Good News

 

Today’s Good News 02/23/2018


Summarizing the news from a Catholic perspective


In addition to observing your Lenten abstinence from meat today, complete a thorough examination of conscience.


SYRIAN CRISIS

Intense bombing of the Eastern Ghouta territory outside of Damascus, Syria has developed into a humanitarian crisis, and UN leaders are seeking an immediate ceasefire.

More than 300 people, including civilians and children, have died since Sunday as the Syrian government attempts to obliterate rebel forces in the suburb of Damascus. Families must wait out the shellings with nowhere to hide, while hospitals have been forced to move underground bunkers to safely treat the wounded. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, “this is a human tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes,” adding that Eastern Ghouta had become “hell on earth.”

The UN Security Council is calling for a 30-day ceasefire to allow medical evacuations and humanitarian aid to enter the area. But it is likely that Russia, which backs the government regime, will veto the resolution.

Please pray that leaders agree to a ceasefire and for immediate relief for families caught in this disastrous war-zone.

BISHOP BARS SEN. DURBIN FROM COMMUNION

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL has reiterated that Sen. Dick Durbin should not receive Holy Communion because of his pro-abortion position.

Durbin is one of 14 Catholic Senators who voted against a bill that would have prohibited abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization (the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act). Additionally, Durbin has a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and is an outspoken promoter of abortion even though definitive Church teaching clearly considers it a grave sin (CCC 2270-75).

In 2004, Durbin’s pastor, with the support of the former bishop, informed the senator that he could not receive communion because his voting record in support of abortion over many years constituted “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.” This interdiction does not cut Durbin off from the Church as an excommunication would, rather it simply prohibits him from certain aspects of the Church—namely the Eucharist. The intent is not to punish Durbin, but to bring about a change of heart. The interdiction remains in effect until Durbin repents of his grave sin through confession (Canon 915-916).

Saint Paul said that “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily sins against the body and blood of the Lord”(CCC 1385). By prohibiting an unrepentant Durbin from Communion, Bishop Paprocki is preventing him for committing further sin.

HOLY COMMUNION FOR PROTESTANT SPOUSES?

Germany’s bishops have decided to allow the Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion in individual cases, the bishops’ news service is reporting. The Code of Canon Law 844.4 allows non-Catholics to be given Communion in cases of “grave necessity,” and Cardinal Reinhard Marx said that the local priest should determine such instances on a case by case basis. Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, has said it is “very clear” that non-Catholics cannot receive Communion, and “it’s not a matter of following your conscience.”


CATHOLIC CHARITIES ADOPTION LAWSUIT

A lesbian couple has sued Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, TX after being denied a request to adopt refugee children. Catholic charities in Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Illinois have been forced to shut down adoption services in recent years rather than comply with newly implemented laws that require them to facilitate adoptions to same-sex couples. Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth said that finding foster parents for refugee children is “difficult work,” and it would be “tragic” if Catholic Charities could no longer provide this service. A statement from the Texas Bishops’ Conference noted that couples seeking to adopt can easily find non-Catholic assistance at one of Texas’ 126 private agencies.


SEAL OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH

Archaeologists in Israel say that they have found a clay seal mark that may bear the signature of the Biblical Prophet Isaiah. The 2,700-year-old stamped clay artifact was found during an excavation at the foot of the southern wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. In ancient times a seal stamp, or bulla, was used to authenticate documents or items.  The seal was found just 10 feet from an earlier discovery of a seal of King Hezekiah of Judah. Isaiah’s close relationship with King Hezekiah is described in the Bible’s Second Book of Kings.


NEW CHARGES FOR MANAFORT, GATES

The special counsel investigating claims of Russian political meddling in the US has filed new charges against two former aides to Donald Trump. A 32-count indictment alleges that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates conspired to hide more than $30m in Mr. Manafort’s personal income from tax officials. Both were previously charged in October with conspiracy to launder money.


SCHOOL OFFICER NEVER CONFRONTED GUNMAN

The armed school resource deputy who was on patrol at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 resigned Thursday after video surveillance showed he never entered the school, even though he “clearly” knew there was a shooting taking place, officials said.


ANTI-DEPRESSANTS WORK

Scientists say they have settled one of medicine’s biggest debates after a huge study found that anti-depressants work. Data from 522 trials involving 116,477 people, found 21 common anti-depressants were all more effective at reducing symptoms of acute depression than placebos.


SNAPCHAT TROUBLE

Reality TV star Kylie Jenner wiped $1.3bn off the stock market value of Snapchat after tweeting that she no longer used its messaging app. Many Snapchat users have expressed displeasure with the apps new format.


IS THIS THE LATEST EUCHARISTIC MIRACLE?

16 months after an Italian Earthquake, these lost hosts remain fresh without the typical mold or bacteria.

Today’s Readings and Reflection

1st Reading: Ezekiel 18:21-28
Summary: Personal responsibility to replace the idea of shared guilt

Psalm: Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8
ResponsorialIf you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Summary: True justice goes deeper than simply keeping a set of laws

Saint Polycarp

Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was a direct disciple of Saint John the Apostle and friend of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. One of his letters has been preserved and gives us an insight into the early Church, which was very Catholic indeed. He was martyred in 155 AD before a crowded stadium at Smyrna.

SONG OF THE DAY
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PODCAST OF THE DAY

Catholic Bytes – 60 Seconds: Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus (1:08)
With Dcn. Ryan Adorjan