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  • Jesuit priest, longtime astronomy fan, reflects on Apollo 11 anniversary

    MIAMI (CNS) -- Jesuit Father Pedro Cartaya remembers shaking hands with astronaut Neil Armstrong. On Aug. 5, 1969, the priest was in New York City, among the crowd waiting to see the parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts. As the vehicle with the astronauts came by, Father Cartaya was fortunate enough to quickly shake hands with the first human to walk on the moon. He told Armstrong, "Great job! God bless you."

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  • Archbishop outlines steps on financial policies for West Virginia diocese

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- As apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori announced July 17 that in working with the diocese's finance council, he has directed a number of steps to strengthen financial stewardship and ensure proper checks and balances are enforced.

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  • Agencies 'appalled' by reports U.S. could end refugee admissions

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- News that officials in the Trump administration are considering "zeroing out" the number of refugees accepted by the United States brought an immediate outcry from the chairman of the U.S. bishops' migration committee and leaders of Catholic and other faith-based agencies that resettle refugees.

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  • Pope issues sanctions against former West Virginia bishop

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston announced July 19 sanctions from the Vatican -- including taking away the faculties of celebrating Mass -- against a former West Virginia bishop who stepped down last year under a cloud of allegations of sexual and financial misconduct.

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  • 'We need a habitat on the moon,' says former NASA flight director

    HOUSTON (CNS) -- Upcoming space travel plans need to include living on the moon, similar to scientific habitats in the Arctic and Antarctica, said Gene Kranz, NASA's former flight director. "I believe we need a habitat on the moon just like we have scientists living at the North and South Poles," Kranz said, a parishioner at Shrine of the True Cross Catholic Church in Dickinson, Texas. "The challenge of a long-term facility and learning to use the resources of the moon is needed for scientific and economic objectives, not political reasons. It needs to be a world project."

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  • Minn. diocese reaches $5 million settlement with abuse survivors

    CROOKSTON, Minn. (CNS) -- The Diocese of Crookston announced July 17 it has reached a $5 million settlement with victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse. The settlement resolves 15 lawsuits for sexual abuse claims filed between April 2016 and May 2017 because of the Minnesota Child Victims Act. The legislation lifted the statute of limitations on abuse cases in Minnesota, opening a three-year window that allowed victims an opportunity to file civil claims even on cases alleged to have happened decades ago.

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  • Faith is no trick up this magician's sleeve

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- For Giancarlo Bernini, a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, things are not always as they appear and that's a good thing because it is how he plans to make a living.

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  • Orange diocese to dedicate Christ Cathedral

    Orange, Calif., Jul 15, 2019 CNA.- The Diocese of Orange will dedicate its Christ Cathedral July 17 after a seven-year, $77-million renovation process. “I would pray and hope that it (the Christ Cathedral) will build on the heritage we have and help bring new life and commitment and joy in the age we live and that through here the diocese will have a focal point of unity where God will be known and loved,” Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange told CNA.

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  • HHS brings Protect Life Rule into effect

    Washington D.C., Jul 15, 2019 CNA.- The Trump administration announced Monday evening that parts of the Protect Life Rule, which prohibits recipients of Title X family planning funds to refer or provide abortion services, will go into effect immediately.

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  • Faith leaders decry ICE deportations, say action causes fear

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Many Catholic and other faith leaders noted that the Gospel reading for July 14 -- the day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was to carry out deportation orders for some immigrants -- was the parable of the good Samaritan from the Gospel of St. Luke.

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  • Plan to change how inflation is measured concerns advocates for poor

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Trump administration is weighing a plan that uses a different definition of inflation to determine who lives in poverty and who does not. The plan, floated in the spring, has raised concerns among Catholic advocates for low-income and working families. They said that hundreds of thousands of people would no longer be eligible to receive assistance under federal programs if it is adopted.

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  • Report claims church leaders long knew about Bransfield accusations

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A recent newspaper report details claims that senior church leaders in the United States knew as far back as 2012 about complaints against a West Virginia bishop whose spending habits and recent accusations of sexual misconduct have dogged the body of U.S. bishops at a time when they're seeking a path toward greater accountability for themselves.

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  • Connecticut bishops urge 'complete overhaul' of U.S. immigration policy

    HARTFORD, Conn. (CNS) -- Connecticut's Catholic bishops, in a joint message to the state's Catholics, called for a "complete overhaul" of U.S. immigration policy. The July 10 letter was sparked by the photo showing the bodies of two Salvadorans, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, and his daughter, Angie Valeria, both of whom drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande from Mexico to the United States.

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  • Makers of 'Unplanned' say social media shutdown among hurdles film faced

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The directors of "Unplanned," the life-affirming, true story of a Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life activist, described a White House summit on social media as a needed opportunity for conservatives to discuss how Facebook, Twitter and Google and other outlets are shutting out their voices.

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  • U.S. bishop among nearly 200 faith leaders speaking against war in Iran

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Two Catholic bishops are among nearly 200 faith leaders calling on President Donald Trump's administration to pursue diplomacy to resolve conflicts with Iran. Bishop John E. Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, bishop-president of Pax Christi USA, and Bishop Marc Stenger of Troyes, France, co-president of Pax Christi International, were among the signers of a statement released July 8.

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  • Catholic schools in Memphis to reopen as charter schools this fall

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CNS) -- As this school year wound down, the halls of the Jubilee Catholic Schools in Memphis, which opened 20 years ago, became still. For students, faculty and staff, it was hardly the usual end-of-the-year packing up, because when these nine schools reopen in the fall they will not be Catholic schools but charter schools.

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  • New commission to review role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Trump administration named a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican to chair a new commission that will review the role of human rights in foreign policy. Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard Law School professor, will chair the Commission on Unalienable Rights, which is expected to elevate concerns about abortion and religious freedom.

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  • 'Dangerous' bill on seal of confession withdrawn before key hearing

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- In a last-minute twist, a California bill that would have required priests to break the sacramental seal of confession was shelved by its sponsor amid a remarkable grassroots campaign mounted by the state's Catholics, members of other faith groups, and religious liberty advocates from across the country.

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  • Judge blocks Ohio's ban on abortions after fetal heartbeat detected

    CINCINNATI (CNS) -- A federal judge July 3 granted a preliminary injunction blocking an Ohio ban on abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Judge Michael Barrett of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio said in 12-page order the court conclude that the law, signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in April, "places an 'undue burden' on a woman's right to choose a pre-viability abortion, and ... plaintiffs are certain to succeed on the merits of their claim."

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  • Love and family is Christian vision for a happy life, says archbishop

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- "A society where children are no longer being born is a society where people no longer understand what makes life worth living," Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said at the annual summer liturgy conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame's McGrath Institute for Church Life.

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  • Chicago woman's healing is miracle in Cardinal Newman's sainthood cause

    CHICAGO (CNS) -- A few prayers to Blessed John Henry Newman became a "constant dialogue" and then a desperate response to an emergency for Melissa Villalobos of Chicago. Her healing, which saved her life and the life of her unborn child, was accepted as the miracle needed for the 19th-century British cardinal's canonization.

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  • USCCB leaders decry policies they say led to child deaths at border

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in an op-ed cast blame on government policies for recent child deaths near the U.S.-Mexico border. In a June 30 op-ed published by The Hill newspaper in Washington, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB president and vice president, respectively, and Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman the Committee on Migration, called attention to the recent deaths of a Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande River near McAllen, Texas, in late June, as well as the deaths of other children who died while in immigration authorities' custody in 2019 and 2018.

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  • Archbishop's remains moved to Peoria; sainthood cause is reopened

    PEORIA, Ill. (CNS) -- As a small group of witnesses silently looked on, the mortal remains of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen were interred at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria late in the afternoon of June 27, completing a transfer from St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York that began early that morning.

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  • Vatican-Israel accord of 1994 called 'action' step for 'Nostra Aetate'

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Jewish and Catholic leaders met in a spirit of joy and cooperation at a 25th anniversary celebration marking the Vatican's recognition of the state of Israel. The historic step began with the signing of the "Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See and the State of Israel," which established diplomatic relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish state. The formal opening of relations took place June 15, 1994.

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  • App aims to encourage more giving at church, prompt 'cashless' to donate

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Catholic community has created its own Catholic Match, Bible apps and even confession preparation apps. Now, it has a Catholic Venmo. Cathio, a free payment processor application for iPhone and Android, will "transform the way the Catholic community moves money," founders said in a news release announcing the app.

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  • Supreme Court stops citizenship question in census, for now

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Supreme Court, for now, blocked the Trump administration's added citizenship question to the 2020 census, sending the case back to a lower court. A 5-4 ruling handed down June 27, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined in part by the other justices, said the administration's reason for adding the citizenship question "seems to have been contrived."

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  • In responding to gender theory, 'forming the formators' is key, educators say

    Washington D.C., Jun 24, 2019 CNA.- Amid a flurry of headlines denouncing the Vatican for releasing a document condemning “gender theory,” theology professors and Catholic educators told CNA that the document will be helpful in setting priorities for Catholic educators going forward, as Catholic schools respond to questions about LGBT issues.

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  • Brooklyn Collars vs. Scholars game part of Catholic education celebration

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) -- For the second straight year, the Brooklyn clergy showed their prowess on the softball diamond with a 2-1 win over principals and teachers of diocesan schools. The annual Collars vs. Scholars game was played June 17 at the MCU Park baseball stadium in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. It's the home field of the New York Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones.

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  • Institute helps priests, seminarians be 'better instrument' of God's love

    OMAHA, Neb. (CNS) -- As a young priest, Father Jeffrey Lorig was struggling. Ordained two years earlier, in 2004, he began to question his vocation. He took a leave of absence, but his soul was filled with darkness. He was depressed, and the priesthood no longer seemed attractive. He dreaded returning to parish ministry.

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