Home   »   News   »   News – U.S.
Converted by love, not ideology: An archbishop’s reflection on Dorothy Day
Servant of God Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement and its newspaper, The Catholic Worker, is depicted in a stained-glass window at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in the Staten Island borough of New York. Day was received into the Catholic church at Our Lady Help of Christians in 1927 at age 30. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Servant of God Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement and its newspaper, The Catholic Worker, is depicted in a stained-glass window at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in the Staten Island borough of New York. Day was received into the Catholic church at Our Lady Help of Christians in 1927 at age 30. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

CNA/EWTN News

Last week, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles told scholars at the Dorothy Day Conference at St. Francis University that the social activist was not converted by ideology, but by love.

“It was not the teachings of the Church that convinced her to leave the past behind and change her life. She was changed by Love, changed by the over-powering awareness of the reality of God’s love and mercy,” the archbishop said during his May 14 keynote address at the Dorothy Day Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Archbishop Gomez said he admires the social activist for the example of holiness that she has left for today’s Catholics. Continue reading

 
Hundreds of US priests ask Synod to stand firm on Church teaching

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 4.10.44 PM

By Mary Rezac
CNA/EWTN News

Nearly 1,000 United States priests made their own a petition to the fathers of the upcoming Synod, originally made public and signed by nearly 500 English priests.

The statement’s wording is exactly that of the English version, and urges the fathers of the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family to issue a “clear and firm” proclamation of Church teaching on marriage and sexuality.

The organization Credo Priests has been circulating the petition and collecting online signatures, which are verified as U.S. Catholic clergy before appearing on the site. The signatory priests, sensing confusion among the laity after last year’s synod, said they wished to “re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.”

Among the U.S. signatures are seven bishops – three active and four retired. According to the Credo Priests website, the petition was signed in keeping with Pope Francis’ call for open and honest dialogue during the preliminary Extraordinary Synod on the Family last fall.

“…it is necessary to say all that, in the Lord, one feels the need to say: without polite deference, without hesitation. And, at the same time, one must listen with humility and welcome, with an open heart, what your brothers say,” Pope Francis said to the Extraordinary Synod fathers last October.

“The Holy Father has been very clear about the invitation for all people to comment on certain questions related to the synod and to provide their views,” said J.D. Flynn, director of communications for the Diocese of Lincoln, whose own Bishop Conley is one of the three active U.S. bishop signatories.

According to Flynn, Bishop Conley signed the petition because he saw it as a way of encouraging and supporting the Synod fathers in their upcoming work.

“I think he really saw it as something that supports the work of the synod because the synod is intending to do things that effectively proclaim the Gospel to the world of today and to the situations and the culture of today.’

An incorrectly translated midterm document as well as skewed media coverage of last year’s preliminary Synod led to confusion among many Catholics about the purpose and practical effects of a Synod. The purpose of this signed statement is to clarify where the Church stands in regards to its teachings on marriage and family, Flynn said.

“At times the secular media lacks an understanding of the context…(and) has tried to turn the conversation around the synod into something that’s partisan or divisive or that resembles the American political process, and that’s just not how the church works,” he added.

Bishop Kagan of Bismark, N.D., said he also thought the secular media was trying to understand the synod from the point of view of a political process, rather than as a dialogue amongst bishops who are in union under the same Pope.

“The secular media gave the impression that Cardinal Kasper was the pope’s spokesman,” Bishop Kagan said. “Well, he isn’t, the pope is perfectly capable of speaking for himself. Cardinal Kasper was not intellectually dishonest, he was expressing his own thoughts, and he’s free to do that.”

A look at Church history and the various synods and councils that have taken place will show that there has often been differences of personal opinion and perspective among the faithful during discussions, but this does not mean that everything everyone says will then be codified into official Church teaching, Bishop Kagan explained.

“If people in general want a good idea of how the synod works, or how a council works, read the section (in Acts of the Apostles) where Paul and Barnabas come to Jerusalem and meet with the apostles to clarify whether Gentile converts needing to be circumcised in order to be true Christians,” Bishop Kagan said. “That’s a very good analogy to keep in mind.”

Bishop Kagan said while he was aware of the English statement, he didn’t know a United States version existed until a priest in his diocese approached him and asked permission to sign it. After re-reading the statement himself, Bishop Kagan said he had no qualms with signing it himself.

“The credo statement certainly isn’t new, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any Catholic,” he said. “I see it as an expression of my fraternal support for my brother bishops and for the Holy Father, and it’s a great teaching moment for the whole church.”

Much of the media coverage during last year’s synod focused on the issue of whether or not divorced and re-married Catholics could receive communion, and whether any changes could be made to the annulment process. Bishop Kagan, who worked on annulment tribunals for 29 years, is well aware of the difficult and painful annulment process, and remains “hopeful that all of these issues will be addressed.”

However, the heart of the Synod is actually reaffirming marriage and family as the foundation of society itself, Bishop Kagan noted, and the credo statement simply supports that.

“Hopefully it isn’t misinterpreted,” he said. “It’s not a political agenda being pursued here.”

Posted May 18, 2015

Continue reading

 
Archbishop urges prayers for victims of ‘tragic train derailment’
Rescue workers search for victims in the wreckage of a derailed Amtrak train in Philadelphia May 12. At least six people died and eight others were in critical condition as a result of the crash, a doctor from Temple University Hospital said the morning of May 13. (CNS photo/Bryan Woolston, Reuters)

Rescue workers search for victims in the wreckage of a derailed Amtrak train in Philadelphia May 12. At least six people died and eight others were in critical condition as a result of the crash, a doctor from Temple University Hospital said the morning of May 13. (CNS photo/Bryan Woolston, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput May 13 urged prayers for all affected by the Amtrak train derailment in the city’s Port Richmond neighborhood that left at least six people dead and injured more than 200 others.

“I urge all people of goodwill to join me in extending prayerful condolences to those mourning the sudden loss of a loved one and in asking the Lord to bring healing to all those suffering physical and emotional anguish in the wake of this incident,” he said in a statement.

“Let us also pray for all of the first responders, emergency personnel, and medical professionals who have been working to assist those affected by the derailment,” he added. “May God bless and protect them.” Continue reading

 
For Catholics in West Baltimore, only answer to violence is community

People clean up a CVS store April 28 that was looted and set on fire during clashes with police in Baltimore. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to address the violence that erupted in response to the unexplained death of a 25-year-old black man while in police custody. (CNS photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters)

By Matt Hadro & Adelaide Mena
CNA/EWTN News 

After unrest erupted in Baltimore following the death of 25 year-old Freddie Gray, Catholics stepped up to restore their communities and pray for peace and justice in their neighborhoods.

“The community, to me, is not those people that come in and sell drugs. It’s the people that come out and volunteer to help clean up,” volunteer Ray Kelly told CNA. Continue reading

 
Supreme Court doesn’t tip hand: asks tough questions of both sides in marriage case

Citizens gathered in downtown Cincinnati last August to argue for and against the redefinition of marriage. The debate continues now at the U.S. Supreme Court. (CT Photo/John Stegeman)

By Matt Hadro & Adelaide Mena
CNA/EWTN News 

U.S. Supreme Court justices asked tough questions of both plaintiffs and respondents at oral arguments on Tuesday in a possibly landmark marriage case that is expected to be decided in June.

“Clearly, the justices were conflicted over this issue,” stated the Heritage Foundation’s William E. Simon senior fellow Ryan Anderson, who attended the April 28 oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Continue reading

 
Writer, sister, friend – Sr. Mary Ann Walsh remembered for ‘dedication to the truth’

Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, 68, a writer in the Catholic press and longtime spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops, died April 28 in Albany, N.Y. She is pictured in a 2012 photo. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

By Mary Rezac & Michelle Bauman
Catholic News Agency 

Many journalists would say they have a passion for truth, but for Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, that took on added significance as she worked for the Church she loved.

Ubiquitous in the world of U.S. Catholic media, Sr. Walsh was well-known among Catholic news publications across the country and beyond.

The 68-year old Catholic sister and former director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) passed away on April 28 after multiple battles with cancer. Continue reading

 
Fleeting peace as Baltimore pays final respects to Freddie Gray

A demonstrator jumps on a damaged Baltimore police vehicle during clashes in the city April 27. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to address the violence after the unexplained death of a 25-year-old black man while in police custody. (CNS photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters)

By Paul McMullen
Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — For four hours April 27, Freddie Gray Jr. was patiently and prayerfully memorialized.

That peace, however, was extremely fragile.

Gray, 25, died April 19, one week after being arrested on a weapons charge and sustaining a severe spinal cord injury in West Baltimore while in police custody. Thirty-six hours after a downtown protest over his death turned violent, a funeral was held for Gray a few miles to the northwest, at New Shiloh Baptist Church. Continue reading

 
Utah bishop named to head Santa Fe Archdiocese

Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City responds to a question during a Sept. 11, 2013 press conference at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' headquarters in Washington. (CNS photo /Bob Roller)

By Catholic News Service 

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and named Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, Utah, to succeed him.

Archbishop Sheehan, who has headed the Santa Fe Archdiocese since1993, turned 75 last year, the age at which bishops are required under canon law to submit their resignations to the pope. Continue reading

 
Longtime Chicago barber made Cardinal George laugh and look good

Mourners file past the casket of Cardinal Francis E. George at the April 22 visitation at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Cardinal George, who retired as archbishop of Chicago in 2014, died April 17 after a long battle with cancer. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World)

By Joyce Duriga
Catholic News Service

CHICAGO — Alfredo Fricano is probably one of the only people who could get away with telling Cardinal Francis E. George he looked like a “bum.”

Once the cardinal’s longtime barber — who his clients just call Alfredo — saw him on TV and noticed he needed a haircut so he called the residence.

“I said, ‘Your eminence, you look like a bum.’ He said, ‘Who is this?’ And I said, ‘Your hairstylist.’ I said, ‘Your hair, you need a haircut. You want to ruin my business?'” Alfredo recalled in his Italian accent, gesturing with his hands.

The cardinal laughed and the next day he was in for a haircut. The two men often joked with each other.

Alfredo said the cardinal was a good man with a great sense of humor who patronized his shop at State and Chicago avenues for 15 years. Continue reading

 
Two American bishops retire, successors named by Pope

Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt, at right, is pictured with Pope Benedict XVI during an ad limina visit. Bishop Brandt's resignation was recently accepted by Pope Francis. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

By Catholic News Service 

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and appointed as his successor Father Edward C. Malesic, judicial vicar of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Just one day prior, the Holy Father 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 Brandt, who has headed the Greensburg Diocese since 2004, is 76, one year past the age that bishops are required by canon law to turn in their resignation to the pope. Bishop-designate Malesic, 54, has been judicial vicar and secretary of canonical services in Harrisburg since 2006. Continue reading