The art Pope Francis loves

July 7, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Vatican City, Jul 7, 2017 / 08:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- What is Pope Francis’ idea of art?

A new documentary titled ‘Pope Francis – My idea of art,’ delves into the Roman Pontiff’s artistic side and explore what art person… […]

London hospital seeks another hearing in Charlie Gard case

July 7, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

London, England, Jul 7, 2017 / 04:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Great Ormond Street Hospital in London is applying for a new hearing with the high court after new evidence suggests the critically ill baby could benefit from an experimental treatment.

The decision comes after a team of seven international medical experts alerted the hospital that fresh, unpublished data suggested that an experimental drug could improve Charlie’s brain condition.

One of the signatories of the letter is a researcher and neurologist with the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome, which offered to transfer Charlie to their facilities earlier this week. Great Ormond Hospital said they denied the transfer for legal reasons.  

“Two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to us as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment,” a hospital spokesman said, according to the BBC.

“We believe, in common with Charlie’s parents, it is right to explore this evidence,” they said.

“Great Ormond Street Hospital is giving the High Court the opportunity to objectively assess the claims of fresh evidence…It will be for the High Court to make its judgment on the facts,” they said.

Charlie has been diagnosed with mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease thought to affect just 16 children in the world. The disease causes progressive muscle weakness and can cause death in the first year of life.

Charlie’s case has caught international attention for the various legal battles that his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have fought in an attempt to save their son’s life.

The current decision of the hospital to apply for the appeal comes as a surprise after Charlie’s parents were denied their request by the High Court to take Charlie to a hospital in the United States to seek experimental treatment, even after they had raised over $1 million to take him there. Charlie’s parents were also denied their request to take their son home to die.

Both the Vatican pediatric hospital and Pope Francis have expressed their support for Charlie.

“The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the story of Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to his parents,” read a July 2 statement issued by Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.
“He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected.”
On June, the day the Charlie’s life support was initially scheduled to be disconnected, the Pope also used his Twitter account to send a clear pro-life message in the infant’s favor:

“To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.”

Charlie’s case will be heard by Justice Francis on Monday at 2 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern) according to a High Court listing.




Pope Francis to G20 Summit: With great power comes great responsibility

July 7, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Hamburg, Germany, Jul 7, 2017 / 10:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis sent a message to leaders of the world’s economy gathered for the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, reminding them of the responsibility they have to care for those not represented at the summit.

The G20 Summit is annual meeting of heads of state and finance from the leaders of the world’s economy. While only 20 countries are members, they represent 85 percent of the world’s GDP and two-thirds of it’s population.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting this year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany from July 7-8. The summit has been met this year with small but significant groups of mostly anti-capitalist protesters, who among other things are protesting the meeting of U.S. President Donald Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his address to the leaders, Pope Francis reflected on four key themes, starting with “time is greater than space,” at which point he told the group to consider effective solutions for the immigration crisis that has hit Europe and the Middle East in the past several years. Immigration was already listed on the agenda of the G20 group, for which the Pope said he was thankful.

“An effective solution, necessarily spread over time, will be possible only if the final objective of the process is clearly present in its planning,” he said.

“In the minds and hearts of government leaders, and at every phase of the enactment of political measures, there is a need to give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees and the excluded, without distinction of nation, race, religion or culture, and to reject armed conflicts.”

He paused to especially remind the group of the crisis in South Sudan, where thirty million people are lacking the food and water to survive.

In his next point, “unity prevails over conflict,” the Pope reminded the group that “war…is never a solution”, reiterating the words of Pope Benedict XV.

“There is a tragic contradiction and inconsistency in the apparent unity expressed in common forums on economic or social issues, and the acceptance, active or passive, of armed conflicts,” Francis said.

The Pope also told the summit in his third theme that “realities are more important than ideas”, and asked them not to fall into the ideologies of the first half of the 20th century that brought “exclusion, waste and even death.”

“I pray to God that the Hamburg Summit may be illumined by the example of those European and world leaders who consistently gave pride of place to dialogue and the quest of common solutions: Schuman, De Gasperi, Adenauer, Monnet and so many others,” he said.

And finally, the Holy Father asked the global leaders to remember that “the whole is greater than the part.”

“Problems need to be resolved concretely and with due attention to their specificity, but such solutions, to be lasting, cannot neglect a broader vision,” he said.

“While it is reasonable that G20 Summits should be limited to the small number of countries that represent 90% of the production of wealth and services worldwide, this very situation must prompt the participants to a profound reflection. Those states and individuals whose voice is weakest on the world political scene are precisely the ones who suffer most from the harmful effects of economic crises for which they bear little or no responsibility,” he noted.

“This great majority, which in economic terms counts for only 10% of the whole, is the portion of humanity that has the greatest potential to contribute to the progress of everyone.”

At the end of his remarks, the Pope asked for God’s blessings on the summit.



New bill expands already-liberal abortion laws in Oregon

July 7, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Portland, Ore., Jul 7, 2017 / 08:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new bill in Oregon would expand the state’s already-liberal laws, requiring insurance companies to pay for abortions and other reproductive services at zero cost to the patient.

House Bill 3391, or the “Reproductive Health Equity Act Of 2017”, requires that insurance companies provide coverage for abortions and reproductive services to undocumented immigrants, and regardless of income or gender identity.

It allows for almost $500,000 to be spend on cost-free abortions and reproductive health services for immigrants who previously would have been ineligible for those services under the Oregon Health Plan.

In the past 14 years, according to state health records, already-expansive abortion laws dictated that almost $24 million in state funds were spent on more than 52,000 abortions.

The bill is also uniquely expansive in that, while some states allow for cost-free abortions that are deemed medically necessary, the Oregon bill allows for coverage of abortions for virtually any reason, including sex-selective and late-term abortions.

While some religious exemptions are provided for, such as in the case of churches and some religious non-profits per federal law, the bill states that the government would step in to pay for coverage in the case of such gaps.

It also codifies the right to abortion access, even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. Oregon is the only state without current restrictions added to provisions of Roe v. Wade.

The bill passed the Democrat-controlled Oregon Senate on Wednesday, and now heads to the desk of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.

The liberal law comes at a time when President Donald Trump’s administration is passing restrictive legislation on abortion and reproductive services, including allowing states to withhold federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

After the vote, Senate Republicans issued a statement saying the bill is “nothing more than a political statement and a political gift card to Planned Parenthood that brought unnecessary drama and divisiveness to the end of the legislative session.”

Bill Diss, leader of pro-life group Precious Children of Portland, called the proposed law “fundamentally an abortion bill that will boost the coffers of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood,” according to Oregon’s Catholic Sentinel.  

Diss said other portions of the bill could be accomplished “without further funding and promoting the killing of unborn children.”



Twentieth century Polish nurse among causes advancing toward sainthood

July 7, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Vatican City, Jul 7, 2017 / 06:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Friday approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Hanna Chrzanowska, a Polish nurse and nursing instructor who died from cancer in 1973, paving the way for her beatification.

The Pope met July 7 with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, giving his approval for the cause to move forward, along with the causes of five persons recognized for their heroic virtue.

He also recognized the martyrdom of two persons killed in hatred of the faith, Bishop Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca, killed near Fortul, Colombia in 1989 and diocesan priest Fr. Pietro Maria Ramírez Ramos, killed on April 10, 1948 in Armero, Colombia.

Venerable Hanna Chrzanowska was born in Warsaw on October 7, 1902 to a family known for their charitable work. She finished high school at a school run by Ursuline sisters in Krakow and after graduating in 1922 attended nursing school in Warsaw.

She became an Oblate with the Ursuline Sisters of St. Benedict.

From 1926-1929 she worked as an instructor at the University School of Nurses and Hygienists in Krakow. For 10 years she held the position of editor of the monthly “Piel?gniarka Polska” (“Nurse Poland”), also publishing her own work in the field of nursing.

During this period, she also grew closer to God, joining in the work of the Catholic Association of Polish Nurses in 1937.

Poland saw the outbreak of World War II in 1939. After the war and after the opening of a university school of maternity and nursing in Krakow, she worked as the head of the department dedicated to home nursing.

She was especially dedicated to the proper formation and preparation of her students, including offering advice and assistance while accompanying her students on visits to patients confined at home.

In 1966 she contracted cancer. Despite operations, the disease spread and eventually led to her death on April 29, 1973 in Krakow.

With approval of the miracle, a date can be set for her beatification, likely to take place in Poland.

Another cause moving forward is that of Sister Maria Elisabetta Mazza. Born in 1886 in Martinengo, Italy, she was an elementary school teacher from 1911 onward and was a leading figure in the Catholic Teachers’ Association, called “Niccolò Tommaseo,” which helped to revive Catholic education after the war.

She also founded a religious institution of teachers, called the Congregation of the Little Apostles of the Christian School, which focused on working for the good of society, particularly in the area of education of young people.

After the Second World War, she supported the revival of the “Niccolò Tommaseo” organization, under the new name of the “Italian Association of Catholic Teachers.”

She died on Aug. 29, 1950 in Bergamo, Italy.

The other persons now declared ‘Venerable’ are: Archbishop Ismaele Perdomo of Bogota (1872-1950); Sister Paola of Jesus Gil Cano, foundress of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Most Pure Conception (1849-1913); Luigi Kosiba (Pietro), layman professed in the Order of Friars Minor (1855-1939); Sister Maria Crocifissa dell’Amore Divino (Maria Gargani), foundress of the Congregation of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart (1892-1973).


Mexican priest found bound, stabbed to death in his room

July 6, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Mexico City, Mexico, Jul 6, 2017 / 03:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Authorities are investigating the murder of another Catholic priest in Mexico who was bound and stabbed to death in his room.

According to local media, Father Luis López Villa, parish priest of San Isidro Labrador in Mexico State, was found dead in his room shortly after 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
The suspects, who entered the rectory after breaking into the church, made enough noise to raise the suspicions of neighbors, who alerted church staff to the incident.

When the staff arrived, they found the 71-year-old priest dead in his room with his hands and feet tied and a stab wound in his neck and chest.

The suspects have not yet been identified.

Fr. Villa is the 18th priest to be murdered in Mexico in the last six years, with many more having been assaulted or kidnapped. In May, a priest was stabbed at the conclusion of Mass in Mexico City’s Cathedral, though he survived the attack.  

Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico, sent his condolences “of the Diocese of Nezahualcóyotl and of the whole Church in the country for the murder of the priest.”

Cardinal Rivera said he offered his prayers in solidarity with the other bishops of the country, and prayed “to God our Lord for the eternal rest of the priest and the conversion of those who perpetrated this damnable deed.”

The Mexican Cardinal also urged the authorities to ensure that “this heinous crime does not go unpunished.”



In wake of North Korea threat, bishops call for elimination of nuclear weapons

July 6, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Jul 6, 2017 / 11:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just days after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach Alaska, bishops in the United States and Europe have called for the “total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“Even a limited nuclear exchange would have devastating consequences for people and the planet. Tragically, human error or miscalculation could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe,” the Bishops said in a joint declaration on Thursday.

“We call upon the United States and European nations to work with other nations to map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Entitled “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security,” the declaration was issued to coincide with the conclusion of a meeting hosted this week by the United Nations “to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.”

While the United States and most European nations are not participating in the U.N. meeting, the bishops urged any country that is building up their nuclear arsenal to reconsider the effectiveness of this as a security strategy.

“…our world has become increasingly multipolar with a variety of threats reaching from terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity to environmental degradation and poverty, which raises doubts about the adequacy of nuclear deterrence as an effective response to these challenges,” they said.

The also noted that building up a nuclear arms base is a waste of money, reiterating a point Pope Francis made in 2014, when he said that prioritizing spending on nuclear weapons “is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty.”

In another message in March 2017, Pope Francis said that peace and security were not built on a race to power and arms, but on “on justice, on integral human development, on respect for fundamental human rights, on the protection of creation, on the participation of all in public life, on trust between peoples, on the support of peaceful institutions, on access to education and health, on dialogue and solidarity.”

Francis is joined by numerous other Catholic leaders including Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI who all opposed the development of nuclear weapons.

The bishops closed their statement with another statement of Pope Francis, who said in 2014: “Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states. The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more. They deserve a peaceful world order based on the unity of the human family, grounded on respect, cooperation, solidarity and compassion. Now is the time to counter the logic of fear with the ethic of responsibility, and so foster a climate of trust and sincere dialogue.”

The statement was signed by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions, and by Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the committee on International Justice and Peace for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.



Pope St. John Paul II’s Former Spokesman Navarro-Valls Dies at 80

July 6, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Vatican City, Jul 6, 2017 / 08:23 am (National Catholic Register).- Pope St. John Paul II’s former spokesman, Dr. Joaquìn Navarro-Valls, has died at the age of 80.

A numerary of Opus Dei and a trained doctor, the Spanish journalist had been diagnosed with terminal cancer some weeks ago.

He passed away at 8:41 this evening at home after being discharged from the Opus Dei-run Campus Biomedico hospital in Rome.

His current successor, Holy See Press Office Director Greg Burke, announced the news yesterday with the following tweets:

Joaquin Navarro. RIP. Grace under pressure.

— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) July 5, 2017

The Vatican’s chief spokesman from 1984 to 2006, Navarro-Valls had an influential role during John Paul II’s pontificate, helping the late Pontiff to communicate effectively and bringing the papacy into the modern age of social communications.

He resigned as spokesman on July 11, 2006 and was replaced by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.

Joaquin Navarro, 1936-2017.
Keep Smiling.

— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) July 5, 2017