LCCB issues letter supporting unanimous juries

Posted October 12, 2018 at 12:00 am

The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly affirms the Nov. 6th ballot initiative to return Louisiana to a state possessing unanimous juries, and therefore enabling its legal practices to become more truly reflective of justice. Louisiana must return to the wisdom of its origins within this matter and bring its practice in line with the 48 states that require unanimous jury verdicts for all felony convictions. During her founding in 1803, Louisiana required unanimous juries. However, unanimity was abandoned in 1880, and this abandonment was subsequently codified in 1898 by way of Article 116 of her Constitution. The opportunity and time are ripe for Louisiana to move beyond such abandonment, and fully embrace the justice of unanimity. “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and

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    Letter to the editor: Time to be brave

    I appreciate that you do not believe that children should not be used as political pawns and I do agree with you. However, please get your facts straight. The children who were taken away from their parents number closer to 4,000. They were not housed with foster families, they were housed in office buildings without showers, in tents without air conditioning. They were molested.

    They were subjected to racial slurs and ridicule.

    Many were seeking asylum from gang violence and horrible situations at home. This is all the result of a policy instituted by

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    Thoughts while praying the rosary/ Should Sunday Mass be obligatory

    Q I would appreciate your help with a question I’ve had for a long time. When I am saying the rosary, should I be thinking of the words to the Hail Mary or about the particular mystery I am then on? (Morrilton, Arkansas)

    AI think it’s a matter of personal choice. Whatever best helps to make these moments a time of prayer and of peace, whatever makes you more aware of the presence of God and his love, that is the way

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    Finding Jesus in the breaking of the bread

    A mother sent her two sons to college, and as sometimes happens, she discovered a few years later that they were no longer going to church. To her questions they only answered, “We don’t get anything out of it; it is not important in our lives now.” She prayed and prayed, and one Sunday, without warning, they sat down next to her at Mass. “What made you come back?” she asked later that evening. They told her the story. 

    A few weeks before,

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    The search for an indubitable truth

    In a book, “12 Rules for Life – An Antidote to Chaos,” that’s justifiably making waves in many circles today, Jordan Peterson shares about his own journey towards truth and meaning. Here’s that story:

    At one point in his life, while still young and finding his own path, he reached a stage where he felt agnostic, not just about the shallow Christianity he’d been raised on, but also about most everything else in terms of truth and trust. What really can we believe in? What’s ultimately to be trusted?

    Too humble

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    Divorced and Communion/ Missing Mass and mortal sin

    Q I am in my 50s and have now been divorced for three years. I was married in the Catholic Church and have always attended Sunday Mass regularly and received Communion. But I have begun to wonder whether I should still take Communion. 

    I asked a priest recently in confession, and he said that it was OK, but I still feel unsure about it. (Also, I have kept my marriage vows so far; but if I were to become involved with someone else,

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    EDITORIAL: Protecting all life

    Capital punishment has once again intersected at the crossroads of politics and the respect for human life. 

    Separated by thousands of miles, and even further by ideologies, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Pope Francis have recently spoken out on the death penalty, and the chasm could not be wider. 

    Landry, a staunch proponent of capital punishment, has publicly called out Gov. John Bel Edwards, claiming the governor is stalling the process of carrying out executions in Louisiana. The most recent execution in the state was in 2010.

    Although the generally accepted method of lethal

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    Gratitude is the key to a personal relationship with God

    Before taking a two-month July through August break in his usual schedule, Pope Francis gave some spiritual tips to those attending his final general audience on June 27. He said that if you want to have a personal relationship with God, even, and maybe especially on vacation, ask yourselves in the silence of your hearts, “How much has God done for me? How many beautiful things has God done for me?” 

    Gratitude for God’s saving love has to come first. We don’t follow

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    Civil wedding ceremony – should we go?/Did Jesus die at 33?

    Q My son is scheduled to be a groomsman for one of his best friends, who has been living with his girlfriend for several years. It is to be a civil ceremony held in a hotel. I told my son that I would not be able to go since I am a Catholic and my attendance would look like approval. Naturally, my son was annoyed. Am I doing the right thing? (County Westmeath, Ireland)  

    A As regards your son’s friend and his bride-to-be,

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    EDITORIAL: Children are not pawns

    Young children are clearly the most vulnerable members of society and certainly deserving of our protection. Yet, they continue to be exploited as pawns in bi-partisan political chess matches.
    Paradoxically, young lives are being used to bolster two seemingly unrelated political planks, that of immigration and abortion.

    The so-called “zero-tolerance” policy enacted by the Trump administration separated 2,700 young immigrant children from their parents during a seven-month period beginning in October. The children in question, some under the age of five, were separated from their parents because the parents who entered the country illegally were detained for potential

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    Consecrated celibacy – an apologia

    By Father Ron Rolheiser

    Huston Smith, the renowned commentator on world religions, submits that you should not judge a religion by its worst expressions, but by its best, its saints. That’s also true in terms of judging the merits of vowed, consecrated celibacy. It should be judged by its best, not perverse, examples, as is true too for the institution of marriage.

    I write this apologia because today consecrated celibacy is under siege from critics in almost every circle. Celibacy is no longer understood or deemed realistic by a culture which basically refuses to accept any restrictions in the

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    What would be dangerous enough to make you flee your home?

    By Father John Carville

    I am preparing to leave this Friday, July 6, on a mission trip with 20 stalwart part-time missionaries from St. John the Evangelist Church in Prairieville. We have been doing this for quite a few years, but the feeling of anticipation and excitement always returns.  Of course, with the situation of so many refugees coming to the United States across our border with Mexico from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, and our government’s extreme measures to prevent their entering and staying, many people have asked, “Is it to

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    EDITORIAL: Irish tragedy

    America’s culture of death is apparently catching on across the pond.

    On May 25, voters in Ireland overwhelmingly approved a referendum to overturn that country’s ban on abortion, paving the way for abortion on demand for up to 12 weeks.

    Two-thirds of the electorate voted in favor of the referendum, with only 33.6 percent against.

    Perhaps most telling is 90 percent of young voters aged 18-26 approved the referendum. Additionally, the vote is further evidence of the marginalization of the church’s once powerful influence in Ireland, a country that only three years ago approved same-sex

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    EDITORIAL: Poor will pay

    Louisiana legislators are clearly facing a daunting task as the sixth special session of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ term convenes.

    Regardless of the ultimate outcome, it is safe to assume low-income residents, some of the most needy in Louisiana, will be impacted by whatever financial solutions are approved to address the looming $648 million fiscal cliff.

    Options considered in the recent regular session offer little to no relief for the underprivileged.

    Consider that each of the budget bills adopted by the Senate and House, though widely divergent, propose, depending on chamber document, cuts to the

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    Prayer as a spiritual work of mercy

    The seventh and final spiritual work of mercy is “Pray for the living and the dead.” St. Faustina, the patron saint of mercy, commented, “If I cannot show mercy by deeds, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.” And prayer works. It is a spontaneous response when good things happen to those whom we love as well as when hardship or suffering strikes them. Prayer creates a solidarity between us who pray and those for whom

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    Sunday Mass obligation/New luminous mystery?

    Q In the Bible, Jesus says: “Do this in memory of me.” But he doesn’t say that it has to be done every Sunday and holy day. So many young people are falling away from the church because of its rigidity.

    Please explain why we are obligated. (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

    A The responsibility to gather on Sundays for the Eucharist has been recognized by Christians since the earliest days of

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    Mourning our barrenness

    Several years ago, while teaching a summer course at Seattle University, I had as one of my students, a woman who, while happily married, was unable to conceive a child. She had no illusions about what this meant for her. It bothered her a great deal. She found Mother’s Day very difficult. Among other things, she wrote a well-researched thesis on the concept of barrenness in Scripture and developed a retreat on that same theme which she offered at various renewal centers.

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Viewpoint Archived

    EDITORIAL: Confusing times

    Anger. Hurt. Sorrow. Confusion. Misleading. Distrust. Disillusionment.

    Emotions many Catholics around the world are likely experiencing, and one could argue with good reason.

    Once again, allegations of

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