Various Catholic News

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Natl Catholic Reporter - Tue, 11/05/2019 - 9:00 AM
There used to be a billboard on Interstate 70 that said: “Don’t make me come down there!” It was signed, “God.” That just might sum up the first reading and Gospel we hear this week.

Bishops of Latin America: If the Amazon suffers, the world suffers

Vatican News - 1 hour 41 min ago
The Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) express their deep concern for destructive fires burning the world’s forests.

Our Prayers to God

Prayer is a deeply personal experience—a moment of grace with God. And each person prays differently. In this week's Franciscan Spirit Video, Father Greg Friedman, OFM, explains that there are as many ways to pray as there are individual human beings.

Aug. 23 Friday of the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time; Optional Memorial of St. Rose of Lima, virgin, Opt. Mem.

The first canonized saint of the Western Hemisphere, Rose of Lima (1586-1617) might also be considered a type of the special vocation of contemplative-in-the-world. Inspired by the example of St. Catherine of Siena, Rose became a Dominican lay tertiary and devoted herself to works of active charity while living a life of extreme austerity. She longed to evangelize the Indians, not at all discouraged by the thought that they would probably kill her. St. Martin de Porres and St. John Masias were among her friends. She died at the age of 31, praying, "Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase your love in my heart."

The Bible tells me so

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 11:57 PM
Pencil Preaching for August 23, 2019

Falsely, Matilda

Catholic World Report - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 11:00 PM
Was it mere coincidence, or perhaps Providence, that Catholics around the world read Psalm 94 at Midday Prayer on August 21, hours after an appellate panel of three judges announced a 2-1 decision rejecting Cardinal [...]

Pennsylvania authorities arrest priest accused of stealing more than $98,000

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 9:28 PM
Authorities have arrested a 56-year-old priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who is facing accusations that he stole more than $98,000 from a parish and used some of it to finance what the archdiocese says were "personal expenses of an inappropriate nature."

International interfaith gathering: ‘We must work together or we will all fail’

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 8:17 PM
The 10th Religions for Peace World Assembly launched Aug. 20 with calls for religious groups to take decisive action on the main geopolitical issues of the day, and ending with an unusual “statement of commitment” aimed at fostering multi-religious cooperation.

Bishops welcome proposed rule to protect rights of religious employers

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 7:15 PM
The chairmen of three U.S. bishops' committees welcomed a proposed rule aimed at clarifying religious protections that may be invoked by federal contractors, including faith-based organizations.

Bangladesh flood victims reel as aid agencies struggle to respond

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 3:39 PM
Weeks after devastating floods affected millions and killed more than 100 people in Bangladesh, many families are reeling from a lack of aid as the country suffers an outbreak of waterborne diseases.

HPV vaccine in Kenya associated with 'severe' side effects

Catholic Register Canada - News - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 3:36 PM

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Catholic doctors in Kenya have warned against a mass cervical cancer vaccination program for young girls, as the government accelerates plans to roll out the program in September.

The Ministry of Health has said the vaccination is targeting the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancer of the cervix. Two free doses of the vaccine -- administered 10 months apart -- will be given to 10-year-old girls. The vaccines will be available at 9,000 private, public and faith-based health facilities.

However, members of the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association expressed concern that the vaccine can cause severe side effects, including brain damage, seizures or paralysis.

The doctors also said the vaccine has not undergone necessary clinical trials in the country.

"We don't think the vaccine is necessary. HVP is sexually transmitted and does not make sense to vaccine everyone against a sexually transmitted disease that can be controlled through behavior change," Dr. Wahome Ngare, a gynecologist and a member of the Catholic doctors group, told Catholic News Service.

"The side effects are too risky for anyone to even dare," he added.

For their part, the Kenya Catholic bishops' conference has not offered an opinion on the vaccination program.

Ngare said the vaccination was not to prevent cervical cancer but HPV. He urged instead widespread adoption of the simpler and more effective Pap test for early cancer detection.

Despite the doctors' warning, the government is preparing to roll out the mass vaccination. Ministry of Health officials met Aug. 20 with partners in the program, including the World Health Organization.

"By vaccinating our girls against HPV, we are preventing the disease for life. They will be able to grow, live up to their full potential and prosper," Dr. Rudi Eggers, WHO Kenya representative told the Daily Nation.

The government maintains that cervical cancer is the second most common form of the disease among women in Kenya, trailing only breast cancer. It contributes to 5,250, about 12.9%, of all cancer cases reported annually, and 3,286 deaths, about 11.8%, caused by the disease yearly.

"Preventing HPV infections would result in the prevention of cervical cancer," said Collins Tabu, the Ministry of Health's head of immunization.

However, Ngare said the doctors association decided to make its views known so that women can make an informed decision.

The association has distributed a study on the vaccine to the country's Catholic bishops, said Dr. Stephen Karanja, chairman of the doctors' group.

Victims of Bangladesh flood desperate as aid in shortage

Catholic Register Canada - News - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 3:30 PM

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Weeks after devastating floods affected millions and killed more than 100 people in Bangladesh, many families are reeling from a lack of aid as the country suffers an outbreak of waterborne diseases.

Monsoon flooding in 28 of the country's 64 districts affected more than 7 million people, left tens of thousands of houses uninhabitable and destroyed crops over vast areas, ucanews.com reported.

During a week of flooding, at least 114 people died and 14,000 others became ill from various diseases and infections, according to government data.

The crisis eased somewhat in recent weeks as the rains eased and water levels receded, allowing government and disaster relief agencies to distribute emergency supplies. However, many victims said the support fell far short of the need.

Jamal Khan, 40, a father of three from the flood-affected northern district of Sirajganj, said his family was struggling to get back to normal.

"The government handed out some food and a charity (Caritas) also offered food and cash, but the aid was not enough," Khan, a Muslim, told ucanews.com. "My wife, son and I have been struggling maintain the family by working as day laborers, but after flooding, there is less opportunity to find work."

There also was an outbreak of waterborne diseases in the area, with a shortage of medical support, he said.

Because of erosion and repeated flooding of the Jamuna River, one Bangladesh's three main rivers, Khan and his family have lost their home seven times in the past 20 years.

"Poor people like us desperately need food, medicine and money to survive, and to get back to a normal life," he said.

Shahdat Hossain, director general of the state-run Disaster Management Department, said the government had provided aid to millions of flood-affected people and was continuing to offer limited assistance.

The aid included rice, canned and dried food, tents, building materials and cash, he said.

"An assessment of the total flood damage and people's needs is due to be completed this month and then we will undertake the second phase of aid for affected people," he added.

In addition, 23 government ministries were working to design a comprehensive flood mitigation program in districts prone to annual flooding and other natural disasters, Hossain said.

This year's floods happened unusually quickly, so the extent of the destruction was higher than usual, said Sukleash George Costa, regional director of the Catholic charity, Caritas Rajshahi.

"Both the government and aid groups struggled to respond to flooding because flood water increased so swiftly, so people were seriously affected, roads, crops and houses destroyed," Costa told ucanews.com. "Caritas Rajshahi was able to assist 400 affected families with food and cash."

In the Bandarban district of the southeastern Chittagong Hill Tracts, a hilly area bordered by India and Myanmar, Caritas Chittagong distributed the equivalent of US$59 in emergency aid to each of 2,100 families.

U.N. COMMEMORATES RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION

Catholic League - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 2:59 PM
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a special U.N. event: Today is a United Nations milestone: it is the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. A resolution marking this day was unanimously passed in May; it was introduced by Poland, no stranger to religious persecution. On [...]

‘Gospel Truth’ for August 25, 2019

Vatican News - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 2:32 PM
Listen to this week's edition of our reflections on the Gospel reading for the twenty-first Sunday in ordinary time, where Jesus tells his disciples to strive to enter through the narrow gate, prepared by the late Jill Bevilacqua.

Vatican investigating abuse allegation against Chilean Archbishop

Catholic Register Canada - News - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 2:29 PM

VATICAN CITY -- The apostolic nunciature in Chile announced that the Vatican has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against retired Archbishop Bernardino Pinera Carvallo of La Serena, who is the uncle of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

In a statement released Aug. 20, the nunciature said the preliminary investigation will determine the credibility of an accusation of abuse allegedly committed "more than 50 years ago" by Archbishop Pinera who, at 103, is the oldest living bishop in the world.

"We are in contact with the person who filed the complaint, and, at the same time, we are acting in accordance with the principle of the presumption of innocence," the nunciature said.

Shortly after the investigation was announced, Archbishop Pinera, who served as president of the Chilean bishops' conference from 1983 to 1988, released a statement saying he was "unaware of the accusation" made against him and that he would cooperate with the Vatican investigation.

"I testify that in my long priestly life, which began in 1945, I have always had impeccable conduct," the archbishop said.

News of the investigation garnered widespread attention in Chile due to the archbishop's familial ties with the current head of state.

After learning of the accusation, the Chilean president told local media that he respected the investigation's search for the truth and that "this case is no exception."

However, Pinera said he found it difficult to believe the allegations made against his uncle.

"Having known Bernardino Pinera for almost 70 years as his nephew, I find (the allegations) hard to believe because I know his conduct, his behavior throughout a lifetime, and it is difficult for me to believe an accusation that was made more than 50 years after the alleged events occurred," the president said.

Reflections for the XXI Sunday

Vatican News - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 2:28 PM
Fr. Antony Kadavil reflects and comments on the readings at Mass for the twenty-first Sunday in ordinary time. He says that Jesus clearly explains that anyone who follows him through the narrow gate of sacrificial serving and sharing love will be saved.

US Bishop says death penalty is an “attack on human dignity”

Vatican News - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 2:27 PM
As the US state of Texas executes a man on death row, Bishop Frank Dewane of Florida reasserts the Catholic Church’s stance on the death penalty.

Australian pro-life leaders organize to block bill legalizing abortion

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 1:53 PM
Thousands of pro-life supporters demonstrated in the streets of Sydney, expressing their opposition to a bill in the New South Wales state parliament that would permit abortion until birth for any reason.

Vatican investigates abuse allegation against Chilean president's uncle

Natl Catholic Reporter - Thu, 08/22/2019 - 1:49 PM
The apostolic nunciature in Chile announced that the Vatican has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against retired Archbishop Bernardino Pinera Carvallo of La Serena, who is the uncle of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.
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