Get serious about human rights for people with Down syndrome, Vatican tells UN

New York City, N.Y., Mar 21, 2018 / 05:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The promotion of targeted abortion and other practices mean U.N. member states and agencies are not serious about protecting people with Down syndrome, the Holy See’s representative to the United Nations has said.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza on March 20 decried “the eugenic trend of ending the lives of the unborn who show some form of imperfection.”

Despite international conventions protecting the disabled, including their right to life, “so many members of the international community stand on the sidelines as the vast majority of those diagnosed with Trisomy-21 have …read more



How one organization helps the Church welcome Catholics with disabilities

Washington D.C., Mar 21, 2018 / 04:52 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Around 14 million Catholics in the U.S. are living with a disability.

Since 1982, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) has been working to make sure those Catholics they are welcomed as members of the Church and have opportunities to participate in the faith.

“The goal of NCPD is to ensure that people with any disability…can actively and meaningfully participate in the faith by using their gifts and interests,” said Janice Benton, executive director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability.

“By virtue of baptism, everyone belongs to the body …read more



Boko Haram frees most schoolgirls abducted last month

Kano, Nigeria, Mar 21, 2018 / 03:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday, terrorist group Boko Haram returned at least 76 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped in a raid last month.

More than 30 girls are still missing, some of whom are allegedly still being held, while others have reportedly died, possibly of thirst, according to reports from the New York Times.

On Feb. 19th, Boko Haram raided a girls’ technical school in Dapchi, a small town in northeastern Nigeria. Witnesses said the militants stormed the school and herded 110 students into trucks and drove away.

Father Maurice Kwairanga, who coordinates …read more



Sacraments are the best spiritual armor – Bishop Olmsted

Phoenix, Ariz., Mar 21, 2018 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a Lenten reflection, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix said spiritual war needs spiritual amor, and the best armor is accessed through the sacraments.

“The sacraments, then, are the armor of choice in this spiritual war,” he wrote in a March 20 column at the Catholic Sun.

“Through them, Jesus continues to heal, to forgive, to strengthen and to sustain us in our fight against the devil and his minions.”

He said this spiritual war is a crucial battle, where the devil and his demons are determined to attack the …read more



Bishop, five priests arrested in Brazil, accused of embezzling Church funds

Brasilia, Brazil, Mar 21, 2018 / 01:58 pm (ACI Prensa).- A Catholic bishop, five priests and other administrative officials in the Brazilian state of Goiás have been arrested on accusations of embezzling more than two million reales (about $600,000) from the Catholic Church.

Bishop José Ronaldo of the Diocese of Formosa was among those arrested March 19, as part of operation “Caiaphas.” Among other findings, the operation discovered 70,000 reales (about $21,000) in cash in a cabinet with a false bottom. The cabinet belonged to Fr. Epitácio Cardoso Pereira, in the Planaltina township.

In wake of these developments, Pope Francis …read more



Analysis: What led to, and what will follow, ‘Lettergate’

Vatican City, Mar 21, 2018 / 01:17 pm (CNA).- A new chapter for Vatican media and communications began Apr. 30, 2015, when Pope Francis established a commission of five members to analyze and implement the suggestions of a report from a Vatican Committee for Communication, which itself had been established in July 2014.

The commission, whose establishment was seen by some as a rejection of the previous committee, was chaired by Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, who at the time was still director of Vatican Television. The members were Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, the editor of …read more



Pro-life Democrat Lipinksi survives primary challenge

Chicago, Ill., Mar 21, 2018 / 01:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), one of the few remaining pro-life Democrats, narrowly won the Democratic primary election Tuesday night for Illinois’ 3rd District. Lipinski’s challenger, NARAL-baked Marie Newman, made her opposition to Lipinski’s pro-life views a central part of her campaign.

While media outlets called the race for Lipinski several hours after polls closed March 20, Newman initially refused to concede, even going as far to say that she hoped her opponent had a “very painful evening.” On Wednesday morning, however, Newman posted a message on her Facebook …read more



Ultimatum for Catholic college CFO raises questions about university policy, guns

Miami, Fla., Mar 21, 2018 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Having been given an ultimatum, chief financial officer of St. Thomas University in Florida Anita Britt resigned last week after being told she had to choose between her CFO position and her membership on the board of a company that manufactures guns.

Britt sits on the board of American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Smith & Wesson, which manufactures guns including the AR-15, the weapon that was used to kill 17 students in the Parkland, Florida high school shooting last month. Britt joined the board on Feb. 6, …read more



African youth bring zeal to pre-synod gathering

Vatican City, Mar 21, 2018 / 11:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Several young people from across Africa have voiced their excitement at being able to participate in the Vatican’s pre-synod meeting, which they say will give them a chance to be heard and will provide the courage to confront the challenges they face at home.

For Nigerian youth Vincent Paul Nneji, being able to participate in the pre-synod meeting in Rome makes him “feel more part of the Church.”

“I feel that my voice is very loud now, because we get to meet one on one with the Pope and we …read more



Texas bishops call for prayers to heal community after bombings

Austin, Texas, Mar 21, 2018 / 10:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of central Texas have encouraged prayers for healing in a community reeling from a string of bombings over the last month.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio and Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin issued a joint statement on Tuesday urging prayers for the victims of the serial bombings as well as prayers for law enforcement officials.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families and friends of all those affected by the package explosions which have taken place this month in Austin and San …read more