TOP STORIES

  • 1 of 4


    May 28, 2015

    New pastoral looks at Catholics' identity, today's challenges to faith

    By Mark Zimmermann
    Catholic News Service
    (CNS file photo/Paul Haring)

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (right) has issued a new pastoral letter "about who we are as Catholics."

  • 2 of 4


    May 28, 2015

    Polish leaders hope Pope Francis visits Auschwitz when he comes in 2016


    (CNS photo/Stanislaus Rozpedzik, EPA)

    By Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service
    OXFORD, England (CNS) -- Although no date has been set, church leaders in Poland hope Pope Francis will visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz during a July 2016 visit to Poland for World Youth Day.

  • 3 of 4


    May 28, 2015

    UPDATED: Nebraska bishops welcome override of veto of bill ending death penalty


    (CNS file photo/Lisa Maxson, Catholic Voice) 

    By Catholic News Service
    LINCOLN, Neb. (CNS) -- Nebraska state senators overrode Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto of a bill repealing capital punishment that had been supported by the state's Catholic bishops.

  • 4 of 4


    May 27, 2015

    Patten: Vatican media must be professional, but reform won't be pillage

    By Simon Caldwell
    Catholic News Service
    (CNS file photo)

    LONDON (CNS) -- The Vatican must stop running its media operation from silos, said the leader of papal commission set up to advise how the Vatican can better communicate with the church and the world.


Jan 23, 2013

Pro-life advocates mark Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade


 

NATIONAL


(CNS photo/Jeff Haynes, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

Washington (CNS) -- Special Masses, prayer vigils and other events around the country marked the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion virtually on demand in the United States.

In Washington, pro-life advocates demonstrated in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, and March for Life officials finalized plans for the annual event that draws tens of thousands of Catholics and other pro-life advocates from across the country to the National Mall.

This year, the annual March for Life is set for Jan. 25 -- instead of Jan. 22 -- to accommodate participants because the anniversary date fell the day after public ceremonies for the presidential inauguration.

On Jan. 26, the ninth annual Walk for Life West Coast is scheduled to take place in San Francisco. The event drew 40,000 participants last year.

About 500 people from across Iowa gathered in Des Moines Jan. 19 for the first Midwest March for Life, organized by Iowa Right to Life. Gov. Terry Branstad greeted the participants and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines offered the invocation.

The marchers circled the Iowa Capitol, "utilizing the symbolism of the Israelites marching around the walled city of Jericho," organizers said. Faith leaders lead people in prayer at different points in the march.

                                (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

In New York City, a prayer vigil in New York City was held across the street from an abortion clinic. It drew more than 400 participants. The Jan. 22 vigil followed a rosary procession that began at St. Patrick's Cathedral after a Mass with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan as the principal celebrant.

In his homily, he called the Roe anniversary "one of our gloomiest days" and "America at her least noble."

Later he told a CBS radio reporter that "the abortion culture, the culture of death, seems to have a stranglehold on the United States," but he also said prayer gives pro-life advocates "a sense of hope" that "the most basic civil right of all -- the right to life" will be restored in law.

The Detroit Archdiocese planned to host hundreds of attendees at its third annual "Life is a Gift" conference Jan. 26 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

Roe v. Wade "has done women no favors," said Judith Maten, archdiocesan director of evangelization and catechesis and emcee for the conference.

"In the Catholic Church, we are focused on the dignity of life -- and it goes to the very heart of Catholic social teaching," she said in a statement. The conference offered a chance "to recommit ourselves to the truths we profess about life -- especially as much of secular society, and even the government, oppose our ideals," she added.

In the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., church bells tolled Jan. 22. "We hope that as the bells are ringing that people will stop to pray for the many families that have been injured by the sad and tragic abortion decision," Father Paul Schenck, director of the diocese's Respect Life Office, said in a statement issued in advance of the event.

(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

In their statement on the Roe anniversary, the Catholic bishops of Nebraska said:

"We pray that 40 years 'in the desert' with Roe v. Wade will be followed by what Blessed John Paul II called a 'new culture of human life.' Although the struggle to build a culture of life will continue to be challenging, there are signs of hope," they said.

"Large and growing numbers of young people are filling the ranks of the pro-life movement, ultrasound technology has revealed, in unmistakable detail, the humanity of the unborn child, and increasing numbers of post-abortive women are speaking out to say abortion hurts women and women deserve better."

They added: "As followers of Christ, we should be equally reassured by our faith that this struggle is not premised upon a victory to be achieved in the future but on a victory that has already been achieved by our Lord's death and resurrection. ... Our Lord calls us to be faithful and persistent in our efforts to proclaim and defend the sacred dignity of human life."

It was signed by Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha, Bishop James D Conley of Lincoln and Bishop William J. Dendinger of Grand Island.

"Abortion is seen as the solution to an unforeseen problem," stated Florida's Catholic bishops. "No person, made in the image and likeness of God, is a problem. In fact each human being is a blessing from God."

In Denver, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila was the main celebrant at an annual Respect Life Mass Jan. 20 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. He also presided at a prayer service outside a women's center across the street from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

In a pastoral letter released Jan. 22, he said that 40 years of legalized abortion have "coarsened us. We've learned to see people as problems and objects ... Our nation has found new ways to weaken the family, to marginalize the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill -- we've found new ways to exploit and abuse."

He asked Catholics to join him "in a new resolve to build a culture which sees with the eyes of God ... Today is a day to repent. But with repentance comes resolve to start anew," he wrote. "The 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade is a day to commit to a culture of life. Today the Lord is calling us to stand up."