Cardinals uphold Vatican statement on same-sex unions

Washington D.C., Mar 19, 2021 / 08:00 pm (CNA).- Two cardinals on Thursday upheld the Vatican’s recent statement that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions.

At an online panel hosted by Georgetown University, Cardinal Peter Turkson—prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development—and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston—a member of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals—were both asked to respond to people “who are disappointed” by the Vatican’s recent statement on same-sex unions.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Monday said that the Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions. The document was approved for publication by Pope Francis.

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Priest who celebrated Biden’s inaugural Mass under investigation

Washington D.C., Mar 19, 2021 / 07:04 pm (CNA).- A Jesuit priest who celebrated Joe Biden’s inaugural Mass in January is under investigation for alleged inappropriate behavior, according to the California university he heads. 

Father Kevin O’Brien is president of Santa Clara University, located near San Jose, Calif. He presided over the Jan. 20 Mass at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C., which President Biden attended the day before his inauguration. 

A March 15 statement from the university’s board chairman announced that he had recently learned of “accounts that Father O’Brien exhibited behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries.”

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Biden administration moves to resume Title X funding of pro-abortion groups

Washington D.C., Mar 19, 2021 / 06:00 pm (CNA).- The Biden administration is expected to allow abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, to once again receive federal family planning funding through the Title X program. 

On Thursday, the Office of Population Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a statement that it would restore Clinton-era rules for the Title X family planning program. 

The agency noted that under the rule implemented in the year 2000, “the program operated successfully for years,” and that its new rule would be “substantively similar” to that rule with “a few definitional updates that account for minor operational changes over the past 20 years.” 

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Archbishop Gomez calls on Catholics to trust in St Joseph

Los Angeles, Calif., Mar 19, 2021 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- On the feast of St. Joseph, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles encouraged Catholics to reflect on the simple, yet powerful characteristics of this holy family man.

“We celebrate St. Joseph today because in his story, we see our story,” Archbishop Gomez said during his homily at a March 19 Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

“You and I belong to the great family of God. With St. Joseph, we are part of the family of heroes and saints that extends back to the beginning of time!”

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How the Big Easy celebrates St. Joseph

New Orleans, La., Mar 19, 2021 / 04:31 pm (CNA).- Catholic culture is everywhere in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is the city’s defining celebration. The city’s cathedral is one of its most well-known landmarks. And in the days leading to March 19, the people of New Orleans take up a Catholic tradition that began in the Middle Ages – they build “St. Joseph altars.”

In recent years, nearly 60 New Orleans Catholic schools and parishes have constructed annual devotional altars, as an expression of gratitude to St. Joseph, and as a labor of love for parishioners, friends, and neighbors.

“The original [St. Joseph’s] altar was built by the people of Sicily in thanks for his prayers to bring an end to their famine,” said Sarah McDonald, communications director of Archdiocese of New Orleans.

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