- There is a bus being organized and available from Grand Forks to Bismarck leaving at 11am on Wednesday April 17 and returning by midnight. Free -will offering accepted. To reserve your seat call Real Presence Radio at 1-877-795-0122.
- Fr. Pavone is celebrating Mass after the rally at the Cathedral of the Holy Sprit at 5:30 pm.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has amended Senate Bill 2252, which would have provided protected legal status to sexual acts outside of marriage, to a bill that would declare that the State of North Dakota does not condone discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Additional language in the amendment attempts to limit its effect by stating that the bill does not create any legal rights or protections. Nevertheless, the North Dakota Catholic Conference worries that the language could viewed as permission to – and justification for – state agencies, boards, and state higher education institutions to adopt their own policies without legislative approval and without any guarantee of conscience and religious protections. This has already started to occur.
Contact your senator and ask him or her reject giving or authorizing special legal protection for sexual acts and vote NO on SB 2252 in any form.
Contact by email or phone: 1-888-NDLEGIS (635-3447) or 701-328-3373 (local).
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued this statement moments after learning of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013.
Statement of Cardinal Timothy Dolan
The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did. His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church. We are sad that he will be resigning but grateful for his eight years of selfless leadership as successor of St. Peter.
Though 78 when he elected pope in 2005, he set out to meet his people – and they were of all faiths – all over the world. He visited the religiously threatened – Jews, Muslims and Christians in the war-torn Middle East, the desperately poor in Africa, and the world’s youth gathered to meet him in Australia, Germany, and Spain.
He delighted our beloved United States of America when he visited Washington and New York in 2008. As a favored statesman he greeted notables at the White House. As a spiritual leader he led the Catholic community in prayer at Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. As a pastor feeling pain in a stirring, private meeting at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, he brought a listening heart to victims of sexual abuse by clerics.
Pope Benedict often cited the significance of eternal truths and he warned of a dictatorship of relativism. Some values, such as human life, stand out above all others, he taught again and again. It is a message for eternity.
He unified Catholics and reached out to schismatic groups in hopes of drawing them back to the church. More unites us than divides us, he said by word and deed. That message is for eternity.
He spoke for the world’s poor when he visited them and wrote of equality among nations in his peace messages and encyclicals. He pleaded for a more equitable share of world resources and for a respect for God’s creation in nature.
Those who met him, heard him speak and read his clear, profound writings found themselves moved and changed. In all he said and did he urged people everywhere to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
The occasion of his resignation stands as an important moment in our lives as citizens of the world. Our experience impels us to thank God for the gift of Pope Benedict. Our hope impels us to pray that the College of Cardinals under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit choose a worthy successor to meet the challenges present in today’s world.
Bishops Urge Retention Of Charitable Deduction, Other Tax Credits And Programs As Nation Approaches “Fiscal Cliff”
Catholic institutions rely on the charitable deduction to feed, house, clothe, educate, and care for millions of people around the world,” said the bishops who oversee the domestic and international justice and peace efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and should be protected in any final agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
In a December 14 letter to Congress, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, called the tax system an “important tool” for raising adequate revenue and fulfilling the responsibility of ensuring basic human needs, such as food, clothing, health care, work and education, are accessible to all people.
“One way our tax system attempts to accomplish this is with the charitable deduction, which encourages taxpayers to support private charity, religion, and education,” the bishops wrote.
In their letter, Bishop Blaire and Bishop Pates also noted the importance of protecting the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, poverty-focused international assistance, and other programs that “help guarantee basic human rights for millions of people.”
Bishop Blaire also joined other Christian leaders of the Circle of Protection in releasing principles regarding the ongoing budget negotiations surrounding the fiscal cliff, and calling on Republicans and Democrats to adhere to the basic moral principle of protecting programs that serve low-income people. Circle of Protection leaders also called for protecting the charitable deduction.
Statistics on the number of people served by Catholic charities is available online: www.usccb.org/about/media-relations/statistics/health-care-social-service.cfm
The full text of the bishops’ letter is also available online: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/federal-budget-letter-congress-2012-12-14.pdf
United in prayer for families, communities mourning the loss of loved ones
Need to return to values that foster a culture of life
Need to improve resources to help the mentally-ill, their families, caregivers
WASHINGTON—In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the chairmen of three committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a joint statement to decry violence in society. The bishops repeated the call from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of USCCB, who expressed on the day of the horrible tragedy, deepest sorrow for all the victims and a call to work for peace in our homes, streets and world. They called on all Americans, especially legislators, to address national policies that will strengthen regulations of firearms and improve access to health care for those with mental health needs.
“As Catholic Bishops, we join together with the President of our Conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who on the day of the horrible tragedy expressed his profound solidarity with and prayers for the families, friends, neighbors, and communities whose hearts have been rent by the loss of a child or loved one,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
The bishops are chairmen of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Committee on Communications; and the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, respectively. “Sacred Scripture reminds us time and again to ‘be not afraid.’ Indeed, we must find within ourselves the faith-filled courage to address the challenges our nation faces, both in our homes and in our national policies,” they said.
They also addressed the need for healthcare policies that provide support to people with mental health needs, and called on the entertainment industry to address the proliferation of violence and evaluate its impact in society.
Full text of the statement follows:
Call for Action in Response to Newtown Tragedy
Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend
December 21, 2012
The Lord Jesus Christ, in his Sermon on the Mount, teaches us, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,” and “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:4, 9).
In the face of the horrific evil that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, as people of faith we first and foremost turn to God and pray. We pray for those whose lives were robbed from them. As Catholic Bishops, we join together with the President of our Conference, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who on the day of the horrible tragedy expressed his profound solidarity with and prayers for the families, friends, neighbors, and communities whose hearts have been rent by the loss of a child or loved one. No words can capture your suffering. We look to Christ, his words and deeds, and ultimately to his Cross and Resurrection. It is in Jesus that we place our hope.
The Sandy Hook tragedy has caused great anguish for parents and others who attempt to safeguard our children. In addition to the outpouring of prayers and support from around the nation, understandably this tragedy has given rise to discussions about national policies and steps that can be taken to foster a culture that protects the innocent and those most vulnerable among us. It is time for our nation to renew a culture of life in our society.
Sacred Scripture reminds us time and again to “be not afraid.” Indeed, we must find within ourselves the faith-filled courage to address the challenges our nation faces, both in our homes and in our national policies. These challenges encompass many areas with various complexities. Here, we offer particular words regarding the issue of the regulation of fire arms, the standards for the entertainment industry, and our service to those with mental health needs. As religious leaders, we are compelled to call on all Americans, especially elected leaders, to address these issues.
With regard to the regulation of fire arms, first, the intent to protect one’s loved ones is an honorable one, but simply put, guns are too easily accessible. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in their document, “The International Arms Trade (2006),” emphasized the importance of enacting concrete controls on handguns, for example, noting that “limiting the purchase of such arms would certainly not infringe on the rights of anyone.”
Secondly, our entertainers, especially film producers and video game creators, need to realize how their profit motives have allowed the proliferation of movies, television programs, video games and other entertainment that glorify violence and prey on the insecurities and immaturity of our young people. Such portrayals of violence have desensitized all of us. The massacre of twenty little children and seven adults causes each of us to reflect on our own understanding of the value of human life. We must improve our resources for parents, guardians and young people, so that they can evaluate entertainment products intelligently. We need to admit that the viewing and use of these products has negative emotional, psychological and spiritual effects on people.
We must also reflect on our own fears as we grapple with our prejudices toward those with mental health needs. Our society must provide health services and support to those who have mental illnesses and to their families and caregivers. As a community we need to support one another so no one feels unable to get help for a mentally ill family member or neighbor in need. Burdensome healthcare policies must be adjusted so people can get help for themselves or others in need. Just as we properly reach out to those with physical challenges we need to approach mental health concerns with equal sensitivity. There is no shame in seeking help for oneself or others; the only shame is in refusing to provide care and support.
The events in Newtown call us to turn to our Lord in prayer and to witness more profoundly Christ’s perfect love, mercy and compassion. We must confront violence with love.
There are glimmers of hope in this tragedy. Many people, including some of the victims, made extraordinary efforts to protect life. In particular, the teachers, the principal, the children, the first responders and other leaders showed tremendous courage during the tragedy. Some sacrificed their own lives protecting others.
In their memory and for the sake of our nation, we reiterate our call made in 2000, in our statement, Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice, for all Americans, especially legislators, to:
1. Support measures that control the sale and use of firearms
2. Support measures that make guns safer (especially efforts that prevent their unsupervised use by children and anyone other than the owner)
3. Call for sensible regulations of handguns
4. Support legislative efforts that seek to protect society from the violence associated with easy access to deadly weapons including assault weapons
5. Make a serious commitment to confront the pervasive role of addiction and mental illness in crime.
As we long for the arrival of the Prince of Peace in this Advent and Christmas season, we call on all people of goodwill to help bring about a culture of life and peace.
The U.S. bishops will engage in a canonical consultation regarding the cause for canonization of Dorothy Day, a pacifist and convert to Catholicism from New York City.
This consultation will take place during the bishops’ General Assembly November 12-15 in Baltimore. Dorothy Day dedicated her life fighting for justice for the homeless in New York City and was co-founder the Catholic Worker Movement.
Biographical materials provided by the New York Archdiocese note she was born in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 8, 1897. Her parents moved to San Francisco and she was later baptized in the Episcopal Church. Her family later moved to Chicago, and she attended the University of Illinois at Urbana. In 1916 left college to go to New York City to work as a journalist on social newspapers.
Her biographies describe a political activist who participated in protest marches and developed friendships with famous artists and writers. At the same time she experienced failed love affairs, a marriage, a suicide attempt and an abortion.
A key moment in her life occurred in 1926 with the birth of her daughter Tamar. She embraced Catholicism and had Tamar baptized to the dismay of her associates and ending her common-law marriage. She reported for several Catholic magazines, including America and Commonweal, as she struggled to find her role as a Catholic. In 1932, she met Peter Maurin, a French immigrant and former Christian Brother, with whom she co-founded The Catholic Worker newspaper. Work at The Catholic Worker led to the founding of several Houses of Hospitality and farm communes in the United States and other nations.
Day’s life was marked by fidelity to the Scriptures, voluntary poverty, the works of mercy and work for peace and justice. She was shot at while working for integration and prayed and fasted for peace at the Second Vatican Council. She died November 29, 1980, at Maryhouse in New York City, where she died among the poor.
The canonical consultation is a procedural step in the process toward canonization. Church law governing canonizations as found in the Vatican document Sanctorum Mater requires that the diocesan bishop promoting a canonization cause to consult at least with the regional bishops conference on the advisability of pursuing the cause. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and head of the Archdiocese of New York, is seeking the consultation of the full body of bishops.
Day already carries the title “Servant of God,” a designation awarded by the Vatican when it gave her cause a Nihil Obstat, that is, a formal declaration that the Vatican has no objection to the cause moving forward.
Bismarck, North Dakota -Christopher Dodson, Executive Director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference today released the following statement about claims that Bishop David Kagan has sent a letter for Catholics on voting.
“Reports that Bishop David Kagan of the Diocese Bismarck and apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Fargo has released a statement that tells Catholics how to vote in the upcoming election are premature and unfounded.
“An internal letter for the faithful has been sent to the priests, but it has been embargoed until it is released this weekend. As such, no representative of the church can comment on the contents of the letter. We can confirm, however, that the letter merely shares Catholic doctrine on political responsibility and does not mention any candidates or tell parishioners how to vote. It certainly does not violate any federal or state laws regarding churches and political activities.
“Because the letter is embargoed until this weekend and because no one can discuss the letter on behalf of the Bishop until then, it would be irresponsible and inappropriate for people to discuss the letter at this time. We ask that people act with respect, restraint, and civility by refraining from discussing the matter until after it is released.”