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Archive for April, 2015

By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service

Supporters of traditional marriage and same-sex marriage gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington April 28. The high court began hearing arguments in cases involving four states that bar same-sex marriage. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

Supporters of traditional marriage and same-sex marriage gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington April 28. The high court began hearing arguments in cases involving four states that bar same-sex marriage. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The questions raised by Supreme Court justices as they considered April 28 whether they should rule that same-sex marriage should be made legal nationwide covered a gamut of rights concerns — religious, equal protection, states’ ability to enact their own laws.

In two and a half hours of oral arguments, the line of questions and the answers by attorneys representing both sides made clear that all concerned recognize the potential for the court’s ruling to be history-making.

Even the justices who sounded inclined to allow states to continue to ban same-sex marriage and refuse to recognize such marriages from other states seemed to recognize that it is no longer a question of “if” but “when” and “who decides” that same-sex marriages are allowed.

“The issue is not whether there should be same-sex marriage, but who should decide,” said Justice Antonin Scalia in an exchange with Mary Bonauto, attorney for James Obergefell and other petitioners seeking the right to have same-sex marriage allowed or recognized in their states. (more…)

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS) emergency personnel have landed in Kathmandu to begin helping tens of thousands of people affected by the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday.

A dozen CRS emergency specialists are on the way to Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, where many buildings collapsed in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake centered about 50 miles northwest of the capital city.

The initial targets of CRS aid will be the thousands in need of shelter, not only because many buildings were destroyed or damaged in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, but also because continuing aftershocks are causing widespread fear of sleeping inside of even intact buildings.

“Rainfall last night made life difficult for those forced to remain outside,” said CRS India staffer Kushal Neogy who was in Nepal during the earthquake. “Thankfully the rain stopped around 11 p.m. and people were able to sleep peacefully through the night as there were no major tremors. (more…)

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Crime victims gather for vigil

IMG_3498Survivors of violent crimes gathered in the Jefferson County Jury Impaneling Room April 23 to light candles in memory of crime victims at the 25th annual Crime Victims’ Candlelight Vigil.

Bob Wortham, Jefferson County district attorney, said it is his duty to protect the citizens. A survivor himself, he knows the pain that victims go through. (more…)

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Evangelizing through the storm

The weather didn’t stop efforts to evangelize at the annual Texas Barbecue Festival at Conn Park, Vidor, April 24-25. (more…)

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Warming hearts with the Eucharist

IMG_3608Hearts were warmed and nourished in the Eucharist as 24 men became full members of the Catholic Church April 25. Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, celebrated the 4th Sunday of Easter Liturgy at the Mark Stiles Unit, Beaumont. (more…)

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Bishop-designate Brendan Cahill

Bishop-designate Brendan Cahill

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop David E. Fellhauer of Victoria, Texas, and named Father Brendan Cahill, a priest of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, to succeed him.

Bishop Fellhauer is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope.

Bishop-designate Cahill, 51, is a native of Florida who was ordained in 1990. He currently is director of the archdiocese’s Secretariat for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services.

The changes were announced in Washington April 23 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States. (more…)

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By Carol Glatz and Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

A man rides a bicycle taxi with several national flags on it along a street in late March in Havana. Pope Francis will visit Cuba in September before his trip to the United States. (CNS photo/Alejandro Ernesto, EPA)

A man rides a bicycle taxi with several national flags on it along a street in late March in Havana. Pope Francis will visit Cuba in September before his trip to the United States. (CNS photo/Alejandro Ernesto, EPA)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will visit Cuba in September before his trip to the United States.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters April 22 that the pope has “received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba” and has decided to visit the island before going to the United States.

The pope is tentatively scheduled to arrive in Washington late Sept. 22 and will visit Washington, New York and Philadelphia Sept. 23-27. However, details such as the dates and itinerary for his trip to Cuba would come at a later time, Father Lombardi said.

Visiting Cuba and the United States on the same trip abroad signals Pope Francis’ continuing interest in encouraging the normalization of relations between them. (more…)

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