Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 21, 1934 when Father James J. Kane offered Madison's first Mass in Madison's Memorial Town Hall.
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20180119T0815 13872 CNS LIFE MASSES SHRINE 800New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, delivers the homily during the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Jan. 18 in Washington. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The chairman of the U.S. bishops' pro-life committee said the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act passed by the House Jan. 19 is "common-sense legislation" that "offers a simple and widely supported proposition."

"A child born alive following an abortion should receive the same degree of care to preserve her life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age," Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said in a Jan. 20 statement.

He praised the House for approving the measure with a bipartisan vote of 241-183. The lawmakers' action came as upwards of 100,000 pro-lifers gathered for the 45th annual March for Life on the National Mall. The event marks the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 1973 in the companion cases Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy nationwide.

"I call on the Senate to pass this bill as well and ensure that the lethal mentality of Roe does not claim new victims -- vulnerable human beings struggling for their lives outside the womb," said Cardinal Dolan, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, or H.R. 4712, amends the federal criminal code to require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion "to exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital."

"The term 'born alive,'" the bill explains, "means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut."

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.