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Phoenix norms won’t curtail precious blood distribution

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Catholic News Service

PHOENIX — Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted has issued new norms for the distribution of Communion in the Diocese of Phoenix that entrust to pastors the decision to make available Communion under both kinds in their parishes.

Promulgated Nov. 7, the new norms for the Diocese of Phoenix are intended to promote greater reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. They are based on three church documents that provide guidance for celebrating Mass: the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, “Redemptionis Sacramentum” and the Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

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Supreme Court to hear challenges to federal health care law

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By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court Nov. 14 agreed to take three separate cases challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, granting an unusually lengthy time period for oral arguments.

The court Nov. 14 agreed to hear three cases out of Florida, each raising questions about different aspects of the national health care program signed into law in March 2010. It set aside five and a half hours for oral arguments, likely to occur in March.

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Senators ask why bishops’ agency was denied grant

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — A group of Republican senators have asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for detailed information to justify the denial of a one-year grant to the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services to aid foreign-born human trafficking victims.

In a Nov. 9 letter to Sebelius, 27 senators asked for various records such as copies of all grant applications, the scores assigned to each application, and documents and communication including telephone and email records dating back one year related to the development of grant guidelines.

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Catholic women urged to oppose death penalty

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CHICAGO — Work to end the death penalty. That’s what Sister Helen Prejean asked of more than 650 women Nov. 9 at the National Council of Catholic Women’s annual conference held over three days in downtown Chicago.

NCCW consists of more than 4,000 women’s organizations in U.S. parishes and dioceses.

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Archbishop heartened by Obama’s response to religious liberty concerns

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BALTIMORE — After a lengthy report from the chairman of a new Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he came away from a recent meeting with President Barack Obama encouraged about some aspects of religious rights concerns.

Speaking Nov. 14 at the bishops’ fall general assembly, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., committee chairman, outlined a range of actions by government agencies seen as threats to religious rights. He explained the constitutional and natural law concerns the ad hoc committee aims to address.

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Penn State scandal shows scope of sex abuse, official says

November 15th, 2011 Posted in Featured, National News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — The scandal rocking Penn State University shows both the scope of the sex abuse problem and the value of safe environment training, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said at a Nov. 14 news conference.

Responding to a question following the first session of the USCCB fall general assembly in Baltimore, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York said the news that has led to the indictment of several Penn State officials and the firing of the university’s president and its longtime football coach, Joe Paterno, “has reopened a wound in the church as well.”

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Reclaim truth, credibility, beauty of Jesus’ church, bishops told

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New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addresses the U.S. bishops Nov. 14 during their annual fall meeting in Baltimore. (CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York called on his fellow bishops Nov. 14 to communicate to the world that the sinfulness of the church’s members is not “a reason to dismiss the church or her eternal truths, but to embrace her all the more.”

In his first presidential address since election as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last November, Archbishop Dolan opened and closed with the words: “Love for Jesus and his church must be the passion of our lives.”

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Weekly churchgoing is an anti-depressant, study finds

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Past studies have shown that those who attend religious services at least weekly tend to live longer and healthier lives. Now, new research indicates that frequent churchgoers also face those additional years with more optimism and greater social support than other people.

A study involving more than 92,000 postmenopausal women showed that those who reported weekly attendance at religious services were 56 percent more likely to be above the median in terms of their optimism level. They also were significantly less likely to be depressed or to be characterized by cynical hostility.

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New York dioceses announce seminary partnership

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Catholic News Service

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. — The New York archdiocese and two dioceses will join forces in a single program of priestly formation that is described by the partners as an expression of episcopal collegiality and a model for diocesan cooperation.

New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Rockville Centre Bishop William F. Murphy signed a joint agreement Nov. 10 to create the St. Charles Borromeo Inter-Diocesan Partnership in Spiritual and Theological Formation for Clergy, Religious and Laity.

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Deacon, an Afghanistan veteran, grateful for country, religious freedom

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Deacon Catarino Villanueva, who was ordained in 2010 and now serves at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Harlingen, Texas, is shown on active duty as a member of the National Guard deployed to Afghanistan in 2005. (CNS)

HARLINGEN, Texas — When Deacon Catarino Villanueva arrived on Forward Operating Base Ghazni, Afghanistan, in 2005 for a yearlong deployment with the National Guard, he immediately looked for opportunities to practice his Catholic faith.

“I wanted to see what they had there as far as my spirituality,” said Deacon Villanueva, who was ordained to the permanent diaconate in December 2010 and assigned to Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Harlingen. “There was nothing there, just a bare tent with some makeshift benches.”

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