Barrett’s confirmation ‘a gain for the entire country’

Posted November 4, 2020 at 12:00 am

By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator

Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court received enthusiastic responses from throughout the Catholic community, including at the diocesan and state levels.

Barrett, a native of New Orleans who was raised in Metairie and graduated from St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans, was confirmed Oct. 26 in a Senate vote that mostly divided along party lines.

Barrett is the sixth practicing Catholic justice at the Supreme Court, joining Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Brett Kavanaugh. In addition, Barrett will join Sotomayor as the only two Catholic female Supreme Court Justices in U.S. history.

“The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is a gain for the entire country,” said Danielle Van Haute, Respect Life Coordinator for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. “Her qualifications and commitment to the fair application of the law have been recognized

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    Catholic front-runner as Trump signals SC nomination plans

    CNA – President Donald Trump Sept. 19 signaled he would soon nominate a potential replacement to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18 at 87.

    Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a New Orleans native and a Catholic mother of seven, is widely reported to be the front-runner in the president’s deliberations regarding a nominee.

    “We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States

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    Survey of bishops reveals how pandemic has shak en diocesan, parish life

    CLEVELAND (CNS) – Nearly every bishop responding to a survey said the coronavirus pandemic has seriously affected the celebration of the sacraments and rites and sacramental preparation programs in their dioceses.

    Confirmations, first Communions, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and other sacramental preparation were the ministries most often cited by the bishops as being affected, according to the survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

    In addition, six out of 10 bishops said that since March when restrictions on ministry and Mass attendance were put in place,

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    Injustice of racism perpetuated by indifference

    PHOENIX (CNS) – Just as the prodigal son cried out to his father for forgiveness, so too we cry out to God the Father for the sin of racism, said Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix at a special “Mass for Forgiveness of the Sin of Racism” June 8 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.  

    “Racism is not overcome by our own human determination. It is overcome by God, by his mercy. … Only God can change minds and hearts. That’s

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    Bishops ‘sickened’ by Floyd’s death, say racism ‘real and present danger’

    WASHINGTON (CNS) The U.S. Catholic bishops said May 29 they “are broken-hearted, sickened and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes.”

    ​”What’s more astounding is that this is happening within mere weeks of several other such occurrences. This is the latest wake-up call that needs to be answered by each of us in a spirit of determined conversion,” they said in a statement about the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

    ​In recent weeks, Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old African American man in Georgia, was fatally shot,

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    Faith stronger during virus

    WASHINGTON (CNS)  – Two separate polls show that Americans are relying more on their faith to help persevere through the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Pew Research Center, in a survey released April 30, showed that nearly one-fourth of all Americans say their faith has grown stronger during the pandemic, while only 2% said it had grown weaker.

    Catholics, according to Pew, are very much in line with the overall survey results. Among Catholic respondents, 27% said their faith had grown stronger with 2% saying it had gotten weaker. In addition, 63% said their faith had not

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    President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops releases message for Holy Week

    WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement for Holy Week.

    Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:

    “Future generations will look back on this as the long Lent of 2020, a time when disease and death suddenly darkened the whole earth. As we enter into Holy Week, these most sacred days of the year, Catholics across the United States and the world are living under quarantine, our societies shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. “But we know that our Redeemer lives. Even in this extraordinary and challenging moment,

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    A divided court examines Louisiana abortion restrictions

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – In oral arguments March 4, the Supreme Court justices expressed mixed views about a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and if the abortion providers have the legal standing to challenge the state law on behalf of their patients.  

    At the end of the hour-long arguments, there were no clear answers.  

    The case has a familiar ring because the court struck down a nearly identical

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    Almsgiving: An overshadowed Lenten pillar has something to say

    WASHINGTON (CNS) –When it comes to the three pillars of Lent, almsgiving is a little bit like the middle child, not always getting the attention that prayer and fasting do.

    The word hardly rolls off the tongue and people don’t talk about it as they might discuss what they are giving up for Lent or how they might be praying more or reading spiritual books during the 40 days before Easter.

    Christians might have good reason not to talk about their almsgiving practices since biblical warnings are pretty clear on guidelines of keeping this practice quiet.

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    Bryant relied on Catholic faith

    CALABASAS, Calif. (CNS) – As the world mourned the loss of basketball great Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a tragic helicopter crash Jan. 26, many recalled how Bryant gave much credit to his Catholic faith for seeing him through the bad times and strengthening his marriage and family.

    A shooting guard, Bryant was drafted into the NBA at age 17 and played his entire 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships. He retired at the end of the

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    Mom who lost son to suicide leads seminars to educate others, spread hope

    ERIE, Pa. (CNS) – Three years ago, Betty Koscinski, 75, lost her son to suicide. She now spends most of her time and energy spreading hope and educating others about mental illness.  

    “Not many people at my age start out on a new path,” said Koscinski, a member of Notre Dame Parish in Hermitage, Pennsylvania.  

    Before her son Joe’s death in 2016 at age 41, she already had been working for 10 years as a behavioral specialist consultant,

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    At year’s end, humanitarian aid for migrants moves across border

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Over the last year, Catholic dioceses on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico, in places such as El Paso and Brownsville, Texas, scrambled to accommodate the growing number of children, men and women crossing the border, seeking asylum and entering the U.S.  

    Donations, volunteers and financial help flowed into shelters, such as the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley’s respite center in McAllen, Texas, to help clothe, feed and provide other temporary help to the migrants.  

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    Clothing drive helps babies in Christ’s hometown

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The ask for baby items heading to the Holy Land couldn’t be more appropriate: “swaddling clothes needed.”

    The Gospel of Luke mentions, after all, that Mary wrapped the baby Jesus in “swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

    But the “swaddling clothes” of modern times come in the form of onesies, the one-piece clothing item for babies, and it’s the indispensable item the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation has been asking for as a gift to give to newborns in Christ’s birthplace.

    Through a clothing drive at Washington’s

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    Pastoral against racism is starting conversations, healing, bishops told

    BALTIMORE (CNS) – One year after the U.S. bishops approved their pastoral letter against racism, the document is hardly just sitting on a shelf but is the basis for listening sessions in dioceses around the country and is an educational tool for individuals, schools and parishes, the bishops were told Nov. 13.

    Bishop Shelton T. Fabre, a  native of New Roads and bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, described the attention the letter is getting around the country in a presentation on the final day

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    Pope Francis joins prayers for victims of mass shootings

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Pope Francis joined Catholic Church leaders expressing sorrow after back-to-back mass shootings in the United States left at least 31 dead and dozens injured in Texas and Ohio Aug. 3 and 4.  

    After the prayer called the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on Aug. 4, the pope said he wanted to convey his spiritual closeness to the victims, the wounded and the families affected by the attacks. He also included those who died a weekend earlier during a

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    Death penalty reinstatement brings unwelcome news

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The July 25 announcement by the Justice Department that it is reinstating the federal death penalty for the first time in 16 years was unwelcome news for Catholic leaders who have advocated against capital punishment.  

    “The United States’ death penalty system is tragically flawed. Resuming federal executions – especially by an administration that identifies itself as ‘pro-life’ – is wrongheaded and unconscionable,” said Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of Catholic Mobilizing Network, a group that champions restorative justice

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    ‘Dangerous’ bill on seal of confession withdrawn before key hearing

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – In a last-minute twist, a California bill that would have required priests to break the sacramental seal of confession was shelved by its sponsor amid a remarkable grassroots campaign mounted by the state’s Catholics, members of other faith groups, and religious liberty advocates from across the country.

    S.B. Bill 360 was withdrawn the day before a scheduled July 9 hearing in the California Assembly Public Safety Committee, effectively removing it from any further consideration this year.

    “S.B. 360 was a dangerous piece of legislation,” said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, who

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    With miracle confirmed in Sheen cause, plans for beatification can begin

    PEORIA, Ill. (CNS) – With “overwhelming joy,” Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria announced July 6 that Pope Francis had approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. 

    “Now that the miracle has been confirmed by Pope Francis, the Diocese of Peoria can formally begin planning for the beatification of Archbishop Sheen, which will take place in Peoria,” according to a news release issued by the Diocese of Peoria early Saturday morning. 

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    Smithsonian inquiring about drawings made by children at Catholic center

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Smithsonian Museum of American History is looking at the possibility of acquiring for its collection drawings made by children ages 10 and 11 at a Catholic Charities center in Texas, which may depict their stay at federal detention centers for immigrants near the border.  

    In early July, news outlets circulated three drawings of stick figures the children made at a Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley “respite center,” which seem as if they’re depicting their lives

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    U.S. bishops join pope reacting to photos of drowned migrant father, child

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – U.S. bishops joined Pope Francis in expressing sadness after seeing photos of the lifeless bodies of a migrant father and his daughter who drowned near the U.S. border with Mexico.  

    “This image cries to heaven for justice. This image silences politics. Who can look on this picture and not see the results of the failures of all of us to find a humane and just solution to the immigration crisis?” the bishops said in a June 26 statement.  

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    U.S. bishops take action to respond to church abuse crisis

    BALTIMORE (CNS)  – During the June 11-13 spring assembly of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, it was clear the bishops had to respond to the sexual abuse crisis in the church  and on the last day of their gathering they approved a series of procedures to begin this process.

    On June 13, they voted to implement the document “Vos Estis Lux Mundi” (“You are the light of the world”), issued by Pope Francis in May to help the Catholic Church safeguard its members from abuse and hold its leaders accountable.

    The bishops also approved

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    U.S. bishops favor new rules on sexual abuse reporting

    WASHINGTON (CNS)  – U.S. church leaders welcomed the norms issued by Pope Francis on May 9 giving clear direction to the global Catholic Church about reporting abuse and holding church leaders accountable, saying it confirms what they already have in place and also gives them a way forward.

    The document  which among other things, requires all Catholic priests and women religious to report sexual abuse by clergy and church leaders and provides whistleblower protection for those making allegations  was described as a “blessing that will empower the church everywhere to bring predators to justice,”

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    Church across street from Charlotte campus shooting

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CNS) – People gathered to pray at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte the day after a student opened fire April 30 in a classroom at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, which killed two people and wounded four others.

    “Our hearts are broken, and our security shaken,” said Father Patrick Winslow, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church during the May 1 daily Mass about the shooting that took place at the campus just across the street.

    The Catholic parish of 2,300 families serves the university’s student population through the Catholic campus ministry office of the Charlotte Diocese.

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    World Youth Day 2019

    PANAMA CITY (CNS) – Just before leaving the physical and human warmth of Panama Jan. 27, Pope Francis stopped to thank the thousands of official volunteers, young and old, gathered at the capital city’s Rommel Fernandez Stadium to tell them that they had just participated in an event similar to one that took place early in Christianity.  

    In their case, they didn’t just multiply food, he said.

    “You could have easily chosen to do other things, but you wanted to be involved, to give your best to

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    Covington high school incident: Investigation begins, discussion continues

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Days after the now-famous exchange took place between Covington Catholic High School students and a Native American tribal leader in Washington, the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, announced it would begin a third-party investigation into what happened at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial following the annual March for Life on Jan. 18.  

    “This is a very serious matter that has already permanently altered the lives of many people. It is important for us to gather

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    Bishops attend Spirit-filled retreat

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Although the weeklong retreat for U.S. Catholic bishops emphasized quiet reflection, several bishops spoke out on social media during the retreat and after it wrapped up Jan. 8 with positive reaction about it and to give shoutouts to the retreat leader, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who has preached to popes and top officials of the Roman Curia for nearly 40 years.

    One bishop said listening to Father Cantalamessa was akin to being in the presence of the early Christian theologians. “Clear, intensely filled with the Holy Spirit, and all for the Kingdom of God,”

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    Supreme Court won’t hear states’ appeals

    Staff, wire reports

    One of the state’s leading pro-life supporters expressed disappointment with a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear the appeals of Louisiana and Kansas, who were challenging lower courts’ decisions to prevent the states from excluding Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid contractor, but expressed optimism regarding future cases.

    The court issued the 6-3 order in the cases of Andersen v. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast on Dec. 10.

    The three justices who dissented were Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. New Supreme

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    Study shows young adults leaving church start down that path at age 13

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. (CNS) – To find Catholics who have left the church, start looking at the faces in the pews, according to a recent report.

    A 2018 study on young adults leaving the Catholic Church found people stopped identifying as Catholics at a median age of 13, long before they ceased attending a parish. The report adds to the picture of a church that more people are leaving and that fewer ever want to return.

    At a Nov. 29 symposium prior to the start of the Santa Clara Faith Formation Conference, researchers from St. Mary’s

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    Church urged to address its leaders’ ‘moral failures of judgment’

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick “will rightly face” a Vatican canonical process regarding sexual abuse allegations against him, but the U.S. Catholic Church must take steps to respond to church leaders’ “moral failures of judgment,” said the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    The accusations against Archbishop McCarrick, a former cardinal and retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., “reveal a grievous moral failure within the church,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston. 

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    Cuomo, politician with complicated relationship with church, dies

    WASHINGTON (CNS) – While many tributes to former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo reference the impact of his 1984 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, for many Catholics, it was a different speech the same year that defined his political legacy.

    Cuomo, who died Jan. 1 at age 82, served three terms as governor and was sought after as a possible candidate for president, though he never took the plunge.

    Those two 1984 speeches may well have helped define both why

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