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Violence against women is a ‘scourge,’ pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Violence against women is “a social scourge that is also linked...

Russia imprisons two priests. Ukrainian bishop intercedes on their behalf

Bishop Meniok described the Redemptorists’ detention as “groundless and unlawful”.

The post Russia imprisons two priests. Ukrainian bishop intercedes on their behalf appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Pope’s Three Guidelines to the International Theological Commission

In his address to the International Theological Commission, the Holy Father asked his listeners to ask themselves if the Theology classes arouse astonishment and he noted the need to increase the number of women theologians in the Commission.

The post Pope’s Three Guidelines to the International Theological Commission appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Nine Months After the Invasion of Ukraine, Pope Writes to the Ukrainian People

“I would like the affection of the Church, the strength of prayer, the love that so many brothers and sisters from all latitudes feel for you, be caresses to your faces,” says the Holy Father to Ukrainians, in a letter addressed especially to the people.

The post Nine Months After the Invasion of Ukraine, Pope Writes to the Ukrainian People appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Bishop Chairmen Implore Congress to Reverse Course on Harmful “Respect for Marriage Act”

WASHINGTON – In advance of Monday’s Senate vote on H.R. 8404, the “Respect for Marriage Act” (RMA), Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, issued a joint letter and analysis urging Congress to oppose the measure. 

“Our opposition to RMA by no means condones any hostility toward anyone who experiences same-sex attraction. Catholic teaching on marriage is inseparable from Catholic teaching on the inherent dignity and worth of every human being. To attack one is to attack the other. Congress must have the courage to defend both.

“The Respect for Marriage Act’s rejection of timeless truths about marriage is evident on its face and in its purpose. It would also betray our country’s commitment to the fundamental right of religious liberty…

“Unfortunately, a number of religious groups and senators are asserting that the amended text of RMA sufficiently protects religious freedom. From the perspective of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose bishops’ ministries comprise the largest non-governmental provider of social services in the United States, the provisions of the Act that relate to religious liberty are insufficient. If passed, the amended Act will put the ministries of the Catholic Church, people of faith, and other Americans who uphold a traditional meaning of marriage at greater risk of government discrimination.

“This bill is needless and harmful and must be voted down. At the same time, Congress, and our nation as a whole, must resolve to foster a culture where every individual, as a child of God, is treated with respect and compassion.”  

The letter to Congress is accompanied by a detailed explanation of the religious liberty problems in the Act and its potential consequences.

The complete letter and analysis are available here.

Previous USCCB statements and resources on the Act may be found at the following links:

  • Cardinal Dolan’s November 17 Statement in Response to the Senate’s Vote 
  • Cardinal Dolan’s November 15 article, “The ’Respect for Marriage Act’ Stacks the Deck against Religious Freedom” 
  • Archbishop Cordileone’s letter to the House of Representatives and letter to the Senate. 

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Most Reverend Robert Evans, Auxiliary Bishop of Providence; Appoints Most Reverend Richard Henning, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre as Coadjutor Bishop of Providence

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert C. Evans, 75, from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of Providence. At the same time, Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Richard G. Henning, currently auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, as Coadjutor Bishop of Providence.  

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, D.C. on November 23, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Henning’s biography may be found here.

The Diocese of Providence is comprised of 1,085 square miles in the state of Rhode Island and has a total population of 1,097,379 of which 603,558 are Catholic.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for Religious Liberty on “Respect for Marriage Act”

WASHINGTON - On November 16, 2022, the United States Senate voted 62–37 to advance the Respect for Marriage Act.  In response, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement:

“It is deeply concerning that the U.S. Senate has voted to proceed toward potential passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would essentially codify the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell that found a constitutional right to same-sex civil marriages.

“The Catholic Church will always uphold the unique meaning of marriage as a lifelong, exclusive union of one man and one woman. In doing so, we are joined by millions of what the Obergefell Court called ‘reasonable and sincere’ Americans – both religious and secular – who share this time-honored understanding of the truth and beauty of marriage.

“Senators promoting the Act have claimed that their amended bill ‘respects and protects Americans’ religious liberties,’ but the provisions of the Act that relate to religious liberty are insufficient.

Obergefell created countless religious liberty conflicts, but the Act offers only limited protections. Those protections fail to resolve the main problem with the Act: in any context in which conflicts between religious beliefs and same-sex civil marriage arise, the Act will be used as evidence that religious believers must surrender to the state’s interest in recognizing same-sex civil marriages. Wedding cake bakers, faith-based adoption and foster care providers, religious employers seeking to maintain their faith identity, faith-based housing agencies – are all at greater risk of discrimination under this legislation.

“The bill is a bad deal for the many courageous Americans of faith and no faith who continue to believe and uphold the truth about marriage in the public square today. The Act does not strike a balance that appropriately respects our nation’s commitment to the fundamental right of religious liberty. Senators supporting the Act must reverse course and consider the consequences of passing an unnecessary law that fails to provide affirmative protections for the many Americans who hold this view of marriage as both true and foundational to the common good.”

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Recap of U.S. Bishops’ Annual Fall Plenary in Baltimore

BALTIMORE - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gathered November 14-17 for their Fall Plenary Assembly in Baltimore. During their meeting, the bishops elected a new president, vice-president, and secretary to lead the Conference; their terms began immediately at the conclusion of the 2022 plenary today. During their gathering, the body of bishops also elected new chairmen of seven standing committees. Six of the elected bishops will serve for one year as the committee chairman-elect before beginning a three-year term that begins at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2023 Plenary Assembly, and the new chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities assumes the chairmanship immediately to complete the term of the previous chairman who was voted Conference vice president.

The assembly began with an address by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles gave his final address as USCCB president upon completion of his three-year term.

The bishops spent time in prayer and fraternal dialogue with one another throughout the gathering. In acknowledgment of twenty years since the drafting and passage of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the bishops were led in prayer and reflection by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR of Newark and Mr. Mark Joseph Williams.

The robust agenda for the bishops’ assembly included updates on the following items: the Synod of Bishops; the ongoing war in Ukraine; the bishops’ Eucharistic Revival initiative and national congress; the Church’s support for women and families in light of the Supreme Court’s decision this summer in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization; policy advocacy and ongoing work of Migration and Refugee Services; information on World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal; and the Journeying Together intercultural dialogue and encounter process.

The bishops also engaged in discussion on the approach to their teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, and its related materials to be executed over the next year. By an overwhelming majority, the bishops voted to reissue the teaching document without revisions but add supplemental materials and begin a process of reexamining the teaching document following the 2024 election.

The bishops voted with 215 in favor, 4 against, and 1 abstention to approve the 2023 proposed budget, presented by the Committee on Budget and Finance.

The Latin Church members of the USCCB voted to approve revisions in rites related to the anointing of the sick and lay ministry to the sick, as well as liturgical texts for two recently instituted feast days:

  • A revision of the U.S. English-language edition of “The Order of the Anointing of the Sick and of their Pastoral Care” was approved with 196 in favor, 4 against, and 1 abstention. A new U.S. Spanish language edition of the same text was approved with 200 in favor, 3 against, and 3 abstentions.
  • The texts of prayers and rites in English that can be used by lay ecclesial ministers in their ministry to the sick, “Lay Ministry to the Sick” was approved with 196 in favor, 8 against, and 2 abstentions. The Spanish-language edition of the same text was approved with 196 in favor, 8 against, and 2 abstentions.
  • Liturgical texts for the two optional memorials, the memorial for Saint Paul VI (May 29), and the memorial for Our Lady of Loreto (December 10) passed with 204 in favor, 0 against, and 0 abstentions.

The approval of all texts requires a two-thirds vote of the Latin-rite bishops, and the “The Order of the Anointing of the Sick and of their Pastoral Care” also requires “recognitio” from the Vatican.

The bishops were also consulted on the causes of beatification and canonization for three lay persons: Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy, Michelle Duppong, and Cora Louise Evans. By a voice vote, the bishops affirmed support for the advancement of all three causes of beatification and canonization on the diocesan level.

Tune in to USCCB’s Catholic Current for November 15 and November 16 from Baltimore. News updates, texts of addresses and presentations, and other materials from the 2022 plenary are posted to: www.usccb.org/meetings.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops Vote for USCCB Secretary and Committee Chairmen at Fall Plenary Assembly

BALTIMORE - On Tuesday, the Catholic bishops of the United States elected Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). They also elected Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore as Conference vice president. Both assume office immediately following the Fall Plenary. Today, the bishops elected Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City as Conference secretary and chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans in a 130-104 vote over Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, of Newark. Archbishop Coakley fills the vacancy that is left as Archbishop Broglio who has been serving as USCCB secretary since 2019, assumes the Conference presidency.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has also elected the chairs of seven standing committees at their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington was elected as chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities in a 174-63 vote over Bishop W. Sean McKnight of Jefferson City, and fills the vacancy created with the election of Archbishop Lori as Conference vice-president. He assumes his post at the end of this year’s Fall General Assembly and will serve through November 2024, at which time he will be eligible for re-election.

The remaining six will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2023 Fall Plenary Assembly. The bishops elected as chairmen-elect are:

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance in a 147-91 vote over Bishop Alfred A. Schlert of Allentown.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in a 128-111 vote over Bishop Peter L. Smith, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon.

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis in a 149-90 vote over Bishop William D. Byrne of Springfield in Massachusetts.

Bishop Abdallah Elias Zaidan, MLM, of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, as chairman-elect of the Committee on International Justice and Peace in a 148-95 vote over Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia.

Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond, as chairman-elect of the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People in a 127-114 vote over Bishop Elias R. Lorenzo, OSB, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark.

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Religious Liberty in a 165-77 vote over Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops Affirm Advancement of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Servant of God Cora Louise Evans

BALTIMORE - At their annual fall Plenary Assembly, the bishops of the United States held a canonical consultation on the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Cora Louise Evans, lay woman.

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, and Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Monterey, facilitated the discussion by the bishops. By a voice vote, the bishops expressed support for the advancement of the cause of beatification and canonization on the diocesan level.

A brief biography of Cora Louise Evans was provided by the Diocese of Monterey:

Cora Evans was born July 9, 1904 and was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She married Maclellan (“Mack”) Evans in the well-known Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah. That event was the turning point in her life. She later claimed that the ceremony left her disillusioned and disappointed with her faith, especially the doctrine that placed man-made gods above the God of Abraham. “I was without a God and religion but had gained a very wonderful husband. As I looked at him and learned to love him more and more, I resolved to help find a God for him. After ten years of searching, we found the One True God in the Roman Catholic Church,” she said.

In the decade that followed, Cora and Mack had three children. When they suffered the loss of their child, Bobby, when he was ten months old, Cora looked into many religions for comfort and consolation. Her upbringing prevented her from inquiring about Catholicism.

On December 9, 1934, while living in Ogden, Utah, Cora was ill in bed and the radio was on the other side of the room. Alone and too ill to get out of bed to change the station when the Catholic Hour began broadcasting, Cora listened to Monsignor Duane Hunt talk about the Blessed Mother and the teachings of the Catholic faith. His message conflicted with the negative stories Cora had been told about Catholics, and as soon as she recovered from her illness, she went to nearby St. Joseph Catholic Church to inquire about the faith and have her questions answered. Her inquiry led to a series of meetings, including debates in her home between the parish priest, Reverend Edward Vaughn, and several Mormon bishops. Cora appreciated Father Vaughn’s demeanor and the clarity of his responses to questions about Catholic doctrine

Cora was baptized into the Catholic Church on March 30, 1935 and received her first Holy Communion the next day. Her husband and daughters, LaVonne and Dorothy, followed her lead a few months later. She died March 30, 1957.

Cora influenced many Mormons to visit St. Joseph Catholic Church, inviting them to open house gatherings, and years later, Father Vaughn wrote a letter confirming that through Cora’s evangelization efforts, there were hundreds of conversions of Mormons to the Catholic faith.

The cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Cora Louis Evans was formally opened in June 2010.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200