Movie Reviews

Posted January 4, 2019 at 12:00 am

Aquaman

Warner Bros.

A sprawling, lush spectacle, this DC Comics adaptation is also overlong, overcomplicated and, at times, just plain dumb. After washing up on shore wounded, the queen of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman) is nursed back to health by a lighthouse keeper (Temuera Morrison) whom she weds and with whom she has a son before being forced to return underwater to the arranged marriage she was trying to flee in the first place. Once grown (Jason Momoa), the couple’s superhero offspring reluctantly gets mixed up in the politics of his mother’s kingdom where the realm’s vizier (Willem Dafoe) and a spunky princess (Amber Heard) are trying to stop its current sovereign (Patrick Wilson), the protagonist’s half-brother, from launching a war against the entire human race. While director James Wan’s film showcases long-term marital fidelity and elevates mercy over vengeance while also deploring the ravages of

Read Full Story…

    Immigration battles continue as 2018 comes to an end

    By Rhina Guidos

    Catholic News Service

    WASHINGTON – The year may be coming to an end but the battles on the immigration front promise to continue well into 2019 and beyond.

    “On immigration, there is no rest for the weary with this administration,” said Kevin Appleby, senior director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies in New York.

    By far, the most dramatic immigration development of 2018 took place around summer when then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new policy that resulted in separating children from parents or other

    Read Full Story…

    Church marred by allegations of abuse

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – 2018 will no doubt be remembered as a dark time for the U.S. Catholic Church.

    Catholics felt betrayed by church leaders accused of sexual misconduct and cover-up revealed this summer and this cloud still hung over the church at the year’s end.

    In June, allegations were made against then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, accused of sexually abusing a minor almost 50 years ago and having sexual contact with seminarians while he was a bishop in New Jersey.

    A month later, Pope Francis accepted Archbishop McCarrick’s resignation from the College

    Read Full Story…

    Bishops Conf 2.jpg

    Cardinal says he leaves USCCB assembly more hopeful than when it started

    BALTIMORE (CNS) – The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he was leaving the bishops’ fall general assembly Nov. 14 more hopeful than when the meeting began two days earlier.  

    Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said in remarks closing the assembly that his hope was primarily grounded in Christ as well as realizing that the body of bishops was on the road to implementing protocols to boost the accountability of bishops to laypeople

    Read Full Story…

    pittsburgh photo 1.tif

    Shooting victims mourned; faith, civic leaders vow to fight hate, violence

    PITTSBURGH – Thousands of people gathered outside and inside the Sailors and Soldiers Memorial Hall of the University of Pittsburgh Oct. 28 at an interfaith service to mourn the victims of the horrific shooting a day earlier at the Tree of Life synagogue.  

    A Baptist gospel choir opened the service, which was organized under the banner “Stronger Together.” Christian and Muslim clergy were among those who made remarks, but the leaders of the service were rabbis representing the three Jewish congregations

    Read Full Story…

    Day of the Dead has various cultural traditions

    Many Catholics in the Diocese of Baton Rouge are finalizing preparations to visit their departed loved ones at cemeteries through southeastern Louisiana.

    Visiting cemeteries on All Saints’ Day is a time-honored tradition that spans generations. Who among us could ever forget our mothers loading us into the family jalopy, the normal malodorous smell of melted candy and fast food wrappers graced by the fragrance of freshly cut flowers, and going to visit gravesites of distance relatives we never even knew?

    Those customs differ worldwide.

    The Day of the Dead, or Dide de los Muertosas, is

    Read Full Story…

    IMG_6050.tif

    U.S. bishops find ‘honest, hopeful’ young adults at V Encuentro

    GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) – When Sister Lucero Espitia looked around the ballroom, she saw other people like herself. 

    While the Disciple of Jesus sister from Aguascalientes, Mexico, didn’t see many other habited consecrated women religious like herself, she did see some 750 other Catholic young adults like herself buzzing with excitement as they sat down for dinner with a cross section of the 150 bishops attending the V Encuentro, or National Fifth Encuentro, in Grapevine. 

    Sharing her perspective

    Read Full Story…

    p 17 St. John anniversary 1.tif

    165TH ANNIVERSARY

    A special Mass marking 165 years of Catholic education in the city of Plaquemine was celebrated at St. John the Evangelist Church in Plaquemine on Sept. 23. Concelebrating the Mass were, from left, Deacon Alfred Ricard, pastor Father Greg Daigle, Msgr. Earl Gauthreaux and Father Cleo Milano, former pastor of St. John. Msgr. Gauthreaux is a native of Plaquemine and attended St. John. He serves in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  Photo provided by Donna Carville 

    Church plans third-party abuse reporting system

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Pledging to “heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us,” the U.S. bishops’ Administrative Committee Sept. 19 outlined actions to address the abuse crisis, including approving the establishment of a third-party confidential reporting system for claims of any abuse by bishops.

    It also instructed the U.S. bishops’ canonical affairs committee to develop proposals for policies addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations of abuse of minors or adults.

    Read Full Story…

    page 17 medjugorje photo.tif

    Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

    Pilgrims pray in front of a statue of Mary on Apparition Hill in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 2011. CNS photo | Paul Haring

    WARSAW, Poland (CNS) – The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including more Masses in different languages and facilities for young pilgrims who flock to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions.

    “Medjugorje represents Europe’s spiritual

    Read Full Story…

    page 11.tif

    Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

    Oliver Kelly, age 1, cries as he is carried off a sheriff’s airboat in Leland, North Carolina, during his Sept. 17 rescue from rising floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. CNS photo

    RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) – The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. 14. And although the storm was downgraded from a hurricane to a Category 1 tropical storm, it still

    Read Full Story…

    page 5 new photo .jpg

    USCCB president seeks papal audience; pope says he trusts people to judge archbishop’s claims about him

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he was “eager for an audience” with Pope Francis to gain his support for the bishops’ plan to respond to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.  

    In an Aug. 27 statement, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston also said that the questions raised by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former nuncio to the United States, in a letter published by two Catholic media outlets “deserve answers that are

    Read Full Story…

    Bishops’ protection charter ready

    By Peter Finney

    The Clarion Herald  

    The chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People said a two-year project to revise the charter that guides the U.S. church in protecting minors from sexual abuse is nearly ready to be presented to the full body of bishops.  

    “We’ve done a lot of nice work over the last two years,” Lafayette Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, chair of the committee, told the 13th annual Child and

    Read Full Story…

    Irish voters approve referendum allowing abortion

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator

    A St. Amant teenager preparing to embark on a mission to Ireland said she is heartbroken by that country’s vote opening the door to abortion on demand. Yet, she said, the vote is only further evidence that God is leading her where she is needed. Results from the nationwide referendum showed that 66.4 percent of citizens opted to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Irish constitution, while 33.6 percent voted to retain it. Turnout was 64.5 percent. Voters inserted the original amendment in the constitution in 1983 by a margin of 2-1, and it “acknowledges the

    Read Full Story…

    p 4 popeapostolic reaction phot.tif

    USCCB president praises pope for ‘powerful words’ calling all to holiness

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he is grateful to  Pope Francis for “his powerful, straightforward words” in “Gaudete et Exsultate” (“Rejoice and Be Glad”), his apostolic exhortation on “the call to holiness in today’s world.”

    “Pope Francis is very clear,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. “He is doing his duty as the vicar of Christ, by strongly urging each and every Christian to freely, and without any qualifications,

    Read Full Story…

    bill graham photo.tif

    Rev. Graham remembered for deep faith

    Bishop Robert W. Muench expressed sadness when he learned of the death of Rev. Bill Graham and offered prayers for the beloved evangelist, his family and followers.  

    Rev. Graham died at his home in Montreat, North Carolina on Feb. 21 at the age of 99. 

    Rev. Bill Graham

     

    “Dr. Graham was a powerful evangelist for Jesus who touched the hearts and

    Read Full Story…

    Congress gets calls to save DACA

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – As Congress reconvened after a 10-day recess, members of both chambers received calls from Catholics around the country Feb. 26 urging them to find a legislative solution to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.

    The U.S. Catholic bishops asked people to call their senators and representatives and urge them to protect “Dreamers” from deportation; provide them a path to citizenship; and to avoid “any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process.”

    Read Full Story…

    Congress urged to ‘fix fundamental flaws’ in final tax reform bill

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Congress must “fix the fundamental flaws” in both the Senate and House versions of the tax reform proposal as lawmakers try to reach an agreement on a final bill, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

    Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, the chairman, issued a statement Dec. 2 in response to Senate passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in a 51-49 vote at 1:50 a.m. Washington time. Both chambers must meet in conference

    Read Full Story…

    page 4 immigration photo.tif

    Fixing immigration system doesn’t mean demonization

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski said laws need to be changed to fix the country’s broken immigration system, but in the process, immigrants should not be demonized.

    “Fixing illegal immigration does not require the demonization of the so-called ‘illegals,’ ” said Archbishop Wenski, addressing an audience at a Nov. 28 event in Miami sponsored by the Immigration Partnership and Coalition Fund. 

    “America has always been a land of promise and opportunity for those

    Read Full Story…

    Puerto Rico archbishop sees spiritual rebirth after storm’s wrath

    BALTIMORE (CNS) – Almost two months after the devastating winds and rains of Hurricane Maria pummeled the island of Puerto Rico, there is still no clear path to recovery. 

    Although some power and phone service have been restored and relief supplies are slowly filtering in, the cleanup and rebuilding is only just beginning. 

    “You go day by day, but it’s overwhelming and traumatic,” said Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

    The archbishop, who attended the U.S.

    Read Full Story…

    Liturgical leaders discuss pastoral care to the sick

    Nearly 150 leaders from 85 dioceses gathered in Bloomington, Minnesota from Oct. 3-5 for the 48th annual national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC), of which vicar general Father Tom Ranzino is a past president and the current Region 5 director.

    The meeting focused on “Touching the Hem of His Garment: The Pastoral Care of the Sick.” Specifically, members examined the rites of the

    Read Full Story…

    With prayer, Catholics deal with Maria’s wrath

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Authorities say it may take months for electricity to fully return to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island and its infrastructure as it made landfall Sept. 20.  

    When the hurricane hit the island with winds of up to 155 miles per hour, it tore out cables, roofs from homes and buildings, uprooted palm trees and even bent a cross anchored to a cement post at the entrance of a Jesuit school.  

    It has been difficult to communicate with the

    Read Full Story…

    mexico earthquake photo.tif

    Church leaders offer prayers after earthquake

    MEXICO CITY (CNS) – Mexican church leaders offered prayers and urged generosity after an earthquake struck the national capital and its environs, claiming more than 240 lives – including at least 20 children trapped in a collapsed school.  

    The magnitude 7.1 earthquake Sept. 19 added to the misery of Mexicans who suffered a magnitude 8.1 earthquake 12 days earlier. That quake left nearly 100 dead in the country’s southern states and left thousands more homeless.  

    “We

    Read Full Story…

    p 8 racism photo.tif

    Bishops form new body to address ‘sin of racism’

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Saying there is an “urgent need” to address “the sin of racism” in the country and find solutions to it, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has established a new Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and appointed one of the country’s African-American Catholic bishops to chair it. 

    Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, initiated the committee Aug. 23 “to focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in our church, and the urgent need to come together as a society to find

    Read Full Story…

    Bishop asks for peace after deadly rally

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – In the aftermath of a chaos- and hate-filled weekend in Virginia, Catholic bishops and groups throughout the nation called for peace after three people died and several others were injured following clashes between pacifists, protesters and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 11 and 12.

    A 32-year-old paralegal, Heather D. Heyer, was killed when a car plowed into a group in Charlottesville Aug. 12. Various news outlets have identified the driver as James Alex Fields, who allegedly told his mother he was attending a rally

    Read Full Story…

    Q-and-A on the Vatican’s recent instruction on bread, wine for Communion

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Vatican recently published a circular letter, “On the bread and wine for the Eucharist,” sent to diocesan bishops at the request of Pope Francis. Dated June 15 –the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ – the letter was made public by the Vatican July 8.

    Because bread and wine for the Eucharist are no longer supplied just by religious communities, but “are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet,” bishops should set up guidelines, an oversight

    Read Full Story…

    House members approve measure to repeal D.C. assisted suicide law

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The House Appropriations Committee voted July 13 in favor of an amendment to repeal the District of Columbia’s assisted suicide law.

    The day before the vote, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan sent a letter to members of the committee urging them to “nullify the D.C. City Council’s deceptively named ‘Death with Dignity Act’ that legalizes the dangerous and unethical practice of doctor-assisted suicide.”

    The amendment to the fiscal year 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations

    Read Full Story…

    Roundtable says church must ‘recruit, empower’ diverse lay leaders

    ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS)  Over 100 Catholic leaders attending the Leadership Roundtable’s annual convening in Orlando said the church needs to go beyond “engaging laity” to “appointing, recruiting, promoting and empowering diverse lay leaders.”

    “This requires laity and ordained being in right relationship as co-responsible for the mission” of the Catholic Church, said the group in a statement released after the close of its June 29-30 meeting.

    The Washington-based National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management held its annual convening just

    Read Full Story…

    Bishops: Loss of affordable health care with GOP plan ‘simply unacceptable’

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, in its analysis of the Senate health care bill, said late June 26 the measure would leave 22 million more people without insurance.

    “This moment cannot pass without comment,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

    “Today, the Congressional Budget Office released a report on the ‘discussion draft’ of the Senate health care proposal, indicating that

    Read Full Story…

    travel ban photo'.jpg

    Partial travel ban worries bishops, Catholic groups

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration said the country’s Catholic bishops are “deeply concerned” about the consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow a partial ban on foreign nationals as it reviews the constitutionality of a wider ban.

    “Today’s decision will have human consequences,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, of Austin, Texas, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement that in October it will hear a case involving President

    Read Full Story…

Bla