Posts Tagged ‘US’

Hundreds flock to conference looking to revive parish life

Denver, Colo., Sep 1, 2014 / 12:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Some 500 Catholic leaders and their pastors from across the United States met recently at the first-ever Amazing Parish conference in Denver to brainstorm and swap ideas about improving parish lif…

PBS raked over decision to air late-term abortion film

Washington D.C., Aug 30, 2014 / 02:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life advocates have strongly objected to PBS’ decision broadcast the documentary “After Tiller,” saying it wrongly downplays the “gravely unjust” and deadly nature of abortion.

“When we hear PBS talk about ‘humanizing’ late-term abortionists, we wonder: who is ‘humanizing’ the viable babies these men and women kill?” Lila Rose, president of the investigative group Live Action, told CNA Aug. 29.

“Will PBS show programming in this vein, or will it just take taxpayer dollars to boost Big Abortion?”

“The abortion process is barbaric and gravely unjust at any stage, as it results in the intentional killing of an innocent, helpless human being,” she added. “But late-term abortions are particularly visually nauseating: in most procedures, abortionists will stab babies’ hearts or skulls with a thick needle containing digoxin, a toxin that induces a massive heart attack.”

“Then they will let the child float, dead, in his mother’s womb, and send the mother home for several days, possibly to deliver her dead child alone.”

PBS is airing the 2013 documentary as part of its POV series. The broadcaster is promoting the 2013 documentary as “a deeply humanizing and probing portrait of the only four doctors in the United States still openly performing third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas.”
 
The documentary will air on Labor Day and will be available on the PBS website through Oct. 1.
 
The PBS website encourages viewers to organize a “premiere party” for the documentary and provides lesson plans to guide discussions.

Rose said that hundreds of pro-life advocates have criticized the decision to air the documentary. Several have organized petitions protesting PBS’ decision to broadcast the film.

One user-submitted petition at CitizenGo.com gained more than 18,000 signatures within one day calling on PBS to cancel the showing or “give equal time to a documentary that shows third-trimester abortions from the opposite perspective.”

Rose contended that the decision to broadcast the documentary reveals PBS as “a publicly funded abortion propaganda organ – in direct violation of fundamental human rights.”

She said that Live Action investigations have uncovered “horrific abuses” in U.S. abortion facilities.

The group’s investigations send undercover journalists into abortion clinics to film how doctors and staff treat women, including those they believe to be underage girls who are seeking abortions. Some investigations have exposed late-term abortionists’ willingness to let babies who survive abortions die. Other investigations have exposed abortion clinic staffers voicing a willingness to avoid mandatory reporting laws in cases of possible statutory rape.
 
“The abortion industry puts profit above all other motives, and is willing to lie, injure and kill mothers, and rampantly slaughter innocent children to keep its multi-billion-dollar enterprise afloat,” Rose said.

She charged that LeRoy Carhart, a Nebraska abortionist profiled in the documentary, left a woman to die alone during a late-term abortion procedure that lasted several days.

“She suffered complications and could not get in touch with him because he had left the state and turned off his phone,” Rose said.

Montgomery County, Maryland officials declined to press charges for the February 2013 death, which involved a New York woman 33 weeks pregnant. She died from complications in an abortion that Carhart performed. Tiller’s murder drew vocal condemnation from Catholic leaders and other pro-life advocates.

In her remarks, Rose was also clear to reject violence against those who perform abortions.

“Our goal is to change hearts and minds – even those of abortionists – and persuade all people through logic, scientific evidence, and heartfelt personal stories that all human life is precious, with inherent dignity, and deserves to be protected.”
 

Knights co-launch film on hope among Haiti’s young amputees

New Haven, Conn., Aug 29, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Knights of Columbus partnered with Connecticut-based EVTV to produce a documentary on hope and healing of Haitian children injured in the catastrophic 2010 earthquake that rocked the country.

The film, “Unbreakable: A Story of Hope and Healing in Haiti,” will be featured at the Portland Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 30.

In January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed over 100,000 people, injured thousands and left around 1.5 million homeless. The documentary tells the story of an often overlooked group affected by the earthquake – thousands of children who received emergency amputations in order to survive the injuries they sustained.

“This film shows that when there is the will do so – both in terms of those providing aid and those receiving it – lives can be saved and transformed by a program that is truly sustainable,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson, executive producer of the documentary. “The work of the dedicated medical staff and the unbreakable spirit of these Haitian young people – in circumstances most of us can’t imagine – are truly inspiring.”

After the disaster, the Healing Haiti’s Children initiative offered free prosthetics and rehabilitation to every injured child that needed the care. The program, a result of a partnership of the Knights of Columbus and the University of Miami’s Project Medishare for Haiti, has helped more than 1,000 children received medical care.

Another result of the program also featured in the film was a soccer team comprised of many children who endured amputations. They named their team Zaryen, after a tarantula known for being able to survive and thrive even after losing a limb. In a country where disability is often seen as a sign of divinely appointed punishment, the soccer team’s story is helping to change that perception.

“In Haiti, there has long been a stigma about disabled people,” explained Dr. Robert Gailey, rehabilitation coordinator for Project Medishare in Port-au-Prince. “The traditional thinking was that disability somehow reflected a negative supernatural judgment on the person. This rehab program, and the soccer team, has really changed that way of thinking.”

The healthcare initiative now has a permanent rehabilitation clinic in Haiti that is increasingly staffed by locals in order to maintain a sustainable program that continues helping children.

“We’re still here…one of the few prosthetic facilities that are still going,” says prosthetist Adam Finnieston in the documentary. “That was our mission goal from the beginning, to build a sustainable facility…training locals.”

So far the Knights of Columbus have provided more than $1.5 million in funding for the prosthetics program. One of the most active charitable organizations in the United States, the Knights of Columbus last year donated more than $170 million and 70 million hours of service.

The film will be shown at the Portland film festival on Sat., Aug. 30 at 2:30 p.m. at Cinema 21.

UN intervention against ISIS would fit Pope’s call, scholar suggests

Front Royal, Va., Aug 28, 2014 / 05:48 pm (CNA).- The Pope’s support of international action against attacks by the Islamic State should be met with United Nations intervention, one Catholic professor said.   

“I think Pope Fra…

Successful Okla. lawsuit could stop future black masses

Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug 28, 2014 / 04:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A lawyer who helped recover a stolen Host that organizers of an Oklahoma City black mass intended to desecrate said that the Church’s legal victory could have far-reaching effects.

US bishops to honor 50th anniversary of civil rights milestones

Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2014 / 12:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops are encouraging commemorations of the 50th anniversary of milestones in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, saying they should inspire further work for the common good….

Scholars: Boko Haram caliphate claim may be inspired by ISIS

Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2014 / 08:00 am (CNA).- The Islamist extremist group Boko Haram’s claim to have established a caliphate – or a state ruled under Islamic law – in part of Nigeria draws inspiration from ISIS insurgents and from…

EWTN series to profile Catholics who ‘come home’

Roswell, Ga., Aug 27, 2014 / 08:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The evangelization group Catholics Come Home is set to premiere a 13-episode television series that fosters engagement in the “New Evangelization” and interviews people who have recent…

Law group defends pro-life students restricted to college ‘speech zone’

Mobile, Ala., Aug 27, 2014 / 01:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A student group at the University of South Alabama is challenging the university administration after being told its pro-life display must be limited to the school’s small “speech zone…

Archbishop: Be vigilant against US religious freedom threats

Orlando, Fla., Aug 27, 2014 / 11:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Amidst increasing violent religious persecution in the Middle East and Africa, it is vital for Christians in the U.S. to remain on guard of their own freedoms, said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

“I’m not given to apocalyptic predictions, but I do believe that we have to be vigilant,” Archbishop Lori said. “It’s easy to see that the threats to religious liberty in the West are starting to constrict religion more and more.”

Archbishop Lori serves as chairman of the U.S. bishop conference’s ad hoc committee on religious freedom as well as the supreme chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. He spoke with CNA in early August at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Florida.

There are two main challenges in regards to religious freedom in the United States, he said, and the first is the increasingly popular view of seeing religion as a purely private affair.

“(Religion is seen) as reducible simply and solely to freedom of worship, the sentiment that as long as you’re in church, do what you want, but don’t think about bringing religious values into public, into your place of work, into the political discussion,” he said.

This “freedom of worship” mentality is the root of the problem of religious freedom in the West, the archbishop said, and the other major challenge is the diminished view of the human person.

“One’s relationship with God and with the faith is thought to be a limitation, is thought to be a sort of an imposition of the human person,” he explained, “and that in order to be free, you need to be free of God and free of religion, therefore religious freedom in society is no longer a value.”

These root problems then take on many forms, from federal and state mandates restricting conscience rights regarding contraception to various threats posed by “gay marriage” advances, he said.

The importance of being vigilant and aware of potential domestic religious persecution can be difficult to see when it takes on a much more violent and visible form in other countries, he acknowledged.

“It’s a hard sell,” the archbishop said, “because churches are open here, Catholic Charities is functioning, nobody’s being imprisoned, so people will say, ‘Where’s the problem here?’”

But although there has been little to no physical violence in the West, the problems facing religious freedom here are no less real, he said.

“The threats are more subtle (in the West), many people don’t even perceive them, they happen bureaucratically, or legislatively, or judicially,” he said. “Whereas in other parts of the world…it’s bloody, violent, overt, but in both cases it’s a denial of the rights of conscience, it’s a denial of the fundamental freedom to relate to one’s own God.”

“We have to keep the flame of faith and freedom alive as an act of solidarity with those who are suffering so terribly around the world.”
 

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