Archive for June, 2013

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The statement follows.

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.

“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father.

“Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.

“When Jesus taught about the meaning of marriage – the lifelong, exclusive union of husband and wife – he pointed back to “the beginning” of God’s creation of the human person as male and female (see Matthew 19). In the face of the customs and laws of his time, Jesus taught an unpopular truth that everyone could understand. The truth of marriage endures, and we will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and charity.

“Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.”

Editors: Background information can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/backgrounder-on-proposition-8-and-doma.cfm

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The youth put on their Sunday best and headed off to the Eagle of the Cross Banquet where awards were given out for everything from volleyball to most improved youth group. After the awards Steve Angrisano sang and prayed with the youth to prepare them for adoration, which Bishop Guillory celebrated with the youth. (more…)

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The second full day of the youth convention began with Mass celebrated by Father Andy Moore. During his homily Father Moore talked to the youth about letting God into their lives. “My brothers and sisters, God loves you so much. He wants to share your life with you and fill you with His grace.”

Steve Angisano got the youth up on their feet after Mass for a few songs before speaking to them about how fragile and precious life is. He told the story of how his youth group in Colorado lost 4 members on the day of the school shooting in Columbine. (more…)

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By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

cns-logoWASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholics concerned about the size of the world’s nuclear weapons inventory welcomed President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce the size of America’s nuclear arsenals if Russia agrees to similar cuts.

The president announced in an address in Berlin June 19 that he would seek cuts “by up to one-third” from the current 1,550 weapons in strategic arsenals. The number of weapons deployed on long-range missiles, bombers and submarines was negotiated under the New START treaty ratified in 2011.

“We strongly applaud this direction of President Obama and really feel it’s an enormous, progressive step,” said Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. (more…)

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Youth representing 39 parishes from throughout the Diocese of Beaumont descended on the Hilton North in Houston last night for the 47th Annual Youth Convention. After a screening of the inspirational film October Baby, the youth were treated to the songs and life story of Jon Sheptock.

This morning, the youth celebrated Mass with Father Khanh Ho and several other priests from the diocese. Father Ho told the youth of his journey with two other priests in Rome, where they witnessed the election of Pope Francis. (more…)

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By Tom Tracy Catholic News Service

Members and guests of the Catholic Theological Society of America attend Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami June 8 during the CTSA's annual convention June 6-9. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)

Members and guests of the Catholic Theological Society of America attend Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami June 8 during the CTSA’s annual convention June 6-9. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)

MIAMI (CNS) — The new papacy of Francis has thus far been inspiring, challenging and accessible and is giving “new traction” to Catholic social teachings, according to a cross section of distinguished scholars on hand for a convention of theologians.

Members and guest presenters of the Catholic Theological Society of America met June 6-9 in Miami for their 68th annual convention, where they explored the conference theme of “conversion” during workshops and keynote speeches.

Several members of the organization and presenters gave their personal opinions about the early papacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his impact on the church just a month or so before his first trip abroad as Pope Francis for the 2013 World Youth Day in Brazil.

The idea of a Latin American who entered into the office of the papacy by saying essentially, “I am a bishop, you are a people and we are on a journey together,” set a welcoming and necessary tone given all the challenges facing the church,” said Peter Casarella.

A professor of Catholic studies at DePaul University in Chicago, Casarella is also director of the university’s Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology. (more…)

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By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

cns-logoWASHINGTON (CNS) — U.S. Catholic officials expressed disappointment with the June 10 announcement that the federal government will comply with a judge’s ruling to allow girls of any age to buy the morning-after pill without a prescription.

The decision reversed recent course of action by the federal government. On May 1, the Justice Department announced that it would appeal a ruling by a federal judge in early April that said the Food and Drug Administration must make emergency contraceptives available to all ages by May 6. (more…)

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