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EWTN correspondent in Cuba asks for prayers ahead of interrogation

October 21, 2022 Catholic News Agency 2
Adrián Martínez Cádiz, a news correspondent for EWTN, posted a summons he received from Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior on his Facebook account Oct. 19, 2022. / EWTN News

Havana, Cuba, Oct 21, 2022 / 04:40 am (CNA).

An EWTN correspondent in Havana, Cuba, says he has been summoned by the country’s Ministry of the Interior for interrogation.

Adrián Martínez Cádiz, who only started working with the network on Oct. 12, posted the summons on his Facebook account Wednesday night. EWTN is the parent organization of CNA.

“About 5:55 p.m. a young boy knocked on the door of my house and gave my mother a summons from the Ministry of the Interior for an interrogation … at the Police Station of the Plaza de la Revolución,” Martínez Cádiz wrote.

According to the summons, Martínez Cádiz must appear at 10 a.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 21 before an officer named “Karla” and that, if “does not appear without justified reasons, he will be fined or can be accused of a crime of contempt.”

Martínez Cádiz asked his followers on social media to “accompany him at that time, from wherever they are, praying Psalm 91.”

That psalm says the following: “You who live under the protection of the Most High God and dwells in the shadow of the omnipotent God, say to the Lord: ‘You are my strength and my refuge, you are my God, in whom I trust.'”

In April 2021, Martínez Cádiz announced that he received death threats from a follower of the Castro regime, who accused him of being too critical of the dictatorship. The subject, who passed by him on a motorcycle, warned him that he would be stabbed, Martínez Cádiz said.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.


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New EWTN poll: Where do Catholics stand on abortion ahead of the 2022 midterms?

October 5, 2022 Catholic News Agency 1
Anna Lulis from Moneta, Virginia, (left) who works for the pro-life group Students for Life of America, stands beside an abortion rights demonstrator outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2022, after the court’s decision in the Dobbs abortion case was announced. / Katie Yoder/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Oct 5, 2022 / 13:31 pm (CNA).

U.S. Catholic voters are split on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but a majority agrees that abortion should be restricted and that there should be at least some protections for the unborn child in the womb, according to a new EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research poll. 

The court’s June 24 ruling in the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization upended 49 years of nationwide legalized abortion and freed states to regulate abortion as they see fit.

When asked whether they agreed or disagreed with Roe being overturned, 46.2% agreed, 47.8% disagreed, and 6% said they weren’t sure.

Catholic voters were similarly split on whether they are more or less likely to support a candidate who agrees with Roe’s dismantling: 42% said they were more likely, 41.9% said they were less likely, and 16.1% were unsure.

At the same time, the poll results point to apparent inconsistencies in Catholic voters’ positions on abortion.

While nearly half of Catholic voters in the poll said they disagreed with Roe being overturned, a large majority (86.5%) said they support some kind of limit on abortion, even though Roe and related abortion cases allowed only narrow regulation at the state level. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 26.8% said abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother;

  • 19.8% said abortion should be allowed until 15 weeks when the baby can feel pain; 

  • 13.1% said that abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of pregnancy;

  • 9.9% said that abortion should be allowed only until a heartbeat can be detected, and

  • 9.1% said that abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother. 

Of special note for Catholic pro-life leaders, only a small minority of Catholic voters — 7.8% — were aligned with the clear and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church that abortion should never be allowed.

On the other end of the spectrum of abortion views, 13.4% of Catholic voters said that abortion should be available to a woman at any time during her pregnancy.

The poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group from Sept. 12–19, surveyed 1,581 Catholic voters and has a margin of error of 2.5%. The questionnaire was administered using a mix of six different methods, including phone calls, text messages, and email.

The poll’s results echo surveys of the general U.S. population on abortion. A Pew Research Center survey from March found that 19% of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all cases, while 8% said it should be illegal in all cases. More recent Gallup data from May found that 35% of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal under any circumstances while 13% said it should be illegal in all circumstances. 

The Pew Research Center data also looked at Catholic adults. Thirteen percent said abortion should be legal in all cases, while 10% said it should be illegal in all cases.

A previous EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research poll released in July found that 9% of Catholic likely voters said abortion should never be permitted and 18% said that abortion should be available at any time. The poll similarly showed that a majority of Catholic voters (82%) support some kind of restriction on abortion.

Confused about what Roe said?

The poll’s results came as little surprise to Catholic pro-life public policy experts such as Elizabeth R. Kirk.

“This study confirms a phenomenon we have known for some time, i.e., that there is an enormous disconnect between the scope of abortion practices permitted by the Roe regime and what abortion practices Americans actually support,” Kirk, director of the Center for Law and the Human Person at The Catholic University of America, told CNA. 

Kirk, who also serves as a faculty fellow for the Institute for Human Ecology and research associate and lecturer at the Columbus School of Law, noted the finding that nearly 42% of Catholic voters said they are less likely to support a candidate who agrees with Roe being overturned.

“At first glance that suggests that many Catholic voters wanted to keep Roe in place,” she said. “Yet, the study also reveals that 86.5% of Catholic voters want some type of restriction on abortion access.”  

Why the inconsistency? “Most people do not realize that Roe allowed states to permit unlimited abortion access throughout the entire pregnancy and made it difficult, or even impossible, to enact commonsense restrictions supported by the majority of Americans,” Kirk observed. 

“Many people who ‘support Roe’ actually disagree, unknowingly, with what it permitted,” she added. “All Dobbs has done is return abortion policy to the legislative process so that the people may enact laws which reflect the public consensus.”

Mass-goers more strongly pro-life

The new poll, the second of three surveys of Catholic voters tied to the midterm elections on Nov. 8, shows that the opinions of Catholic voters on abortion and other issues vary depending on how often respondents attend Mass.

Only a small portion of those who attend Mass at least once a week said that abortion should be allowed at any time: 0% of those who attend Mass daily, 1% who attend more than once a week, and 8% of those who attend weekly support abortion without restrictions. In contrast, 57.5% of Catholic voters who attend Mass daily, 21.5% of those who attend more than once a week, and 15.6% of those who attend weekly say abortion should never be permitted.

In addition to respondents’ apparent confusion about what Roe stipulated, the poll suggests that many Catholic voters don’t fully understand what their Church teaches about abortion.

Less than one-third of Catholic voters who said they accept all Church teachings (31.1%) said that abortion should never be permitted, and 5% who profess to fully accept the Church’s teachings said abortion should be permitted at any time.

Overall, 32.8% of respondents reported attending Mass at least once a week, with another 30.7% attending once a year or less. Only 15% agreed that they accept all of the Church’s teachings and live their lives accordingly, with another 34.5% saying they generally accept most of the Church’s teachings and try to live accordingly.

Pew Research Center also looked at how Mass attendance factors into Catholics’ views on abortion. Among those who attend Mass at least once a week: 4% said abortion should be legal in all cases, and 24% said it should be illegal in all cases, Pew found. 

Strong support for pregnancy centers

The poll asked Catholic voters about a variety of other topics including abortion limits, Holy Communion for pro-abortion politicians, conscience protections for health care workers, and pro-life pregnancy centers.


Among the findings:

  • Catholic voters are prioritizing other issues above abortion. Only 10.1% of Catholic voters identified abortion as the most important issue facing the nation, falling behind inflation (34.2%) and the economy/jobs (19.7%) and tying with immigration. At the same time, a higher percentage of Catholic voters chose abortion than crime (8.7%), climate change (8.1% ), health care (6.8%), K–12 education (1.7%), or religious freedom (0.8%).

  • About half of Catholic voters (49.3%) disagreed that Catholic political leaders who support abortion publicly and promote policies that increase abortion access should refrain from taking Communion, while 36.7% said they should refrain.

  • A majority (67.4%) of Catholic voters said they support public funding for pro-life pregnancy centers that offer pregnant women life-affirming alternatives to abortion, while 18.3% said they did not favor using tax dollars for this purpose.

  • A comparable majority (61.8%) said that political and church leaders should be speaking out against the recent attacks and acts of vandalism on pregnancy resource centers.

  • When asked about conscience protections for health care workers that would allow them to opt out of providing “services” such as abortion, a majority of Catholic voters (60.7%) said that health care workers should not be obligated to engage in procedures that they object to based on moral or religious grounds. Conversely, 25.3% said that health care workers should be obligated to engage in procedures that they object to based on moral or religious grounds. 

Work to be done

What is the takeaway from the latest poll, where abortion is concerned?

“This polling shows that Catholics, like the overwhelming majority of Americans, support commonsense protections for women and the unborn,” Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with The Catholic Association, told CNA.

“It also affirms other recent polling that found Americans by strong numbers support the work of pregnancy resource centers in providing women facing crisis pregnancies with a real choice and the chance to thrive as mothers despite difficult circumstances,” she noted.


At the same time, McGuire added, “This new polling is also a reminder that more work needs to be done in catechizing Catholics on foundational Church teaching in support of vulnerable life in all stages — an effort that is continually undermined by Catholic politicians in the highest echelons of power who use their platforms to advocate for extreme abortion policies in direct violation of Church teaching.”

Nearly all of those surveyed (99.2%) said they plan to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 8.


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EWTN launches Arabic-language news agency based in Iraq

March 25, 2022 Catholic News Agency 0
The logo of ACI MENA, EWTN’s new Arabic-language news agency, based in Erbil, Iraq. / EWTN

Irondale, Ala., Mar 25, 2022 / 07:28 am (CNA).

EWTN Global Catholic Network has launched an Arabic-language news service headquartered in Erbil, Iraq, Michael P. Warsaw, EWTN’s chairman and CEO, announced March 25, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. 

The Association for Catholic Information Middle East and North Africa, or ACI MENA, will publish original news content in Arabic using a network of correspondents across the region. The news agency will operate from the campus of Erbil’s Catholic University (CUE.) A ceremony marking the occasion was held in Erbil, which included Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil.

“I am pleased to announce that EWTN has begun a service reporting news from the embattled and underserved Christian communities in the Middle East,” Warsaw said.

“This is an important milestone in the growth of EWTN News around the globe, and I am pleased that we are taking this significant step to better serve our courageous brothers and sisters in the region who have endured so much,” he said.

“Because it is published in Arabic, this agency will also augment the service offered by ACI-Africa, our Nairobi, Kenya-based Catholic news agency, which EWTN launched in 2019 and which publishes content in English, French and Portuguese,” Warsaw added. “ACI MENA will provide a new voice to help spread the Gospel and news of the Church to these Christian communities in their own language.”

Bashar Jameel Hanna, a Chaldean Catholic layman originally from Baghdad, will head EWTN's newly launched Arabic-language news service, ACI-MENA. The service will provide a new voice to help spread the Gospel and news of the Church to Christian communities in the Middle East and North Africa. EWTN
Bashar Jameel Hanna, a Chaldean Catholic layman originally from Baghdad, will head EWTN’s newly launched Arabic-language news service, ACI-MENA. The service will provide a new voice to help spread the Gospel and news of the Church to Christian communities in the Middle East and North Africa. EWTN

Hanna studied philosophy and theology for nine years at the Babel College in Iraq and graduated with a degree in civil engineering from the University of Nantes in France. Hanna speaks Arabic, French, English, and Aramaic fluently, and has a significant understanding of classic Arabic.

“When war came around to Iraq, I lost friends and relatives and became a political refugee in Europe,” Hanna said. “Ten years later, I received a call to work on the reconstruction in the Nineveh plains, to rebuild the church of Mosul. Then, late last year, I received a call for the position of Editor-in-Chief with ACI MENA. And I heard the Lord say: ‘I took you from the ends of the earth; from its farthest corners I called you. I said, you are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you’ (Isaiah 41:9.)”

“Becoming ACI MENA’s Editor-in-Chief, to carry the message of love to the Arabic world still submerged in conflicts and persecution, may be a heavy cross … but He has risen!” Hanna added.

Alejandro Bermudez, executive director of the ACI Group, of which ACI MENA is now a part, called the news agency’s launch “a major step forward for the ACI Group as well as for the larger EWTN News family.”

“We are honored to expand our news coverage of the ancient and heroic communities in this region, providing them local, Vatican and world news in Arabic,” Bermudez said. “ACI MENA will not be a simple translation of news in Arabic, but a local news agency written in Arabic for the Arabic-speaking world, which will also bring stories of local Christian communities to the rest of the world.” 

ACI MENA is the latest addition to the ACI Group, which includes ACI Prensa, the world’s largest Spanish-language Catholic news organization with headquarters in Lima, Peru; ACI Digital, the São Paulo, Brazil-based news organization, which serves the Portuguese-speaking world; ACI Stampa, the Italian-language news organization based in Rome; and ACI Africa, which covers news from the African continent in English, French, and Portuguese. 

ACI Group is part of the larger EWTN News, Inc. division, which also includes Catholic News Agency (CNA), the German-language news service CNA Deutsch, and several other Catholic news outlets, including the National Catholic Register, “EWTN News Nightly,” “EWTN News In Depth,” and several other television news programs.

In its 41st year, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world. EWTN’s 11 global TV channels are broadcast in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week to over 390 million television households in more than 150 countries and territories.

EWTN platforms also include radio services transmitted through SIRIUS/XM, iHeart Radio, and over 500 domestic and international AM and FM radio affiliates; a worldwide shortwave radio service; one of the largest Catholic websites in the U.S.; and EWTN News; as well as EWTN Publishing, its book publishing division.


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‘Everybody needs a little Jesus’: How a Catholic repair man brings his faith into his work

March 18, 2021 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Mar 18, 2021 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Darren Stern, a Catholic HVAC repairman near Baltimore, Maryland, is not shy about sharing his faith with customers.

In an interview with EWTN News In Depth that aired on March 10, Stern talked about how he provides customers with a small “wind-up Jesus” figure to keep near their air conditioner.

“Well, a lot of times I’m like, if you want this air conditioner to keep running keep this little Jesus by it because I think it’s the only thing that’s going to make it work,” Stern said. When customers ask him if their unit’s problem is “that bad,” he says he replies “it’s that bad!”

“Everybody needs a little Jesus in their life,” Stern said.

Stern says his faith carried him through his sufferings from chronic anxiety, which he says he struggled with for nearly 20 years.

“I was like a perfectionist, and I didn’t want to let people down,” Stern told EWTN News In Depth. His worry and stress affected him so much that he couldn’t eat.

“I would just keep going because it’s in my mind. It was all you could do, just keep going, just keep going, keep running,” he said of dealing with his anxiety.

Stern turned to God when all else failed. “It got so bad that I was ready to give up and I said, ‘Jesus you got to help me. I got to get through this, and I didn’t know how to get through it. I didn’t know what was going to happen,’” Stern recalled.

“When you have nothing, then Jesus is all you have, and I was down at the end,” he said.

After years of prayer, Stern said he learned to abandon himself to God. “Just talk to Him and just listen,” he said of his prayer to Jesus.

“I surrendered. I said to myself, ‘let Jesus take all the bad stuff,’” he said.

“I started embracing all that energy that just had stored up inside me, stopped worrying so much about what other people thought and about all the problems,” he said. “Just go out and do the best you can, and that’s what I kept focusing on.”

And Stern’s faith gave him hope as well. “You know I still wake up with anxiety, everybody does. You’re gonna have that, but now it’s different.”  

“You know Jesus is right there, what can go wrong?”