Entries in Catholic (6)


Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Catholic Church’s Nature Means It Will Be Out of Touch Sometimes

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- During an interview for This Week, Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that the Catholic Church’s very nature means it will be — from time to time – out of touch with the concerns of its followers.

“Sometimes by nature, the Church has got to be out of touch with concerns, because we’re always supposed to be thinking of the beyond, the eternal, the changeless,” Dolan said. “Our major challenge is to continue in a credible way to present the eternal concerns to people in a timeless attractive way. And sometimes there is a disconnect – between what they’re going through and what Jesus and his Church is teaching.  And that’s a challenge for us.”

Dolan was responding to a question from Stephanopoulos about a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, which found that 60 percent of Catholics “describe the church as ‘out of touch’ with the views of Catholics in America.”

As much of the country celebrates the Christian holiday of Easter, Stephanopoulos asked Dolan about the rise of people with no religious affiliation and if the church can bring people back toward God.

“What I’m afraid is that that’s afflicting society in general. That’s afflicting families. That’s afflicting — communities.  People want privacy.  People crave isolation.  We’re hearing parents say that they can’t even get their kids to talk anymore,” he said. “They’re – they’re tweeting one another.  So, this – kinda this craving of individualism, being alone, be – aloofness, that’s afflicting all of culture, all of society. We’re feeling it in the Church, too, because we’re not about ‘me.’  We’re about ‘us.’ We’re about the ‘our.’  We say ‘Our Father.’ But society is saying, ‘It’s me, myself and I.’”

Stephanopoulos also asked Dolan what the Catholic Church can say to gays and lesbians, who feel unwelcomed by the Church, which does not support same-sex marriage.

“Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you, too.  And God loves you.  And you are made in God’s image and likeness.  And – and we – we want your happiness.  But – and you’re entitled to friendship.’  But we also know that God has told us that the way to happiness, that – especially when it comes to sexual love – that is intended only for a man and woman in marriage, where children can come about naturally,” Dolan said. “We got to be – we got to do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people.  And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that.  We try our darndest to make sure we’re not an anti-anybody.”

Dolan also addressed the new reality of having both a newly elected pope and also a former pope living at the same time. Stephanopoulos asked him about a recent photo of the two men together and if it was unsettling to see two Popes side-by-side.

“I think it was unsettling to a lot of us, because we’re just not used to having two – two popes, even though one of them is retired.  But I don’t think it was unsettling to him.  They almost tried to out-class each other in showing deference to one another.  And that’s not bad,” Dolan said.

Finally, Dolan praised Nelson Mandela — who was hospitalized this week with a lung infection — and said he was praying for him.

“I’m praying with and for him.  I had the honor of meeting him once.  And what the word that comes to mind when you speak of a giant like Nelson Mandela is reconciliation.  And that’s a good thing to remember about Easter,” Dolan said.

“We say that Jesus came to reconcile the world.  He wanted to embrace the world and bring them to his Father.  And the world took those hands and put them on a cross, because they don’t like being reconciled.  Nelson Mandela was one of those who could take his hands and embrace a nation.  The world is in his debt, because he taught us the power of reconciliation and forgiveness,” he said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Marco Rubio, a Catholic, Remembers Little of His Time in the Mormon Church

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Florida governor Marco Rubio, whose name is being floated as a potential top pick running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, said recently that he doesn’t remember much about his family’s time in the Mormon church.

“Well, I was very young,” Rubio said in a recent interview. “I don’t remember a lot other than the fact that my parents, especially my mom, really wanted to put us in a very wholesome environment.”

Rubio is expected to discuss his connection to the Mormon Church in his upcoming autobiography An American Son, to be released June 19.

Rubio now identifies himself as Catholic, despite reportedly attending evangelical churches at times.

“On the question of my religion, I’m a Roman Catholic,” he said. “I’ve been a Roman Catholic, baptized and confirmed, and we go to church on Sundays. And I enjoy my Catholic faith.”

Rubio said he respects those who have adopted the Mormon faith and believes they are Christians.

“Yeah, look, I don’t get into that whole debate, I’m not a theologian,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the Mormon Church; I have a lot of respect for members of the Mormon faith. They believe in Jesus Christ, and they consider themselves Christians and I consider them Christians.”

Rubio’s ties to Mormonism first surfaced in February when a report by Buzzfeed indicated he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a child. According to family members, the conversion occurred while his family lived in the same Nevada neighborhood as his aunt’s family, who had converted to Mormonism years before. Michelle Denis, a cousin of Rubio, recounted the young Rubio encouraging his family to be active participants in their new church.

“He was totally into it,” Denis told Buzzfeed. “He’s always been into religion. Football and religion. Those were his things.”

Family members told Buzzfeed that the Rubios left the church when they relocated to Miami. Alex Conant, a spokesman for Rubio, said the family left the church before they moved from Nevada.

But Denis said he was the instrumental force in moving the family back to Catholicism, receiving his first communion at age 13.

“He really convinced the whole family to switch religions,” she told Buzzfeed. “He’s very vocal so he convinced them all to become Catholic.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Biden on Contraception Controversy: ‘We Can Work It Out’

ABC News(CINCINNATI) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday he was confident the Obama administration could resolve concerns surrounding its decision to require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and charities, to offer health insurance that fully covers contraception.

“I am determined to see that this gets worked out, and I believe we can work it out,” Biden said on a radio program in Cincinnati Thursday. “But the real.”

The vice president said there had been “a lot of misunderstanding” about the administration’s decision, suggesting there had not been enough focus on the one-year timeframe for employers to comply.

“When HHS put out its ruling on this issue, it said that it’s going to take a year to work out whatever difficulties the Catholic church has, to make sure we do not force the Catholic church into a position where they are having to do something that they fundamentally think is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. That is underway,” he explained.

“There’s going to be a significant attempt to work this out, and there’s time to do that. And as a practicing Catholic, you know, I am of the view that this can be worked out and should be worked out and I think the president, I know the president, feels the same way,” Biden said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Catholic Churches Distribute Letters Opposing Obama Healthcare Rule

George Doyle/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Catholic parishioners around the country were read letters Sunday morning written by church leaders railing against an Obama administration ruling that requires employers to provide health insurance plans that include free contraceptives.

Churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the guidelines but Catholic hospitals, colleges and social services fall under the umbrella of institutions covered by the decision.

Originally introduced last summer, the decision was lauded by abortion rights supporters.  But Catholicism considers some forms of contraception as the termination of life and religious leaders say adherence would fly in the face of the tenets of their faith. Critics also charge it would be a violation of the Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

The letters were penned by individual clergy, so variations exist in what was read at each Sunday Mass, but the overall theme is unified.

One letter from the Archdiocese of Washington says, “Catholic moral teachings will be placed in the untenable position of having to choose between violating the law and violating their conscience.”

In another from the Diocese of Phoenix, a bishop calls on Catholics to stand united against the rule.

“We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law,” it reads. “People of faith cannot be made second class citizens.”

Nearly all the letters found by ABC News called on parishioners to pray for a reversal.

Earlier this month, religious institutions were given a year extension to comply with the administration's decision.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John Boehner Draws Catholic Criticism for Record on the Poor

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner will deliver the commencement address at Catholic University on Saturday despite some unusually scathing criticism from a group of prominent Catholics who say he's failed on a key matter of faith: caring for the poor.

"Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress," the group of 75 Catholic academics and community leaders wrote to Boehner Thursday in a letter published by the National Catholic Reporter.

"This fundamental concern should have great urgency for Catholic policy makers.  Yet, even now, you work in opposition to it," they said.

The signatories, many of whom work at the University, focused their criticism on the House Republicans' 2012 budget, which passed last month and includes deep cuts to some social service programs.

It "guts long-established protections for the most vulnerable members of society.  It is particularly cruel to pregnant women and children," they wrote.

The authors don't suggest rescinding Boehner's invitation to speak or the honorary degree, but they press the Republican leader to recommit himself to what is considered a core church teaching.

"It is your moral duty as a legislator to put the needs of the poor and most vulnerable foremost in your considerations," they said.

Boehner responded to the criticism Thursday, telling reporters he believes his congressional record "upholds the values of my faith."

"I think America has a strong safety net for those who live near the bottom of our economy, and I think that we should," he said.  "And like any religion, you'll have some who are a little bit more liberal and some are a bit more conservative."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Catholic Bishops Meddling in Minnesota Governor's Race?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Four weeks before voters head to the polls, Catholic bishops in Minnesota have raised an issue that has largely taken a backseat to the economy and jobs this election season: renewing calls for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

While such advocacy by religious groups is not uncommon, never before has the message come in the form of a DVD mailed to all Catholic households in the state. And, some say, never before has such a campaign appeared so political.

Because one candidate in the state's three-way race for governor, Republican Tom Emmer, opposes same-sex marriage, the church's message and its timing amount to an unambiguous endorsement, critics say.

The anonymous donation to the archdiocese that funded the production of more than 400,000 DVDs has also stoked questions about the proper role of religious institutions in the political process.

Five bills introduced during the state's 2010 legislative session would legalize gay marriage. The state's new governor would play a key role in deciding whether any bill that might pass should become law.

Democrat Mark Dayton and Independent Party candidate Tom Horner both support same-sex marriage.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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