ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MANILA, Philippines (CNS) – Pope Francis said his September trip to the U.S. will take him to Philadelphia, New York and Washington – where he intends to canonize Blessed Junipero Serra – but probably no other stops.
MANCHESTER – Hundreds gathered at St. Bridget Parish on Jan. 11 to honor Father Stephen Sledesky, who was recognized as this year’s Archdiocesan Distinguished Elementary School Pastor. The award is presented annually to a pastor who exemplifies leadership, dedication and commitment to Catholic school education.
MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Pope Francis told a crowd of an estimated 6 million gathered in a Manila park to protect the family "against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture."
HARTFORD – Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell and the late David A. Lentini were recipients of the St. Francis Spirit Award during the annual luncheon meeting of St. Francis Care, parent company of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, at the Connecticut Convention Center Jan. 7.
Wilfrid Macena and other members of a Haitian amputee soccer team present Pope Francis with a soccer jersey on Jan. 12, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson stands to Mr. Macena’s left.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Highlighting some of the most urgent conflicts facing the world, Pope Francis said such strife and injustices were rooted in a culture of rejection that refuses to recognize God, to protect nature and to respect other human beings.
In a wide-ranging speech Jan. 12 to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, the pope urged the world's governments and individuals to work "to end every form of fighting, hatred and violence, and to pursue reconciliation, peace and the defense of the transcendent dignity of the human person."
HARTFORD – Bishops, priests and deacons often preach from a pulpit, high above the heads of their listening congregations. It’s part of their job – their ministry – but, for Archbishop Leonard P. Blair at least, it’s not enough.
On October 1, 2007, An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault, passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, goes into effect. The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut, following extensive consultation with the leaders of our Catholic hospitals, attorneys, ethicists, and moral theologians, have issued the following statement:
The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut, joined by the leaders of the Catholic hospitals in the State, issue the following statement regarding the administration of Plan B in Catholic hospitals to victims of rape:
The four Catholic hospitals in the State of Connecticut remain committed to providing competent and compassionate care to victims of rape. In accordance with Catholic moral teaching, these hospitals provide emergency contraception after appropriate testing. Under the existing hospital protocols, this includes a pregnancy test and an ovulation test. Catholic moral teaching is adamantly opposed to abortion, but not to emergency contraception for victims of rape.
This past spring, the Governor signed into a law An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault, passed by the State Legislature. It does not allow medical professionals to take into account the results of the ovulation test. The Bishops and other Catholic health care leaders believe that this law is seriously flawed, but not sufficiently to bar compliance with it at the present time. We continue to believe this law should be changed.
Nonetheless, to administer Plan B pills in Catholic hospitals to victims of rape, a pregnancy test to determine that the woman has not conceived is sufficient. An ovulation test will not be required. The administration of Plan B pills in this instance cannot be judged to be the commission of an abortion because of such doubt about how Plan B pills and similar drugs work and because of the current impossibility of knowing from the ovulation test whether a new life is present. To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act.
Since the teaching authority of the Church has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work, the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have stated that Catholic hospitals in the State may follow protocols that do not require an ovulation test in the treatment of victims of rape. A pregnancy test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration suffices. If it becomes clear that Plan B pills would lead to an early chemical abortion in some instances, this matter would have to be reopened.
Simply put, the Statement indicates that the Catholic hospitals in Connecticut will no longer require an ovulation test before administering emergency contraception pills at the womans request.
Catholic hospitals will continue to administer a pregnancy test to determine if the woman has conceived.
If the pregnancy test is positive, contraceptive medication will not be administered.
This policy is consistent with the new law and with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Catholic teaching is adamantly opposed to abortion, but not opposed to emergency contraception for a woman who is a victim of rape.
The four Catholic hospitals in Connecticut are: St. Francis Hospital, Hartford; St. Marys Hospital, Waterbury; St. Raphaels Hospital, New Haven; and St. Vincents Hospital, Bridgeport. They have all been renowned for generations for the compassionate and understanding care they provide for victims of sexual assault.