Catholic News


  • Palm supplier sees business halved by coronavirus cancelations
    on April 4, 2020

    Denver, Colo., Apr 3, 2020 / 11:55 pm (CNA).- Thomas Sowell and his wife own Southeast Palm and Foliage in Astor, Florida, in the middle of the state, about 40 miles west of Daytona Beach. “It's in the middle of nowhere, actually,” Sowell told CNA in January. Sowell isn’t Catholic, but his business supplies palms to hundreds of Catholic parishes across the country— in every state, as well as in Canada— not to mention the many Episcopal, Eastern Orthodox, and Lutheran communities that also use palms. Last year, the Sowells’ farm shipped over four million palm leaves. “There's not many of us that do this. There's not many people, not many […]

  • U.S. religious freedom ambassador calls for release of prisoners of conscience
    on April 4, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 3, 2020 / 07:00 pm (CNA).- The U.S. religious freedom ambassador on Thursday called on governments to release prisoners of conscience during the new coronavirus pandemic. “In this time of pandemic, religious prisoners should be released.  We call on all governments around the world to do so,” Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, said on April 2 during a conference call with reporters. He said that the “very crowded, unsanitary conditions” faced by some prisoners is a nightmare scenario during a pandemic. “These are people that should not be in jail in the first place,” he said. […]

  • NY Catholic nursing homes in 'desperate need' of supplies to fight coronavirus
    on April 3, 2020

    New York City, N.Y., Apr 3, 2020 / 05:30 pm (CNA).- The threat of the coronavirus has hit nursing homes of the Archdiocese of New York especially hard, with families now being advised to bring their loved ones home if possible. Fr. John Anderson, vice president for mission integration at ArchCare, a “post-acute delivery system” of the Archdiocese of New York, told CNA on Friday that the system’s CEO has advised families with loved ones in ArchCare nursing homes to bring them home if they can be cared for there. NBC News reported on Thursday that ArchCare’s nursing homes have been especially hard-hit by the crisis, with more than 200 COVID-19 cases among […]

  • New York uses budget bill to legalize commercial surrogacy during coronavirus
    on April 3, 2020

    CNA Staff, Apr 3, 2020 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- The state of New York legalized commercial surrogacy as part of a budget bill passed on April 3. The law was condemned by the state Catholic conference. There are now just three states where commercial surrogacy is not legal.  “The action by the legislature and governor to legalize monetary contracts for surrogate motherhood stands in stark contrast to most other democratic nations across the globe,” Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference said in a statement Friday. “[Other countries] have outlawed the practice because of the exploitation of women and commodification of […]

  • 'Catholics for Trump' launches with online broadcast
    on April 3, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 3, 2020 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- The “Catholics for Trump” coalition was officially launched on Thursday evening in an online broadcast. The coalition, led by American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and political consultant Mary Matalin, says it aims to “energize” the Catholic community in the U.S. to re-elect Donald Trump. The 2020 Catholics for Trump group said it aims to focus on its view that the president’s policies model and reflect Catholic social teaching. “The best president we’ve ever had for Catholics and Catholic values—and by that I mean those are American […]

  • Supreme Court delays Little Sisters of the Poor hearing because of coronavirus
    on April 3, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 3, 2020 / 03:30 pm (CNA).- The Supreme Court announced Friday that oral arguments in the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Oral arguments in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were originally scheduled for April 29, but the court announced on Friday that they would be postponed “in keeping with public health guidance in response to COVID-19,” together with other cases due to have been heard that week and the previous week. The case of the Little Sisters involves their religious exemption from the HHS contraceptive mandate. The states of Pennsylvania and California have sued […]

  • Cardinal Turkson brings rosaries to Rome hospital treating coronavirus patients
    on April 3, 2020

    Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Peter Turkson visited Rome’s largest hospital on Friday, encouraging staff and handing out rosaries blessed by Pope Francis. “I bring you the pope’s embrace. You are not alone in the fight against the coronavirus!” Turkson, who is prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, told hospital staff and chaplains April 3, according to a press release. The cardinal, who was accompanied by the two undersecretaries of the dicastery, met with staff and told them he was bringing the greeting of Pope Francis to all of the coronavirus patients and their families. The three Vatican officials […]

  • 'In the risen Jesus, life conquered death,' Pope Francis says in Holy Week video
    on April 3, 2020

    Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 01:30 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis on Friday sent a video message to Catholics around the world, urging them amid the global coronavirus pandemic to hope, solidarity with those who suffer, and to prayer. “In the risen Jesus, life conquered death,” Pope Francis said in  an April 3 video, speaking about the upcoming Holy Week which will begin on Sunday, and culminate with Easter. “We will celebrate Holy Week in a truly unusual way, which manifests and sums up the message of the Gospel, that of God’s boundless love,” the pope said. “And in the silence of our cities, the Easter Gospel will resound,” Pope Francis said. […]

  • Coronavirus crisis cannot justify discrimination, bishops say
    on April 3, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 3, 2020 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- The coronavirus pandemic does not justify abandoning medical ethics, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops told medical professionals in an urgent warning issued on Friday. “Every crisis produces fear, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” said a joint statement issued April 3 in response to reports of healthcare rationing plans being drawn up in different parts of the country.  “However, this is not a time to sideline our ethical and moral principles. It is a time to uphold them ever more strongly, for they will critically assist us in steering through these trying times.” The statement was […]

  • Rice Bowl more needed than ever during coronavirus crisis
    by Gina Christian (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    With 25% of all donations supporting archdiocesan food pantries, the annual Lenten initiative helps area residents while providing relief to the world's poorest populations.

  • Join novena prayers continuing at Miraculous Medal Shrine
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    Nothing has stopped the perpetual novena at the famed Germantown shrine since 1930, and Vincentian Father Michael Carroll invites all to join in the prayers to Mary, virtually, every Monday morning.

  • Ministry receives surprise $30K, but still faces challenges during pandemic
    by Gina Christian (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    St. John's Hospice, which serves men experiencing homelessness, received major help from the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia. But the need for support is rising.

  • Analysis: Policy and pastoral leadership in a time of crisis
    on April 3, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 3, 2020 / 10:49 am (CNA).- Across the U.S., and around the world, bishops are struggling to adjust to the pastoral emergency which has accompanied the coronavirus pandemic. In entire countries, the public celebration of Mass has been suspended, as local governments ban gatherings of even a handful of people.  And at the same time, the pandemic and ensuing economic collapse have led many to consider seriously their mortality and the state of their soul, with even the supposedly irreligious turning to prayer in increasing numbers. Among many Catholics, there is a hunger for the sacraments, and for the faith. Catholics are looking to their bishops for leadership. […]

  • Choose what really matters
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    Reflecting on Pope Francis' moving and unprecedented prayer service from the Vatican last Friday, Effie Caldarola prays that all will be shaken awake by the pandemic crisis.

  • National moment of prayer coming on Good Friday
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, invites U.S. Catholics to join him next Friday, April 10, to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart at noon.

  • Court allows Texas ban on abortion for time being
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    A federal appeals court March 31 allowed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's temporary block on unnecessary medical procedures, including abortion, to remain. Pennsylvania's ban excludes abortion.

  • It will be a palmless Sunday at most U.S. parishes
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    Most orders for palms have already arrived at parishes, and since they will not be distributed now for fear of spreading the coronavirus, they must be kept dry for the future, said a liturgist.

  • Maintain routine, stay connected and rely on prayer, counselor advises
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    With widespread effects from the pandemic that are unprecedented in our lifetime, such as Masses being suspended and sporting events cancelled, people need help to cope with the chaos.

  • Coronavirus draws prayers to saints who cared for plague victims
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    From St. Aloysius Gonzaga to St. Roch to St. Rosalia, saints living and serving others in times of plague offer inspiration to U.S. Catholics today in several parishes.

  • Asian cardinal says Communist Party to blame for covering up COVID-19
    by CatholicPhilly MG (Catholic Philly) on April 3, 2020

    Cardinal Bo of Myanmar called the Chinese Communist Party "morally culpable" for initially covering up the full dangers of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

  • Vatican extends lockdown measures through Easter Monday
    on April 3, 2020

    Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 09:00 am (CNA).- The Holy See has extended its lockdown measures through April 13, the Monday of the Octave of Easter, in accordance with Italy’s recently extended national lockdown, the Vatican announced Friday. St. Peter’s Basilica and square, the Vatican Museums, and several other public offices in the Vatican City State have been closed for more than three weeks. Originally scheduled to last through April 3, these measures have now been extended an additional nine days. A total of seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed among Vatican employees to date.  According to a statement from Matteo Bruni, the director of the […]

  • Cardinal Parolin says he hopes closed churches will reopen soon
    on April 3, 2020

    Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 07:00 am (CNA).- The Vatican Secretary of State said Friday that he hoped churches closed because of the coronavirus crisis would be reopened “as soon as possible.” In an interview published on the Vatican News website April 3, Cardinal Pietro Parolin also said he was disturbed by reports of Catholics dying without the Sacrament of the Sick and expressed concern about the disease’s impact on impoverished countries.  The cardinal said: “The suspension of celebrating the liturgy was necessary to avoid large gatherings. However, in almost every city, churches remain open. I hope those that may have been closed will reopen as soon as […]

  • Pope Francis names new bishop of Belleville, Illinois
    on April 3, 2020

    Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, and named his successor. Bishop Braxton submitted his resignation when he turned 75 in June 2019. His successor is Fr. Michael G. McGovern, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Bishop Braxton was appointed as the eighth Bishop of Belleville in 2005, replacing Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, who is now Archbishop of Washington.  Bishop Braxton’s tenure at times has been marked by controversy. In 2008, he issued a public apology for spending restricted mission funds on liturgical vestments, altar linens, and office furniture. He said he […]

  • Jesus, livestreamed: Priests, bishops to offer 40 Hours Devotion via Facebook Live 
    on April 3, 2020

    Denver, Colo., Apr 3, 2020 / 04:33 am (CNA).- When the plague struck the Italian city of Milan and the surrounding area in the 1570s, St. Charles Borromeo, then a cardinal, became well-known for his efforts to remind people of their faith in a time of sickness and death. According to multiple accounts, St. Borromeo would process the streets of his diocese barefooted, carrying a cross, as an act of penance. He also visited the sick with a relic of one of the nails of the Cross, and promoted the practice of 40 Hours Devotion, in which people take turns praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament for 40 straight hours. “St. Charles Borromeo actually is one of the (clerics) who is often […]

  • Pope Francis: Reflect on the seven sorrows of Mary, our Mother
    on April 3, 2020

    Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 02:45 am (CNA).- It is good to think about the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who freely accepted her calling to be the Mother of God and our mother, Pope Francis said during his daily Mass on Friday. Offering Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta April 3, he said: “Today it will do us good to stop a little and think about the pain and sorrows of Our Lady. She is our mother.” The Friday before Palm Sunday is sometimes called the Friday of Sorrows in remembrance of the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary. “And how she bore [the sorrows], how she bore them well, with strength, with tears: it was not a false distress, it was just […]

  • Catholic University makes vaccine work free for coronavirus research
    on April 3, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 2, 2020 / 11:55 pm (CNA).- An expert research professor on vaccines at the Catholic University of America is working with the university to make his patents available royalty-free to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Venigalla Rao is a biology professor at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., and the director of the university’s Center for Advanced Training in Cell and Molecular Biology.  Rao explained in an interview with CNA Thursday that he and the university wanted to aid the global effort to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus. “We felt that we can contribute, coming from a different angle, to design vaccine […]

  • What does a traveling evangelist do during the coronavirus lockdown?
    on April 2, 2020

    Denver, Colo., Apr 2, 2020 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- What does a traveling evangelist do when a global pandemic keeps him at home? He goes online! One Catholic evangelist said that lessons he’s learning about online evangelization during the coronavirus pandemic could make some Catholic ministries far more effective than they once were. Chris Stefanick, who hosts EWTN’s “Real Life Catholic,” also travels the country, speaking to more than 80,000 people each year. His travels are the way he spreads the Word of God, and the way he makes a living. Stefanick told CNA that preaching during the pandemic has meant a slew of personal and practical challenges. But he said those […]

  • Texas AG: Planned Parenthood not singled out by coronavirus order
    on April 2, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 2, 2020 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has disputed Planned Parenthood’s claim that the state targeted abortion clinics in an order prohibiting non-essential medical procedures during the coronavirus pandemic.  Interview an interview that will air Thursday on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, Paxton said that the abortion provider was itself demanding special treatment in a legal challenge to the executive issued last month by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott issued the executive order (GA 09) on March 22, halting non-essential surgeries and medical procedures during the coronavirus pandemic, in order to free up resources and medical personnel to […]

  • Spatula baseball: L’Arche ‘leans into creativity’ during lockdown
    on April 2, 2020

    Washington D.C., Apr 2, 2020 / 03:00 pm (CNA).- While sports around the country have seen their seasons suspended due to COVID-19, spatula baseball season is in full swing at one of the L’Arche community houses in Washington, D.C. Faced with quarantines and stay-at-home orders, the four houses of L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. (GWDC) were forced to adjust to a whole host of changes to keep the members of the community safe.  But, according to Luke Smith, executive director and community leader of L’Arche Greater Washington, the changes have meant that the L’Arche homes are doing what they do best: embracing creativity.  “We're very creative as a […]

  • John Paul II embraced his suffering with love: Cardinal reflects 15 years after saint’s death
    on April 2, 2020

    Vatican City, Apr 2, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- Pope St. John Paul II embraced suffering with love, even during his illness, a cardinal and the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica said on the 15th anniversary of the saint’s death. The spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and the growing number of infected and dying people “has fallen on an unprepared society, highlighting the spiritual emptiness of many people,” Cardinal Angelo Comastri told Vatican News April 1. “Pain undoubtedly frightens everyone,” he stated. “But when it is enlightened by faith it becomes a way to cut back selfishness, banalities and frivolities.” Pope St. John Paul II died […]