child.
According to Michelle, the diagnosing doctor said that she had worked at the hospital for 30 years and had never seen a child survive as severe a case of the condition as Michael had.
“Daniel wanted a percentage [for chances of the child’s survival] and he was hoping she'd say like 10% or 15%,” Michelle recounted.
“She said, ‘Zero. There’s no chance.’”
Because of their Catholic faith, however, abortion was not an option.
So, the couple turned to prayer.
It was Daniel who decided to seek the help of Father McGivney (1852-1890), an Irish-Catholic priest who ministered to immigrant families in New Haven, Connecticut, and founded the Knights as a
mutual aid and fraternal insurance organization.
“Father McGivney, we both need a miracle. Please pray if it's God's will that this cup will pass from me and that my son will be healed. But not our will, but his will be done,” Daniel says he
prayed, kneeling in his bedroom, the night after the diagnosis.
Daniel said he promised that if his son were cured, the boy would be named after the Knights’ founder.
He had not consulted with this wife on that part of the deal, however.
“She was like, ‘We're gonna name him Benedict. You can't change his name!’”
The next day the couple began asking their friends to pray for their son’s healing through Father McGivney’s intercession.
Despite the dire diagnosis, the couple decided to go forward with a pre-planned pilgrimage to Europe sponsored by the Knights.
The couple said they were given many signal graces on the trip. One of those graces came in Rome, while their priest, Father Michael Fye, offered Mass at the Vatican. Daniel said that the priest
chose a random chapel in the church to celebrate Mass, and it turned out to be the same chapel that the Knights of Columbus had paid to restore an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Help,
a few years earlier.
The Schachle family of Dickson, Tennessee. Courtesy of the Schachle family
A watershed moment came in Fatima, Portugal.
As the couple was praying for a miracle during Holy Mass, they were astounded by the scripture reading of the day from the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John. In the reading, a royal official
whose son was sick in Capernaum asks Jesus to heal the boy.
Jesus responds, “You may go; your son will live.” Hearing those words, the Schachles were stunned. Daniel’s jaw dropped.
“There were just a thousand little things like that that happened on the trip,” Daniel said. “So, by the time we left, I was almost sure that God had done something because of all of those
‘A kiss from God’
When the couple arrived back home, Michelle went for her next ultrasound. What she saw that day would later be accepted as evidence in support of McGivney’s beatification.
After reviewing the image, Dr. Mary Carroll told Michelle that she would need to see a certain pediatrician with expertise in caring for Down syndrome pregnancies because the baby could be born a
Confused, Michelle said that she thought the baby had a 0% chance of survival and that there was no hope.
“Honey, you just came back from Fatima. There's always hope,’” Michelle remembers the doctor telling her. Their son still had Down syndrome, but the ultrasound showed there was no trace of
It was that day that the child received the name Michael McGivney Schachle, Michelle said.
Michelle began to weep. But according to Michelle, Carroll said to her, “Sweetheart, don't cry. That's the prettiest baby I've ever seen in my life.”
Mikey Schachle, whose life was saved by an officially recognized miracle through the intercession of Fr. Michael McGivney. Photo courtesy of the Schachle
Michael was born on May 15, 2015. Providentially, May 15 is the anniversary of the chartering of the first Knights of Columbus council.
The Schachles have other curious connections to McGivney: Michelle and McGivney have the same birthday, and both Michael and McGivney were born into families of 13 children. The family also had
named their homeschool after McGivney.
Michael’s miracle was approved by Pope Francis on May 27, 2020.
Today, “Mikey,” as he’s known, loves making people laugh with his jokes. He knows he was healed in his mommy’s tummy and says he loves God.
And those who know his incredible story stop and smile when he’s around.
On Aug. 2, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly made a special mention of the Schachles in his annual address. A large video screen showed Daniel raising his smiling son in the air.
The crowd cheered.
Seeing him, his mother says, is like “a little kiss from God — proof that God exists and that he loves you.”
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