Archbishop Gomez: ‘Pray hard’ for all affected by Calif. shooting
LOS ANGELES (CNS) — After a shooting spree late Nov. 7 at a country-music bar in Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles from the heart of Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles asked people to “pray hard” for the victims and their families. Thirteen people, including the suspected gunman and a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, died in shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill on what was college night, with lessons on country two-step dancing. The bar is popular with students at nearby California Lutheran University, and also attracts students from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Moorpark College in Moorpark and California State University-Channel Islands in Camarillo. “Like many of you, I woke this morning to news of the horrible violence last night at the Borderline Grill in Thousand Oaks,” Archbishop Gomez said in his Nov. 8 statement. “Let us pray hard for all the families, for those who were murdered and those who were injured, and in a special way for the heroic officer, Sgt. Ron Helus, who lost his life defending people in the attack.” Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged prayers for the victims and their families and also called for the enactment of reasonable measures to end gun violence.
Voters in two states OK anti-abortion measures, but Oregon funding stays
WASHINGTON (CNS) — An Oregon measure that would have banned state funding for elective and late-term abortions was defeated by voters Nov. 6, while an amendment to the West Virginia constitution stating that women do not have a right to an abortion was passed by a narrow margin. Alabamans also approved a measure that makes it state policy to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.” The measures were among several nationwide that attracted the interest of Catholic voters, including the legalization of marijuana, the expansion of Medicaid and what would have been the first-ever carbon emission tax in a single state. The Oregon anti-abortion proposal gained the support of Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland, who urged Catholics to approve the measure in a column that appeared Nov. 1 on the website of the Catholic Sentinel, the archdiocesan newspaper. The measure was written to overturn a 2017 Oregon law that expanded taxpayer funding for abortion. The passage in West Virginia opens the door to the state Legislature banning abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
People unable to give have become slaves to possessions, pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Life is for loving, not amassing possessions, Pope Francis said. In fact, the true meaning and purpose of wealth is to use it to lovingly serve others and promote human dignity, he said Nov. 7 during his weekly general audience. The world is rich enough in resources to provide for the basic needs of everybody, the pope said. “And yet, many people live in scandalous poverty and resources — used without discernment — keep deteriorating. But there is just one world! There is one humanity. The riches of the world today are in the hands of a minority, of the few, and poverty — indeed, extreme poverty, and suffering — are for the many,” he told those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The pope continued his series of talks on the Ten Commandments, focusing on the command, “You shall not steal,” which reflects respect for other people’s property.
Archival find at Catholic U. leads to Kristallnacht remembrance
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Jews worldwide will remember the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht. In a direct German translation, it means “Crystal Night,” but it is more commonly thought of as “Night of Broken Glass,” as Nazis and their sympathizers rampaged through Nazi Germany — which by this time had absorbed Austria and the Sudetenland — the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938. More than 7,000 Jewish-owned stores and businesses were damaged, more than 250 synagogues destroyed, more than 3,000 Jews arrested and sent to concentration camps, and nearly 100 more killed during the rampages, which shocked the world. It was an open question, though, as to how American Catholics felt about Kristallnacht, which some had likened to a pogrom in which Jews are forcibly exiled. Father Charles Coughlin, the “radio priest” during the Depression, had been for years salting anti-Semitic commentary into his weekly broadcasts, which reached tens of millions of people, despite the grumblings of several U.S. bishops who wanted him off the air. But it was the discovery in The Catholic University of America’s archives in 2004 of an old, scratched record, labeled only “Catholic Protest Against Nazis — Nov. 16, 1938,” that set the wheels in motion for a long-overdue reconsideration of Catholic attitudes toward anti-Semitism in general, and Kristallnacht in particular.
Pope to journalists: Counter resignation, evil with ethics, passion
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Break through every “wall” of gloom and resignation and help the world realize people need to take care of one another because they are all part of one human family, Pope Francis told Catholic journalists. He also urged them to continue to call out injustices, follow ethical standards and put people first. The pope spoke Nov. 9 during an audience with some 340 students, alumni and faculty representing the Institute for the Promotion of Young Journalists — a Catholic school of journalism based in Munich. The school was established 50 years ago to provide professional training to Christians in the fields of journalism, media and communications. “As Christian journalists, you stand out for your positive approach toward people and for your professional ethics,” the pope told the group. The work is more than just a job, he said; it is a responsibility and commitment, especially today when it has become all too easy “to let oneself be carried away by popular opinion, defeatism and a pessimism that paralyzes and blinds.”
Resist the ‘cold shadow’ of euthanasia, says Cardinal Collins
TORONTO (CNS) — The “cold shadow” of euthanasia is spreading, warned Cardinal Thomas Collins. Speaking at the 39th annual Cardinal’s Dinner in Toronto Nov. 8, the cardinal urged 1,600 attendees to fight attempts to expand Canada’s euthanasia law to include minors. “The time for review of the federal euthanasia law is upon us, and there is great pressure to eliminate the so-called ‘safeguards’ which made it seem to be not so terrible,” he told the audience at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. “One such safeguard is that euthanasia is to be only for adults. Now we hear arguments made that the concept of ‘adult’ is to be made so elastic that even minors are to be eligible for euthanasia, even without the consent of their parents. The cold shadow of euthanasia is spreading further in our land, and we must resist that,” the cardinal said.
Years in gulag helped make Ukrainian dissident a Catholic
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Few dissidents who were exiled to gulags, the labor camps run by the Soviet Union, would think of them as pleasant experiences. But for Myroslav Marynovych, a Ukrainian who was jailed for being the founding member of a human rights group that operated above-ground, it gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. In the camp, he said, “I became a Christian.” And it was from his becoming a Ukrainian-rite Catholic that he learned the social doctrine of the Church that served as the underpinning for much of his life after he was freed. “It was a change in the system of my world view,” said Marynovych, now the vice rector of Ukrainian Catholic University, a position that lets him lecture without having a PhD. “I got my PhD in (the) gulag,” he said with a laugh. “I understood the world cannot be imagined without God,” he said. Christian views, Marynovych added, “became a very important basis for the reconstitution of the society.” He recalled growing up under the notion that “only the Soviet system took care of the simpler worker. Then I read ‘Rerum Novarum,’ the first social encyclical, by Pope Leo XIII. I thought, ‘Wow!’” The Soviet system also presented each struggle as a win-lose proposition, Marynovych said. But from reading Catholic social teaching, he came to the discovery that “each side needs the other,” adding that the world’s wealthiest countries were “the ones where cooperation between businesses and workers takes place.”
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