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Circuitous route led to director’s second film on exorcism

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WASHINGTON — Sometimes the best opportunities result from a mix of asking and having things fall into your lap.

So it was for William Friedkin, who directed “The Exorcist” 45 years ago and thought he was through with the subgenre he helped create. Then came his documentary on exorcism, “The Devil and Father Amorth.”

“It was a complete accident,” Friedkin told Catholic News Service in an April 16 interview in Washington to promote the film. “I had no intention of doing this. I had no interest. ‘The Exorcist’ was a work of fiction. I had never seen a real exorcism, and neither had William Peter Blatty,” who had written the novel on which that movie was based. Read more »

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U.S. Catholics’ political leanings affect their approval ratings of pope

March 7th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags:

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — In the advent of Pope Francis’ fifth anniversary in the papacy, a new Pew Research poll of U.S. Catholics shows their regard of the pope is, for the first time, colored by their political leanings.

The survey, released March 6, said it saw “signs of growing discontent with Francis among Catholics on the political right, with increasing shares of Catholic Republicans saying they view Francis unfavorably, and that they think he is too liberal and naive.”

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Son’s meeting with birth mother who nearly aborted him made into film

March 5th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — David Scotton knew he had been adopted, but he didn’t really know the circumstances behind it until his birth mother made contact with him.

“I didn’t ask about it for a solid 16-17 years. But when my birth mother reached out to me, it set everything in motion,” Scotton said.

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‘Politics for peace’ prompts question of what it would look like

February 10th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — When Pope Francis said, in the title of his 2017 World Day of Peace message, that he wanted to see nonviolence as “a style of politics for peace,” it made peace teachers happy, but it also prompted them to consider what such a world would look like in practical terms.

“There’s no one country that has put it all together and become a model for these others,” acknowledged William Barbieri, who is director of the peace and justice studies program in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America, Washington. He noted, though, there are many encouraging signs of international cooperation that dovetail with peacebuilding.

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Church inadequate in role against racism, Bishop Murry says

February 5th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The bishop who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism gave a sobering assessment of U.S. Catholics’ treatment of blacks, from the laity to the hierarchy.

“The American Catholic Church has continued to be virtually silent,” said Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, “which leads us to the question: Why?”

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Cardinal Dolan says March for Life is akin to MLK’s fight for civil rights

January 19th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was invoked by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York in the cardinal’s homily during the Jan. 18 Mass that opened the National Prayer Vigil for Life.

Like “Pastor King,” as Cardinal Dolan referred to him throughout his homily, “our belief in the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of all human life propels us to concern for human life wherever, whenever, and however it is threatened, from racial antagonism to justice for immigrants, from the war-torn to the hungry,” the prelate said.

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Laypeople integral to ‘the pre-eminent rights issue of our day’

January 14th, 2018 Posted in Featured, National News Tags:

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WASHINGTON (CNS) — Building a culture of life is not solely the work of bishops and ordained clergy. Laypeople take the lead in diocesan and parish settings, and in independent organizations, to make the case for life.

Johanna Coughlin is one such example, but far from the only example. In her eighth year of working for the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Respect Life Office, she took over as director last year when her predecessor retired.

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Net neutrality matters in freedom of speech, other rights

January 5th, 2018 Posted in National News

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — After new Federal Communications Committee chair Ajit Pai announced his intentions in April to redo federal policy on net neutrality, the Dec. 14 vote to rewrite the rules should have seemed anticlimactic.

That was far from the case, though, both before, during and after the 3-2 FCC vote along party lines to change the rules. Hundreds of protesters turned out in front of the Washington office building that houses the FCC the day of the meeting to condemn the impending vote.

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Creche crush: D.C. couple has collection of 500 Nativity scenes

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON  — For Roger and Marguerite Sullivan of Washington, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Thanks to their travels throughout the world over the past 40 years — he for the World Bank, she for the State Department — the Catholic couple has collected at least 500 Nativity scenes. Read more »

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Abortion, assisted suicide are pro-life focus, says cardinal

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Catholic News Service

 

BALTIMORE — Assisted suicide and abortion remain the focus of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, according to Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, the committee chairman.

One of those issues was being taken up by the American Medical Association House of Delegates as the U.S. bishops held their fall general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 13-14. Read more »

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