Various Catholic News

Saint Francis and the Canticle of the Creatures

How can we sum up the spirituality of Saint Francis? One way to start, Murray Bodo, OFM, says, is to consider Francis’ “Canticle of the Creatures.”

“He praises God,” Murray says,“by being a part of all of the created world.” 

Enjoy this glimpse into Saint Francis' Canticle! And for more with Fr. Murray, check out his book Francis: The Journey and the Dream.

In NYC, a new approach to Catholic school bears fruit

Catholic World Report - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 8:38 PM
A charter school with after-school faith-formation may be a way forward in an age of Catholic school closures. [...]

Religious leaders, scientists of Massachusetts together declare climate change is an emergency

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 5:03 PM
More than 500 of the state's scientists and religious leaders signed onto the faith and science joint appeal for climate action. Stating they were "motivated by the climate crisis," the two contingents vowed to work together to urge all sectors of civic life to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Democratic senators fuse faith and politics in appeal to mainline preachers

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 4:32 PM
Two prominent Democratic U.S. senators, both possible presidential hopefuls, addressed a gathering of pastors this week, pairing religion with politics in an unusually direct appeal to left-leaning Christians.

Cardinal: Greater access to Communion challenges church teaching

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 4:31 PM
Holy Communion is exclusively for Catholics in a state of grace and not something to be shared between friends like beer or cake, said a former senior adviser to two popes.

Nicaraguan bishops end role as mediators in national dialogue

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 3:31 PM
Nicaragua's bishops have suspended their participation as mediators and witnesses in a national dialogue, citing a "lack of consensus among the parties" on resolving the political crisis engulfing the Central American country.


Catholic League - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 1:52 PM
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on an ad in today's New York Times: The American Academy of Arts and Letters took out a full-page ad in the May 24th edition of the New York Times. Here is what it said (in its exact format): This is not the time to be silent. The American [...]

Christ, the Eternal High Priest, and the meaning of priestly celibacy

Catholic World Report - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 12:54 PM
It is the Church's hope and desire that her celibate clergy (and her consecrated religious, too) would show forth to the world, in a unique [...]

Ryan, Brownback, archbishop address National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 12:43 PM
This year's National Catholic Prayer breakfast took on a decidedly Kansas flavor, as Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City and Sam Brownback, a former House and Senate member and governor of Kansas, addressed nearly 1,000 gathered at a Washington hotel May 24.

Church leaders, aid agencies visiting Congo's Ebola outbreak areas

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 12:36 PM
Visits by church leaders to Ebola-affected communities in Congo are helping prevention efforts, while the urban nature of the latest outbreak of the deadly virus is of greatest concern, the country's bishops said.

Cheating workers out of just wages, benefits is mortal sin, pope says

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 11:45 AM
Loving wealth destroys the soul, and cheating people of their just wages and benefits is a mortal sin, Pope Francis said.


Catholic League - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 11:27 AM
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a bigoted remark made by a Michigan lawmaker: Rep. Tim Greimel, a Democrat from Auburn Hills, Michigan, is a state lawmaker who is running for Congress. He just stuck his middle finger at Catholics. Not a smart move. In the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, [...]

Everyone must have affordable health care, Vatican official says

Catholic Register Canada - News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 10:42 AM
VATICAN – Everyone should have access to essential health services and no one should have to fall into poverty to obtain needed care, a Vatican representative said.

"For many poor communities, families and individuals, access to the much-needed health care services remains an unachieved objective," said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

"We are all daunted by the disquieting fact that half the world's population is still unable to obtain many essential health services," he said. "At the same time, hundreds of millions are pushed into extreme poverty because they have to pay for health services entirely from their own meager resources."

"Since everyone should have the possibility of benefiting from necessary health services without falling into poverty, the virtue of solidarity urges us to work toward this goal," said the archbishop.

Archbishop Jurkovic spoke May 23 at the World Health Assembly, a meeting of the member states of the World Health Organization to set W.H.O. policies and programs.

The need for universal health care coverage was a major topic at the May 21-26 meeting, and Archbishop Jurkovic thanked the U.N. leadership "for keeping it as a top priority on the agenda of the World Health Organization."

Over the past decades, there have been great strides taken toward the achievement of universal health coverage, he said. "Nevertheless, we are still far from the desired result," he said in his speech, which was sent to Catholic News Service in Rome.

"Progress on universal health coverage requires a strong political will and a commitment to concrete steps that improve health for all people," he said.

Each country will have to strengthen systems "to deliver effective and affordable services to prevent ill health and to provide health promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation services" that place the human person at the center, he said.

"Countries must fruitfully engage with the private sector, whose contribution to this universal health coverage is crucial," he said. Faith-based institutions play a major role, he said, and they very often guarantee access to care "even in very remote and inaccessible areas."

Archbishop Jurkovic also praised the assembly's "road map" for a greater global response to the negative effects of air pollution on human health and lives.

"Avoidable environmental risk factors cause at least 13 million deaths every year and about one-quarter of the global burden of disease," he said, according to the W.H.O. report. "Air pollution alone causes about 6.5 million deaths a year or one in eight of all deaths, placing it among the top global risks to health," he continued.

"Efforts to advance health for all people must take account of the essential nexus between environment and health, which involves also the management of environmental determinants of health," he said.

"Currently, environmental changes and extreme weather events are occurring at an unprecedented pace," the archbishop said. "Many countries with vulnerable populations are experiencing the heavy burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases."

All sides need to dialogue about the issues since everyone is affected by current environmental challenges, he said, citing Pope Francis' "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," on the environment.


Catholic League - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 10:27 AM
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on remarks made by Seth Meyers on his NBC show of May 24: "According to reports, a priest recently caught a couple in New Jersey having sex in a Catholic church garden, which is weird because most Catholics only come on Easter and Christmas." That is what Meyers said [...]

Catholic renewal in the long defeat: Engaging Conor Sweeney Commentary and Analysis - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 10:17 AM

I’ve just finished a fascinating new book by Conor Sweeney from Angelico Press entitled Abiding the Long Defeat and subtitled “How to Evangelize Like a Hobbit in a Disenchanted Age”. While I do not think every emphasis in this book is directly on target, important insights leap continually off its pages, insights critical to an understanding of the chief obstacle to evangelization today, and how it must be overcome.

Gazans more desperate than ever after border clashes, says CRS official

Catholic Register Canada - News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 9:46 AM
JERUSALEM – Already in a precarious state, Gaza's health system faces a medical emergency, with more than 1,000 people injured in the recent Gaza border demonstrations that flared up since March 30.

Hilary Dubose, country representative for Catholic Relief Services, said hospitals have already been suffering from lack of medicine, proper medical equipment and enough electricity to run them, but the sudden swelling of injured patients has pushed the hospitals over the edge.

"They were pushed to the breaking point even before the demonstration injuries," said Dubose, who visited Gaza May 22. "The injuries have pushed them (past) that point now. It is important that humanitarian actors support the medical system."

Humanitarian organizations such as CRS, the U.S. bishops' international relief and development agency that receives some of its funds from the U.S. government, are hampered in their work, she said. The government has withheld funds not only to UNRWA, the U.N. organization tasked with providing assistance to Palestinians refugees and their descendants, but also has put a hold on all U.S. funding to Palestinians pending an "administrative review."

"We can't provide any humanitarian aid. It is making the situation worse. We don't know what impact it will have," Dubose said, noting that there are 155,000 people going without humanitarian assistance in Gaza because of the freeze.

CRS has had to make drastic cuts in its programs, she said, and has retained only a skeleton staff in its Gaza office. CRS programs in the West Bank are not affected because those do not receive U.S. government funding, she said.

People are at the end of their ropes, said Dubose. Gazans get only four hours of state-provided electricity per day; 95 percent of water in Gaza contaminated; unemployment in Gaza is 44 percent among the general population and 62 percent among young people.

"People can't earn a living and support their families. Young people can't get married, because here to get married they need a house and a means of supporting their bride," she said. "People can't accomplish their very simple dreams of getting married and having a family."

During her visit with the Missionaries of Charity in Gaza, she heard the story of a young man who had been engaged for two years but had not yet been able to marry because he had no way to support a family or provide a house.

"His sister told us that he had gone to the demonstrations feeling prepared to die, and he did," Dubose said. "Conditions are bad, with no hope for change. There is so much hardship and frustration."

After 11 years of an international blockade people are getting desperate, she said. There is a lack of freedom of movement, and young people are unable to travel for job or educational opportunities, she said. If there were some signs of hope, of change, people would not feel so desperate, she added.

"There has really been marked shift in (the ability of people to hope.). People are really reaching levels of frustration I have not witnessed before," said Dubose. "It is so claustrophobic. People are so stuck. There is a loss of hope."

News at 4.30pm

Vatican Radio Morning News - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 6:01 AM
Vatican & World News at 4.30pm

Morning Briefing, Roman Style

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 4:25 AM
NCR calls on Pope Francis to implement a tribunal to judge bishops who mishandle clergy sexual abuse, Francis will meet more Chilean abuse victims, and Archbishop Romero soon to be St. Romero.

Hope House is a haven for people in addiction, crisis

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 4:00 AM
A trained social worker, Montfort Fr. Francis Pizzarelli has a long tenure as a celebrant in local parishes in Suffolk County, where there were 360 opioid overdoses in 2016, more than two and a half times the number in 2010. He has been ministering to people affected by addiction and other crises, through Hope House since 1980.

Editorial: Francis should seize momentum of Chile resignations

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 4:00 AM
We say: It's time to revisit the pope's 2015 proposal to establish a tribunal that would hold responsible bishops and religious superiors who mishandle cases of clergy sex abuse.
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