- Cardinal Rigali Urges House Committee to Support Pro-Life Amendments to Health Care Reform Bill
July 30, 2009
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote on July 29 to the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee urging them to amend "America's Affordable Health Choices Act" (H.R. 3200) to retain longstanding government policies on abortion and conscience rights.
- Archbishop O'Brien Calls for ‘Path to Zero' Nuclear Weapons in Talk to Deterrence Symposium
July 30, 2009
WASHINGTON— "Our world and its leaders must stay focused on the destination of a nuclear-weapons-free world and on the concrete steps that lead there," said Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of Baltimore in a July 29 keynote talk at the first Deterrence Symposium, hosted by U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
- Auxiliary Bishop For Ukrainian Archeparchy Of Philadelphia Named Apostolic Administrator For Parma, Ohio, Eparchy
July 29, 2009
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Auxiliary Bishop John Bura of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians, U.S.A., as apostolic administer of the vacant see of the Eparchy of St. Josephat in Parma of the Ukrainians, U.S.A.
- Atlanta Vicar General Named Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta
July 27, 2009
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Msgr. Luis Rafael Zarama, 50, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, to be auxiliary bishop of Atlanta.
- U.S. Bishops Urge Congress to Observe Respect for Life, Access for All in Health Care Legislation
July 21, 2009
WASHINGTON—"Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation," said Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., as he outlined the policy priorities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on the issue of health care in a July 17 letter to Congress. The letter supported efforts to pass health care reform, but warned against inclusion of abortion.
- U.S. BISHOPS EXPRESS SOLIDARITY WITH THE CHURCH AND PEOPLE OF HONDURAS; SUPPORT PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF CURRENT POLITICAL CRISIS
July 17, 2009
Writing on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., sent a letter July 16 to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging continuing efforts to help the people of Honduras peacefully resolve the political crisis in their country.
- All Four Pending Liturgical Items Pass; Work On The Translation Of The New Roman Missal Continues
July 17, 2009
All four liturgical item actions whose votes were inconclusive at the June general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are now approved. Support for the action items continues the work for the English translation of the new Roman Missal for use in the United States.
- USCCB STAFF MEMBER ENCOURAGES CATHOLICS TO READ THE BIBLE WITH TEN POINTS FOR FRUITFUL SCRIPTURE READING
July 15, 2009
Reading the Bible should begin with a prayer to open our hearts and minds to the Word of God and end with "a prayer that this Word will bear fruit in our lives, helping us to become holier and more faithful people." The notion of prayer being the beginning and end of reading the Bible is one of 10 points for fruitful Scripture reading for Catholics offered by Mary Elizabeth Sperry, Associate Director for Utilization of the New American Bible at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
- Pope's Encyclical Available For Purchase July 20
July 15, 2009
WASHINGTON—Charity in Truth (Caritas In Veritate), Pope Benedict XVI's third encyclical, will be available for purchase as a book July 20, in English and Spanish, according to the USCCB Publishing Office.
- CARDINAL RIGALI CRITICIZES FINAL NIH GUIDELINES FOR DESTRUCTIVE STEM CELL RESEARCH
July 7, 2009
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reacted today to final guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research issued yesterday by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The text of his statement follows:
- CARDINAL GEORGE WELCOMES CARITAS IN VERITATE, SAYS MESSAGE ON GLOBAL ECONOMY, POLITICS, ENVIRONMENT IS HELPFUL GUIDE FOR TODAY
July 7, 2009
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI's new encyclical, provides helpful guidance for finding answers to the social, economic and moral questions of the contemporary world in a search for truth.
- CATHOLIC-JEWISH DIALOGUE EXAMINES NOTE ON COVENANT AND MISSION
July 1, 2009
WASHINGTON—Representatives of the U.S. Bishops and two Orthodox Jewish associations examined the recent Note on Covenant and Mission from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB) during a June 25 meeting in New York. The discussion was part of the regular consultation of the USCCB-Rabbinical Council of America/Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.
Cardinal Rigali reiterated criteria for "genuine health care reform" set forth by Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the bishops' Committee on Domestic Policy, in his letter to Congress on July 17. He described health care as "a basic right belonging to all human beings, from conception to natural death" and said that "the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is working to ensure that needed health reform is not undermined by abandoning longstanding and widely supported policies against abortion funding and mandates and in favor of conscience protection."
The symposium brought together academic, government, military and international experts to explore the full range of deterrence thinking. Archbishop O'Brien sits on the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and served as the Archbishop for the Military Services prior to his appointment to Baltimore.
The appointment was announced in Washington, July 29, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
The same day the pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Mikhail Moskal, 71, from the pastoral care of the Parma Eparchy.
The appointment was announced in Washington, July 27, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Luis Zarama was born November 28, 1958, in Pasto, Colombia. He entered the seminary of Pasto and the Universidad Mariana, where he studied philosophy and theology, from 1982-1987. He studied canon law at the Universidad Javeriana, in Bogata, from 1987-1991. He was ordained a priest in Atlanta in 1993.
Writing on behalf of the bishops as chairman of their Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Murphy said the bishops have advocated comprehensive health care reform for decades and recommended four criteria for fair and just health care reform: respect for human life and dignity, access for all, pluralism and equitable costs.
Bishop Hubbard, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, cited a letter of solidarity sent by Chicago Cardinal Francis George, president of the USCCB, to Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez and the Bishops' Conference of Honduras. Referring to statements by Pope Benedict XVI and the Honduran bishops themselves, Bishop Hubbard called for "dialogue and reconciliation among the Honduran people" and for international support in order "to achieve a just and peaceful resolution."
The deadline for the submission of ballots was July 16. These items require two-thirds (163) votes of Latin Church members for to pass, and subsequent recognition by the Holy See.
The translation of the Order of Mass II (of the Roman Missal) received 191 votes in favor, 25 against and five abstentions.
Sperry's points, online at http://www.usccb.org/mr/mediatalk/bible_catholics.shtml, include knowing what the Bible is and what it isn't. "The Bible is the story of God's relationship with the people he has called to himself. It is not intended to be read as history text, a science book, or a political manifesto," said Sperry. She also cited the importance of context, for instance how the Old and New Testaments relate to one another and how the Bible is read both within the tradition of the Church and among a community of believers.
John Carr, Executive Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development (JPHD), said the pope's encyclical "offers a much needed ethical analysis of the global economic crisis and an essential moral framework on how to move forward as one human family."
"In April I criticized the NIH's draft guidelines for destructive embryonic stem cell research, saying that under these guidelines 'federal tax dollars will be used to encourage destruction of living embryonic human beings for stem cell research – including human beings who otherwise would have survived and been born.'
He commented July 7, when Pope Benedict issued to the world a letter that analyzes the current global economic crisis in light of traditional moral principles. The letter affirms the progress that has been made in world development yet notes that other challenges exist given newly emerging problems in the global society.
The bishops issued A Note on Ambiguities Contained in Reflections on Covenant and Mission, June 18, to clarify aspects of a 2002 statement by a group of Catholic and Jewish scholars associated with a standing dialogue between the USCCB and the National Council of Synagogues. Some Catholic leaders had felt the efforts in "Reflections" to recognize the validity of the Jewish covenant appeared to undercut Catholic responsibility to witness to the entirety of the Christian faith.