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100 Years Ago, Hollywood Made an Anti-Abortion Movie

By Matthew Archbold | I keep reading that Hollywood wanted nothing to do with the new movie Gosnell because abortion is such a divisive topic. That, of course, is complete manure. They want nothing to do with pro-life movies...

Catholic Church in Venezuela Suffers With Her People

By Jonathan Liedl | CIUDAD GUAYANA, Venezuela — There probably aren’t too many groups more deserving of a spiritual retreat than the priests of the Diocese of Ciudad Guayana, located on Venezuela’s...

Cardinal Napier: Parishes, Learn From Youth Synod; Synod, Hear African Voices

By JD Flynn/CNA | VATICAN CITY — A prominent South African cardinal said Saturday that the 2018 Synod of Bishops on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” can be a model for the way that Church...

Young Iraqi to Dismayed Catholics: Be Encouraged by the Example of Iraqi Martyrs

By Edward Pentin | The testimony given to the Youth Synod last week by Safa Al Alqoshy of Baghdad, Iraq, received the “most sustained applause” of any speaker so far, according to Bishop Robert Barron, one of the U.S. synod...

Here are Members of the Synod’s 4 English-Language Small Groups

By Edward Pentin | The small groups’ reports on part two of the instrumentum laboris, or working document, of the Youth Synod, were released today and primarily covered various aspects of vocational discernment. Many of the...

Washington Archdiocese releases names of priests accused of abuse

The Archdiocese of Washington has voluntarily released the names of abusive priests and stated that there have been no credible claims of abuse made against archdiocesan priests in almost 20 years.

In fight against hunger, Pope says ‘beautiful words’ must lead to collective action

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- Feeding the hungry requires combined action and political will to provide real help for the poor, Pope Francis has said.

 

In an Oct. 16 letter marking World Food Day, Pope Francis said that words needed become actions in the effort to eliminate poverty and hunger.

 

“We do indeed have the adequate means and framework so that beautiful words and good wishes may become an action plan of substance that leads effectively to the eradication of hunger in our world,” the Pope said Tuesday.

 

“To this end we need joint efforts, upright hearts, and persistent concern to firmly and resolutely make the other’s problem one’s own.”

 

There are “immense obstacles” to solving problems, and barriers that are “the fruit of indecision or delays, and a lack of enthusiasm on the part of responsible political leaders who are often absorbed purely by electoral concerns or are focused on biased, transitory or limited perspectives,” he said.

 

The pope’s message for World Food Day was sent to José Graziano da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This year’s World Food Day aims for a zero-hunger world by the year 2030.

 

In the letter, the pontiff advocated policies for the real needs of the poor, especially regarding levels of agricultural production, access to food markets, and other initiatives and actions. He stressed the need to realize that all countries are “equal in dignity” when it comes to making decisions.

 

“What is needed is the willingness to end hunger, and this ultimately will not happen without a moral conviction that is shared by all peoples and all religious persuasions, where the integral good of the person is at the heart of all initiatives and consists in ‘doing to another what we would want done to ourselves’.”

 

“We are speaking of an action based on solidarity among all nations and of the means that express the disposition of the people,” he said, stressing that it is imperative for civil society, media, and educational institutions to join forces.

 

“From now until 2030 we have 12 years to set up initiatives that are vigorous and consistent; not giving in to occasional spurts or intermittent and fleeting headlines, but rather facing up unremittingly to hunger and its causes in a spirit of solidarity, justice and consistency,” the Pope continued.

 

“The poor expect from us an effective help that takes them out of their misery, not mere propositions or agreements that, after studying in a detailed way the roots of their misery, bear as their fruit only solemn events, pledges that never materialize, or impressive publications destined only to enlarge library catalogues,” he said.

 

One in nine people around the world lack enough food to eat, according to Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a joint initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, said that

 

The initiative has expressed its frustration at the failure of the Congressional Farm Bill Conference Committee to finalize the “critical piece of legislation” and pass it into law before it expired on Sept. 30.

 

Catholics Confront Global Poverty is calling on Catholics and others to contact their lawmakers to ensure that “critical improvements” to international food security programs are present in the final version of the bill.

 

Catholic Relief Services is the largest private distributor of U.S. food aid in response to immediate emergencies including drought, flooding, or war or conflict. The agency also has land management and conservation programs to preserve and expand productive farmland.

 

While the pope’s remarks addressed global policy priorities and solutions for poverty and hunger, Joseph Cullen, a spokesperson for the Knights of Columbus, said the fraternal organization and its 1.9 million members worldwide are among those working to fight hunger directly, both overseas and close to home.

 

“We often forget that many people in the developed world also experience hunger,” Cullen told CNA.

 

The Catholic fraternity’s Food for Families program in the U.S. and Canada has donated almost $14 million for food and 28 million pounds of food since its launch in 2012.

 

Cullen suggested that such organized volunteerism and charity is a basis for creating the will to fight hunger.

 

“Many of us are unaware on a practical level that families and individuals struggle and are unable to provide food for their families,” he said. “By conducting and publicizing Food for Families programs in our communities, the underlying problem of hunger becomes better known and understood, helping create the will to eliminate this problem.”

 

The Knights of Columbus’ Supreme Council reimburses a portion of local councils’ monetary donations to food pantries, food banks and soup kitchens. Since 2014, the organization’s aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East has also included a food program component.

 

Pope Francis’ message further lamented the incongruity between technological advancement and continued problems with hunger.

 

“In this twenty-first century that has seen considerable advances in the field of technology, science, communications and infrastructure, we ought to feel shame for not having achieved the same advances in humanity and solidarity, and so satisfy the primary needs of the most disadvantaged,” he said in his World Food Day message.

 

“Neither can we console ourselves simply for having faced emergencies and desperate situations of those most in need. We are all called to go further. We can and we must do better for the helpless. We must move to concrete action, so that the scourge of hunger disappears completely.”

Catholic U. professor leads response to French President’s remark on large families

Washington D.C., Oct 16, 2018 / 04:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following a comment by President Emmanuel Macron, in which he expressed skepticism that any well-educated woman would decide to have many children, women with large families have been using the “#PostcardsForMacron” hashtag to send the French president pictures of their happy families.

Speaking about high fertility rates in Africa during a Gates Foundation “Goalkeepers” event held in New York City Sept. 25-26, Macron compared having a large family with forcing a girl to be married as a child.

Macron stated that when women are educated, they do not have many children.

“I always say: ‘Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children,” said Macron.

“Please present me with the young girl who decided to leave school at 10 in order to be married at 12.’”

In response, many women took issue with the French president’s apparent disbelief that academically successful women would choose to be mothers of several children.

Dr. Catherine R. Pakaluk, a professor of social research and economics at the Catholic University of America, started the hashtag by sharing a photo of herself and six of her eight children.

Postcards for Macron #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/fmX1vzITpv

— Catherine R Pakaluk (@CRPakaluk) October 16, 2018 She followed up that tweet explaining that she holds both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has, as she phrased it, “Eight children by choice.”

Her post garnered thousands of views, and other women followed her lead, including Beth Hockel, a “Stanford graduate, electrical engineer, mom of 11.”  

Stanford graduate, electrical engineer, mom of 11.  #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/Gl1Py63j7v

— Beth Hockel (@ehockel1) October 16, 2018 Catholic writer Elizabeth Foss shared a picture of her nine children, saying “Yes, they’re all mine. And so is my (University of Virginia) degree.”

Yes, they’re all mine. And so is my UVa degree. #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/dROzkKq1md

— elizabeth foss (@elizabethfoss) October 16, 2018 Men joined in as well, sharing pictures of their wives and their own mothers.

“Check out my educated and inspiring wife and mom of 7,” tweeted writer Josh Canning, along with a picture of his family.  

#DearEmmanuelMacron check out my educated and inspiring wife and mom of 7. #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/Ucp5eizIMa

— Josh Canning (@CatholicJosh) October 16, 2018 Several people pointed out that philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe was a mother of seven, and yet still taught at Oxford and Cambridge.

Dear @EmmanuelMacron This is the Oxford and Cambridge philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. She is widely considered one of the greatest 20th century philosophers. She had seven children. #PostcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/slZZptPsGv

— Samuel Gregg (@DrSamuelGregg) October 16, 2018 While Macron made the remarks at the end of September, his comments on family size gained media traction on Monday, following a report in the Guardian newspaper.

Macron himself does not have any children, but his wife has three children from her first marriage.

The Macrons met when the future French president was 15 years old, his future wife Brigitte Trogneux was his teacher.

'We need to show young people what holiness looks like' Gomez tells synod

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- Young people should look to the “saints of our times,” as models of holiness, Archbishop José Gomez told the Synod of Bishops on Tuesday. The Archbishop of Los Angeles highlighted the example of the seven recently canonized saints in his speech to the assembly.

 

Gomez spoke Oct. 16 during the fifteenth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, currently meeting in Rome to discuss young people, the faith, and vocational discernment. The session continues until Oct. 28.

 

In looking to saints, of which there are examples from “every continent,” young people will be inspired to live their vocation as “everyday saints” in their own unique way, Archbishop Gomez said. He also called on his brother bishops to be a model of sainthood for young people.

 

“We need to show young people what holiness looks like, by living the Gospel we preach, proclaiming Jesus Christ by the way we live. We need to call young people to be saints — and we need to be saints ourselves,” he said.

 

Gomez emphasized that calling young people to “conversion and new life in Christ” should be a priority in the synod’s final conclusions, and that the Church is called to serve and accompany young people on that journey.

 

This involves, he said, setting an example of how to pray, helping young people meet the Lord in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession, encouraging them to perform works of mercy for the poor, and cultivating a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

“Sadly, young people today do not know how to live authentic human lives because the adults of our secular society have not shown them the way,” Gomez said.

 

“The vision for life offered to young people in Western societies does not call them to goodness or beauty or truth. Instead, what is offered are various life ‘styles’ and alternatives for self-creation rooted in the restless consumption of material comforts, virtual entertainments, and passing pleasures,” he said.

 

The archbishop said that in his conversations with young people in his own diocese he came to see that the Church did offer the answers they were seeking.

 

"In the Incarnation of the Son of God and in his Passion and Resurrection, we see revealed the dignity and destiny of the human person, created in God’s image and called to live by his Spirit as a child of God and to be saints — to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy,” Gomez said.

 

Archbishop Gomez, along with seven auxiliary bishops, leads the largest archdiocese in the country, with over 4 million Catholics out of a total population of over 11 million.

Radical feminists attack church and town hall in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct 16, 2018 / 03:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Radical feminists firebombed a town hall and spray painted a Catholic Church in Argentina. The series of attacks came during a women’s conference held in the Patagonia region this past weekend.

The conference was the 33rd National Women's Encounter held October 13-15 in the city of Trelew in Chubut province, and focused primarily on promoting abortion and so-called gender ideology.

On October 14, participants in the conference marched through the streets of Trelew with signs in favor of legalized abortion and the separation of church and state. During the demonstration, a group of bare-chested feminists stood in front of Mary Help of Christians parish and attacked Trelew town hall with Molotov cocktail firebombs.

The women also attacked other public buildings with bombs, stones, and graffiti. The police and locals eventually managed to control the mob and ten women were arrested.

Police also had to shut down two gas stations for selling gasoline to young women who were suspected to be collecting gasoline for the Molotov cocktails.

This incident is one of numerous attacks on Catholic churches since the Argentinian senate rejected a bill legalizing abortion in August of this year.

In September, a Catholic school in the town of San Justo had hate messages spray painted on it, and students at different universities have forcibly removed religious images from their campuses, saying that they demand legalized abortion and the separation of church and state.