Posts Tagged ‘US’

Police and Knights of Columbus join forces to fight the cold

New Haven, Conn., Dec 19, 2014 / 02:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Knights of Columbus is joining forces with the New Haven Police Department in the Coats for Kids initiative to make winter a little warmer for children and families in need this year.

&…

Kentucky priest returns to ministry after unsubstantiated abuse claim

Louisville, Ky., Dec 18, 2014 / 07:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Ronald Domhoff, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, has returned to ministry after being cleared of sexual abuse allegations.

The priest was pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Chu…

Israeli dig peers into King David’s time

Jackson, Miss., Dec 18, 2014 / 04:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- New archaeological evidence about Israel and Judah at the time of King David and King Solomon undermines some skeptics who claim that biblical accounts are wrong to say the time period was advanced enough to have an organized state.

Jimmy Hardin, associate professor at Mississippi State University’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, said that the find of six official clay seals dating to the 10th century B.C. “lends general support to the historical veracity of David and Solomon as recorded in the Hebrew biblical texts.”

The find took place at Khirbet Summeily, a dig site east of Gaza in southern Israel. The clay seals, known as bullae, were used to stamp official documents.

“Our preliminary results indicated that this site is integrated into a political entity that is typified by elite activities, suggesting that a state was already being formed in the 10th century B.C.,” said Hardin, co-director of the Hesi Regional Project engaged in the archaeological work.

Hardin’s findings have been published in the December 2014 issue of Near Eastern Archaeology, Mississippi State University said. The article says that the material culture of the site, in aggregate, shows “a level of political-economic activity that has not been suspected recently” during the time period.

“Some text scholars and archaeologists have dismissed the historic reliability of the biblical text surrounding kings David and Solomon, such as recorded in the Bible in the books of Kings and Second Samuel,” Hardin said.

“The fact that these bullae came off of sealed written documents shows that this site – located out on the periphery of pretty much everything – is integrated at a level far beyond subsistence,” he added. “You have either political or administrative activities going on at a level well beyond those typical of a rural farmstead.”

The bullae do not have writing. They appear to be the only known bullae from the 10th century, he said.

Hardin said researchers chose the dig site to try to determine the differences between Philistia and Judah and why there was a border in the area at the time.

“We’re trying to learn what was the process by which these political entities were created. Within that larger question, you have a number of questions about whether the archaeological record matches the historical record from the texts, and if it disagrees, how do we reconcile the two,” he said.
 

Gratitude and caution over new Cuba policy

Washington D.C., Dec 18, 2014 / 02:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic bishops in the U.S. and Cuba rejoiced at the historic announcement of a new relationship between the countries, while some U.S. leaders warned the policy shift could have negative cons…

With winter knocking for displaced Iraqis, supplies fall short of needs

Washington D.C., Dec 18, 2014 / 02:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As millions of displaced Iraqis are caught in the dead of winter, the international community has a long way to go to cover their basic needs, according to a panel testimony before Congress las…

William May, the prof who renounced his dissent from Humanae Vitae

Silver Spring, Md., Dec 18, 2014 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- William E. May, a professor who retracted his one-time dissent from Humanae vitae and became an influential pro-life teacher and defender of Catholic moral ethics, died on Saturday.

“Teaching was everything to Dr. May,” recalled his former student Kathleen Buckley Domingo. “He treated all of us as though we were so important and sharing his wisdom with us was the most important thing he could do.”

“Dr. May never minced words and didn’t go out of his way to be gentle. He told you what you needed to hear so that you could go be a better disciple, a better evangelizer,” Domingo told CNA Dec. 17.

May died Dec. 13 after suffering from an infection; he was 86.

He was a professor of moral theology at Catholic University of America from 1971 until 1991. He then joined the faculty of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, which is located at the university.

The institute on Dec. 15 voiced “profound gratitude” for May’s friendship, scholarship, and service to the Church.

He was a recipient of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal, the highest honor a Pope can give to Catholic laity and religious. He also received the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars’ Cardinal Wright Award.

May wrote many academic articles and several books on topics including bioethics, sexual ethics, marriage, and chastity. He co-authored a book defending Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae, which reaffirmed Catholic recognition of the immorality of contraception.

However, May was not always on the orthodox side of Humanae vitae. He played a small role in the well-organized and influential rebellion against the encyclical, pro-life advocate Connie Marshner reported on the Human Life Review blog Dec. 17.

At the time the encyclical was issued, May was a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Marquette University. According to Marshner, he signed a public letter dissenting from the encyclical. The widely publicized letter was organized by Fr. Charles E. Curran, then a professor at Catholic University of America, who had the year prior been fired from his position for rejecting Catholic moral teaching, only to be rehired amid controversy.

May repented of his dissent after studying the moral theology of Germain Grisez, and he quietly asked for his name to be removed from Curran’s letter. He then applied for a job in the religion department at Catholic University of America.

“The academic climate of 1971 was such that  because  Bill May had signed that dissent against Humanae Vitae, and had never publicized his repenting of it, he  got the job,” Marshner said.

When May refused to stop teaching in support of Humanae vitae, the department fired him five years after he was hired. However, he was awarded tenure by a single vote in the Catholic University of America’s Graduate School of Theology.

May later served as an advisor to the California-based Catholics for the Common Good. The organization’s president, the similarly-named William B. May, lamented his death.

“Dr. May was such a wonderful man who inspired so many of his students by not only what and how he taught, but by the way he lived his life,” William B. May said in a statement on the group’s website.

He praised May’s “great contributions to the Church,” particularly the theologian’s book “The Theology of the Body in Context.” This provided a synopsis of St. John Paul II’s writings on marriage, family, and sexuality.

Domingo, who studied under May in the mid-1990s, said he gave the “intellectual scaffolding” to the pro-life movement. “He provided the reasoning and arguments to those of us in the movement.”

She is now Life coordinator in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Office of Life, Justice and Peace.

Marsher agreed with May’s importance as a pro-life intellectual.

“And for this Bill May deserves the thanks of the pro-life movement around the world. May his memory be eternal.”

May’s funeral Mass will be held at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kensington, Md. on Dec. 20 at 10 a.m.

Sing Sing inmates participate in gift exchange with Pope Francis

New York City, N.Y., Dec 17, 2014 / 10:07 pm (CNA).- Inside the chapel of Our Lady of Hope at Sing Sing Prison, inmates sitting in the penitentiary’s chapel pews were stunned by what they had received from Pope Francis.

Denis Martinez, a convicted felon of eleven years serving time at Sing Sing, sent an original drawing of three crucifixes on Calvary as a gift to Pope Francis.

Other inmates sent messages along with the drawing to the Pope, as a symbol of their respect for him.

Much to their surprise, the inmates at Sing Sing received a gift in return from the Holy Father, who sent Martinez and his fellow prisoners a rosary, blessed holy cards, and a promise to keep them in his prayers.

“I can’t believe one of my drawings was given to the pope, while I’m here, trapped,” Martinez stated in a Dec. 15 interview with the New York Times. “His message is one I believe in, one of social justice. Those of us who’ve been on the floor, like I’ve been on the bottom, we know about the struggle.”

Although Martinez admitted that his own faith was at times shaky, he and the other inmates who unite in the prison’s chapel in prayer feel a special affection towards the Pope.

The gift of the drawing was an idea prompted by one of the prison’s volunteers, Betty Woodward. In her meetings with the prisoners who attend Mass and Bible studies, she often spoke about Pope Francis and his message of love.

“They were blown away by the fact that one of the first things Pope Francis did was go to a prison and wash the feet of prisoners on Holy Thursday,” Woodward told the New York Times.

“My personal reflection on this is that Pope Francis is like a father figure to them. He is not a distant person. He is warm, understands things and talks about mercy, love and not judging. These guys devour that message.”

Using a fingerprint ink pad to create the drawing, Martinez drew the three crucifixes on Calvary reflecting in the eye of Christ crucified.

“It’s a reflection in the pupil of the crucified Christ in the middle with two smaller crosses for the good thief and the bad thief,” Woodward said.

“In Denis’s mind you have your choice: You can be the good thief or the bad thief. You can be bad, but become good.”

During an October audience, Woodward personally presented Martinez’ drawing and the other inmates’ messages to Pope Francis. After returning from the audience, Woodward presented the men with the gifts that the Holy Father had sent in return.

Additionally, Pope Francis gave Martinez a portrait of himself. Upon receiving the picture, Martinez’s eyes filled with tears.

“This is the most beautiful gift I have received in here,” Martinez stated, adding, “I’m not the best Catholic, but my mother tried.”

“Even if you doubt, you can take something from the pope’s message. You can find yourself in the bottom of the pit, but you can still hear his message and say ‘alleluia.’”

Vatican, Pope played key role in US-Cuba prisoner release

Washington D.C., Dec 17, 2014 / 10:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican played a critical role behind a prisoner exchange and a groundbreaking new policy between U.S. and Cuba announced on Wednesday, senior administration officials said.

“Very …

O Holy Night! Most Americans believe in Christmas story

Washington D.C., Dec 16, 2014 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- Christmas carols echo reality for most Americans, who believe in the historical accuracy of several Gospel descriptions of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Pew Research Center’s survey, published …

For Archbishop Chaput, Holy Family holds lesson on immigration

Philadelphia, Pa., Dec 16, 2014 / 04:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Faithful Catholics “need to remember that the Holy Family too was once a family of immigrants and refugees,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia said on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

He stressed: “we need to treat the undocumented among us with the mercy and justice we expect for ourselves.”

Archbishop Chaput’s Dec. 12 statement connected the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt to the stories of many immigrants today.

“Mary – our mother; the mother of the Church – had an intimate understanding of suffering, flight, homelessness and uncertainty,” he said.

The archbishop said that Mary’s honorific titles are “richly deserved” but “can sometimes obscure the human reality of Mary’s life.”

She was “a young woman of the rough Galilean hills, pregnant, with a seemingly implausible story before her marriage to Joseph, who gave birth to her child in the cold in a stable far from home and then, hunted by Herod, was forced to flee to Egypt.”

“At Guadalupe, Mary appeared not to the rich or powerful, or even to the local bishop, but to the poor peasant Juan Diego,” the archbishop continued. “Her tenderness to the poor is something we need to remember this Advent, because our Christian faith is more than a set of ideas or beautiful words. It’s meant to be lived. It’s meant to transform our thinking and our actions.”

While acknowledging that “the current White House has taken actions that a great many faithful Catholics regard as damaging,” Archbishop Chaput defended President Barack Obama’s decision to defer deportation for many undocumented immigrants and their families, saying it was “the right thing” to do.

On Nov. 20, Obama issued an executive order staying the deportation of certain undocumented immigrant parents for up to three years and allowing them to work legally.

About 4 million people are eligible under the order’s requirements: five years of U.S. residency, having children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, passing a criminal background check and agreeing to pay taxes.

The order also extended some benefits of temporary residence to more children of undocumented immigrants. The president said he would increase resources for border security and deport undocumented immigrants who had recently crossed the border.

“This action prevents the break-up of families with mixed immigration status,” Archbishop Chaput said of the executive order. “It also protects individuals who were brought to the United States as children, and have grown up knowing only American life and nothing of their parents’ native land.”

The archbishop said that the U.S. bishops have advocated a “just and sensible” immigration policy reform for over 10 years. He said both major U.S. political parties bear “a generous portion of the blame” for the failure to secure a just immigration policy.

“Whatever the timing and motives of the current executive action might mean, deferring deportations serves the survival and human dignity of the families involved. And it may, finally, force the White House and Congress to cooperate fruitfully,” he said.

 

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