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Posted on 07/21/2019 20:00 PM (Saint of the Day | AmericanCatholic.org)
Saint Mary Magdalene
Saint of the Day for July 22
(d. c. 63)
Saint Mary Magdalene’s Story
Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50.
Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or possibly, severe illness.
Writing in the New Catholic Commentary, Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” In the Jerome Biblical Commentary, Father Edward Mally, SJ, agrees that she “is not…the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.”
Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses who might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the “Apostle to the Apostles.”
Mary Magdalene has been a victim of mistaken identity for almost 20 centuries. Yet she would no doubt insist that it makes no difference. We are all sinners in need of the saving power of God, whether our sins have been lurid or not. More importantly, we are all “unofficial” witnesses of the Resurrection.
Saint Mary Magdalene is the Patron Saint of:
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Posted on 07/20/2019 20:00 PM (Catholic Online > Daily Readings)
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Posted on 07/20/2019 20:00 PM (Catholic Online > Prayer of the Day)
Posted on 07/20/2019 14:01 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Orlando, Fla., Jul 20, 2019 / 06:01 am (CNA).- An Orlando-area McDonald’s is being sued for denying employment to a man on account of his beard.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the lawsuit on the man’s behalf, said in their lawsuit that the McDonald’s manager told the man that "he could not hire him because doing so would violate McDonald's policies and the law," News 6 in Orlando reported.
According to the lawsuit, the man told the restaurant that he was a Hasidic Jew and that his religious beliefs prevented him from shaving his beard, but that he offered to wear a beard net instead. He was applying for the position of a maintenance worker at the restaurant in September 2016.
His employment was still denied. The EEOC filed a lawsuit with the Orlando McDonald’s July 17, three years after the incident. The man is asking for three years worth of back pay for the job in damages, News 6 reported.
Hasidic Judaism is an orthodox movement within Judaism in which men do not shave their beards, per instructions in the Torah. In the lawsuit, the EEOC argues that McDonald’s violated the man’s rights by declining his employment due to his religious beliefs.
In an interview with News 6, Rabbi David Kay with Congregation Ohev Shalom in Maitland, another Orlando suburb, explained that the beard was an “expression of faith” for Hasidic Jewish men, and that he considered the lawsuit to be a teaching moment on Jewish traditions.
"Anytime we have the opportunity to expand our awareness and understanding of how faith traditions express themselves, I think that’s a plus," Kay told News 6.
McDonald’s had not responded to News 6 requests for comment by press time. It is unclear why this lawsuit is being filed now instead of immediately after the incident occurred.
Posted on 07/20/2019 00:08 AM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Springfield, Ill., Jul 19, 2019 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- Illinois will provide state funding to abortion clinics and clinics that refer for abortions in the light of new changes to Title X rules, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
Earlier in the week, part of the “Protect Life Rule,” which created new eligibility guidelines for Title X family planning funds, went into effect.
“President Trump’s gag rule undermines women’s health care and threatens the providers that millions of women and girls rely on, and we will not let that stand in the state of Illinois,” said Pritzker in a July 18 statement. The state’s Department of Public Health will instead fund the 28 clinics in the state that received Title X funds and also refer for or provide abortions. The clinics were due to receive about $2.4 million in federal funds through the end of September, the current fiscal year.
Planned Parenthood locations in Illinois received 40 percent of the Title X funds distributed in the state, despite only operating 17 of the more than 70 clinics who received funds each year. Approximately 112,000 people in Illinois acquired birth control through Title X.
Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide currently receive about $60 million in federal funds annually from this program, more than 10 percent of the half-billion dollars in total federal funding it receives per year.
Shortly after the Protect Life Rule and Title X changes were announced in February, Planned Parenthood of Illinois announced that they had no plans to comply with the new rules.
“We will not violate our own medical ethics, and because of what the gag rule does, which blocks patients from getting accurate information about their care, we won’t accept the money,” Julie Lynn, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, told the Chicago Tribune at the time.
Lynn stated that Planned Parenthood of Illinois would adjust to ensure that their patients were still able to receive contraception, and forgo Title X funds.
Six days after the Protect Life Rule was finalized, Planned Parenthood of Illinois announced a new initiative, dubbed “Access Birth Control”, that would distribute contraception pills or devices, including IUDs, condoms, and Depo-Provera shots, free of charge to eligible persons.
On its website, Planned Parenthood of Illinois said that the program will run through January 2021, the end of President Donald Trump’s first presidential term, in apparent expectation of a victory for an opposition candidate more favorable to abortion.
The Department of Health and Human Services informed Title X fund recipients July 15 that they will no longer be permitted to refer mothers for abortion services, and must keep finances separate from facilities that provide abortions.
As of March 2020, abortion facilities will no longer be allowed to co-locate with clinics that receive Title X moneys. Clinics that provide “nondirective counseling” about abortion may still receive funds.
Title X is a federal program created in 1965 that subsidizes family-planning and preventative health services, including contraception, for low-income families. It has been frequently updated and subject to new regulations.
Posted on 07/19/2019 22:26 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Lansing, Mich., Jul 19, 2019 / 02:26 pm (CNA).- The Michigan Catholic Conference is urging state residents to support a petition drive for an initiative to ban “dismemberment abortions” instead of a separate petition drive that seeks to ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
The two competing initiatives are backed by different groups. The dismemberment abortion ban is being conducted by a group called Michigan Values Life, while the heartbeat ban is supported by the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition. The Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life of Michigan are both supporting Michigan Values Life.
The ban on “dismemberment abortions” would make it a felony for a physician to perform a dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion, and the ballot initiative seeks to update the state’s existing ban on partial-birth abortions.
D&E abortions are typically done in the second trimester of pregnancy and involve the dismemberment of an unborn child.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has said she would veto any pro-life legislation. The ballot initiative push is a way for these bills to become law outside of her signature.
Presently, Michigan law prohibits all abortion. This law is not enforced due to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, but would go into back into effect if the decision were ever to be overturned. If the proposed heartbeat bill were to become law and Roe were to be overturned, it would actually liberalize existing Michigan abortion law and permit the abortion of infants prior to the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
“At worst, the heartbeat ban could be interpreted to create a conflict in the law and replace the 1931 ban, actually allowing abortions up until a baby’s heartbeat is detected,” said a fact sheet released by the Michigan Catholic Conference.
While it is not uncommon for pro-lifers to oppose heartbeat legislation due to the potential of expensive legal and constitutional challenges, this is relatively unusual as pro-life groups are opposing the heartbeat bill due to the existence of an even stronger piece of anti-abortion legislation.
Several states have passed “heartbeat bills,” and those bills have been signed into law. None of the bans have been allowed to actually go into effect due to legal challenges. “Heartbeat bills” will not be considered constitutional until the Supreme Court either overturns the Roe v. Wade decision or makes a different ruling on an abortion case.
Supporters of either petition drive must get approximately 350,000 signatures to force the legislature to vote on the legislation.
Ed. note: This story has been updated for clarity.
Posted on 07/19/2019 21:57 PM (EWTN News - US Catholic News)
Wheeling, W.V., Jul 19, 2019 / 01:57 pm (CNA).- Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop emeritus of Wheeling-Charleston, will no longer be allowed to participate in public Masses or live within his former diocese. He must “make personal amends” for the harm he brought to the diocese, Pope Francis announced in a communique released on Friday afternoon.
Bransfield is reported to have sexually harassed, assaulted, and coerced seminarians, priests, and other adults during his time as Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston. He was also found to have given large cash gifts to high-ranking Church leaders, using diocesan funds.
The July 19 Vatican communique, which was published Friday on the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s website, was sent from the Apostolic Nuncio of the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
Bransfield’s resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on Sept. 13, 2018, five days after Bransfield reached the retirement age of 75.
When Pope Francis accepted Bransfield’s resignation, he appointed Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore as the apostolic administrator of the diocese. He also authorized Lori to start an investigation into the allegations made against the retired bishop, which at the time were described as financial abuses and the sexual harassment of adults.
A hotline for the investigation that was set up in September received more than three dozen calls during its first two weeks.
In March, Lori announced that he had restricted Bransfield’s ministry in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston as well as in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and that the Holy See would be conducting an additional evaluation of the investigation. That assessment was released on Friday.
“Pending the assessment of the findings of the Holy See, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I have directed that Bishop Bransfield is not authorized to exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry either within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston or within the Archdiocese of Baltimore,” Lori said in a March 11 press release.
The Holy See’s communique expands that restriction, and adds the additional prohibition on living within the diocese. Further, the Vatican wrote that Bransfield has “the obligation to make personal amends for some of the harm he caused.”
Per the release, “the nature and extent of the amends to be decided in consultation with the future Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston.”
After the investigation, Archbishop Lori confirmed that investigators had established a pattern of sexual malfeasance, and serious financial misconduct by Bransfield throughout his time as bishop.
“The investigative report determined that during his tenure as Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, Bishop Bransfield engaged in a pattern of excessive and inappropriate spending,” Lori said, citing renovations to multiple residences and the misuse of Church funds “for personal benefit on such things as personal travel, dining, liquor, gifts and luxury items.”
Some bishops who received cash gifts from Bransfield pledged to return them.