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Tribunal Side Info

Name Rev. Msgr. Barry Brinkman, JCL, JV 
E-Mail barry.brinkman
@salinadiocese.org
Phone (785) 827-8746

 

Name Corey Lyon, JCL
E-Mail corey.lyon
@salinadiocese.org
Phone (785) 827-8746

 

Name Sr. Carolyn Juenemann, CSJ
E-Mail carolyn.juenemann
@salinadiocese.org
Phone (785) 827-8746 Ext. 22
 

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Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenGYUMRI, Armenia (CNS) -- Acts of love and kindness must be a Christian's "calling card," the characteristic that identifies them more than anything, Pope Francis told Catholics in northern Armenia. Traveling June 25 to Gyumri, a city with a significant Catholic population and one still bearing the scars of an earthquake almost three decades ago, Pope Francis once again praised the steadfast faith of the Armenian people. Thanking God for all that had been rebuilt since the 1988 earthquake, the pope also asked the region's people to consider what they are called to build today and, more importantly, how they are called to build it. Celebrating the only public Mass scheduled for his three-day visit to predominantly Orthodox Armenia, Pope Francis told thousands of people in Gyumri's Vartanants Square that memory, faith and merciful love must be the foundations of their lives. The joy that comes from encountering Christ, he said, "renews our life, makes us free and open to surprises, ready and available for the Lord and for others." The exercise of charity renews and rejuvenates the church, he said. "Concrete love is the Christian's calling card; any other way of presenting ourselves could be misleading and even unhelpful," he said, because Christians are called to be known by their love. Pope Francis urged the Armenian people to continue on the path of dialogue and respect, especially among members of the Armenian Catholic and Armenian Apostolic churches. During his stay in Armenia, the pope was the houseguest of Catholicos Karekin II, the patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The catholicos was present for the pope's celebration of Mass, a gesture the pope was scheduled to reciprocate the next day in Yerevan. At the beginning of Gyumri Mass, Catholicos Karekin recalled how, during the Soviet period, many churches in Armenia were closed or destroyed. The Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of the Seven Holy Wounds in Gyumri became an ecumenical place of worship with different areas of the church hosting services for the Armenian Apostolic, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox communities. After Mass, Pope Francis invited the catholicos to join him in the popemobile. They toured the square, both giving the people their blessings. The need to overcome divisions among Christians and to work for peace in the world was given even greater attention by Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin during an evening prayer service back in Yerevan. In the capital's Republic Square, where crowds had gathered while the sun was still hot, the pope and patriarch processed in together, walking side by side and blessing the people. They stopped to shake hands with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. Pope Francis told the people that he and the catholicos, like all those committed to Christian unity, "look confidently toward the day when by God's help we shall be united around the altar of Christ's sacrifice in the fullness of eucharistic communion." "Let us pursue our journey with determination," he said. "Indeed, let us race toward our full communion!" In working and praying for Christian unity, the pope said, churches are not looking for "strategic advantages" or ways to promote their own interests. "Rather, it is what Jesus requires of us and what we ourselves must strive to attain with good will, constant effort and consistent witness" in order to fulfill "our mission of bringing the Gospel to the world." Following Christ's example, the pope said, "we are called to find the courage needed to abandon rigid opinions and personal interests in the name of the love that bends low and bestows itself, in the name of the humble love that is the blessed oil of the Christian life, the precious spiritual balm that heals, strengthens and sanctifies." Together, he said, Christians must work and pray for peace, defending the persecuted -- including Christians in the Middle East -- but also promoting reconciliation. Ending a day that began at Armenia's genocide memorial, Pope Francis prayed that Armenia and Turkey would embark on a new process of reconciliation and that peace would finally come to Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave in Azerbaijan. The ethnic Armenian majority of Nagorno-Karabakh voted in 1988 to unify with Armenia. Fighting ensured and continued until a cease-fire was reached in 1994, although the enclave's status was never fully resolved. Sporadic fighting has occurred since, most recently in early April. In his talk, Catholicos Karekin claimed Azerbaijan started the latest wave of violence with military exercises on the border. But the patriarch cast his gaze wider, welcoming refugees from Syria and Iraq -- nations that traditionally had strong Armenian Christian communities. "With hope in God, they wait for peaceful days to arrive in their native lands," Catholicos Karekin said. "May our merciful Lord cleanse the world from the tragedies of evil and grant peace and protection," he prayed, adding hopes that the biblical prophecy would come true: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks, nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." - - - Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenYEREVAN, Armenia (CNS) -- In silence and in prayer while a mournful hymn was sung, Pope Francis formally paid tribute to the estimated 1.5 million Armenians killed by Ottoman Turks in 1915-18. Visiting the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial, a monument to the martyrs, Pope Francis wrote in the guestbook, "May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. Memories should not be watered down or forgotten; memory is a source of peace and of the future." The words were in addition to those the pope had planned to write June 25, praying that humanity would never again know the large-scale massacre of a people and that by remembering such tragedies of the past, people would learn to vanquish evil with good. Accompanied by the Armenian Orthodox patriarch, Catholicos Karekin II, and by bishops and clergy from both the Catholic and Armenian Apostolic churches, Pope Francis blessed a wreath of yellow and white flowers placed before the towering stone shards that protect the eternal flame at Tsitsernakaberd. He and the catholicos descended a few steps to the flame's basin and laid roses at its edge before praying several minutes in silence. There were no speeches at the memorial, only Scripture readings, prayers and hymns, including one that described the dead as "images of the Lamb of God" led to the slaughter "without opening their mouths to deny the Lord or the homeland." A choir of women in teal dresses with white veils sang the refrain: "Holy and true Lord, how long before you judge and require justice for our blood?" A long, basalt memorial wall outside is engraved with the names of the cities of the victims. The opposite side of the wall is decorated with plagues honoring those who denounced the massacre and came to the rescue of the victims. The name of Pope Benedict XV is prominent.  The pope welcomed an estimated 400 Armenian orphans, who fled to Italy and were given refuge in Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence. A dozen descents of those orphans were present at the memorial for Pope Francis' visit. Before leaving the memorial, Pope Francis -- like St. John Paul II did in 2001 -- symbolically planted a pine tree, shoveling a little bit of dirt beneath the hardy sapling and dousing it generously with water. - - - Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Remo Casilli, ReutersBy Cindy WoodenYEREVAN, Armenia (CNS) -- A solid, sorrow-tested Christian faith gives believers the strength to overcome even the most horrific adversity, forgive one's enemies and live in peace, Pope Francis said. Arriving in Armenia June 24, Pope Francis went straight to the twin concerns of his three-day visit: Promoting Christian unity and honoring the determined survival of Armenian Christianity despite a historic massacre and decades of Soviet domination. The high profile of the pope's ecumenical concern and the importance of faith in Armenian culture were highlighted by making the trip's first official appointment a visit to the cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church at Etchmiadzin. The arrival ceremony at the airport was defined as informal, but featured a review of the troops and a greeting by a young boy and a young girl, who offered Pope Francis the traditional gifts of bread and salt. His entrance into Holy Etchmiadzin, as it commonly is known, was heralded with the pealing of church bells. As the pope and patriarch processed down the aisle between crowds of flag-waving faithful, a deacon led them, swinging an incense burner. For the first two events on the papal itinerary, the English translations of the speeches of the pope's hosts -- the Armenian Orthodox patriarch and the country's president -- repeatedly used the word "genocide" to describe the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1918. The pope's prepared text for his speech in Italian used the Armenian term "Metz Yeghern" or its Italian equivalent, "the Great Evil." However, when speaking, the pope added the Italian "genocidio." Turkey objects to the term "genocide" and recalled its Vatican ambassador for about a year after Pope Francis in April 2015 quoted St. John Paul II in describing the massacre as the first genocide of the 20th century. Pope Francis, visiting the Orthodox cathedral at Etchmiadzin and addressing government officials later at the presidential palace, did not focus on the tragedy, but on the faith of the country's 3 million people, the need for reconciliation and peace in the region and the role of Christians in showing the world that faith is a power for the good of humanity. For both nights of his trip, Pope Francis was to be the houseguest of Catholicos Karekin II, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church. "This sign of love eloquently bespeaks, better than any words can do, the meaning of friendship and fraternal charity," the pope said. In a world "marked by divisions and conflicts, as well as by grave forms of material and spiritual poverty," he said, people expect Christians to provide a witness and example of mutual esteem and close collaboration. All examples of brotherly love and cooperation, despite real differences existing among Christians, the pope said, "radiate light in a dark night and a summons to experience even our differences in an attitude of charity and mutual understanding." Besides being an example of how dialogue is the only way to settle differences, he said, "it also prevents the exploitation and manipulation of faith, for it requires us to rediscover faith's authentic roots," defending and spreading truth with respect for the human dignity of all. Catholicos Karekin echoed the pope's emphasis on the importance of Christian cooperation "for keeping and cherishing Christian ethical values in the world (and) for strengthening love" which is the only path to true security and prosperity. He told the pope, "after the destruction caused by the Armenian Genocide and the godless years of the Soviet era, our church is living a new spiritual awakening." Nearly 90 percent of Armenia's population belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church; Catholics, mostly belonging to the Eastern-rite Armenian Catholic Church, make up almost 10 percent of the population. At the presidential palace later, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan praised Pope Francis for having used the word "genocide" a year ago. "We don't look for culprits. We don't spread accusations," he said, according to the English text given to reporters. "We simply want things to be called by their names." While the pope and president were meeting privately, Armenian public television broadcast images from the Armenian memorial prayer service Pope Francis presided over at the Vatican last year. They included the clip of him using the word "genocide." Pope Francis told the president and government officials, "Sadly that tragedy, that genocide was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims" that extended to "planning the annihilation of entire peoples." Unfortunately, he said, "the great international powers looked the other way.""Having seen the depths of evil unleashed by "hatred, prejudice and the untrammeled desire for dominion," people must make renewed commitments to ensuring differences are resolved with dialogue, he said. "In this regard, it is vitally important that all those who declare their faith in God join forces to isolate those who use religion to promote war, oppression and violent persecution, exploiting and manipulating the holy name of God," Pope Francis said. At a time when Christians are again experiencing discrimination and persecution, he said, it is essential that world leaders make their primary goal "the quest for peace, the defense and acceptance of victims of aggression and persecution, (and) the promotion of justice and sustainable development."- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Andrew Gombert, EPABy Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON (CNS) -- With a tie vote June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Obama administration's plan to temporarily protect more than 4 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation. The court's 4-4 vote leaves in place a lower court injunction blocking the administration's immigration policy with the one-page opinion stating: "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court." Legal experts have called it an ambiguous and confusing political and legal decision that leaves many in a state of limbo. It also puts a lot of attention on the vacant Supreme Court seat that may determine how the case is decided in an appeal. Religious leaders were quick to denounce the court's action as a setback for immigrant families and stressed the urgency of comprehensive immigration reform. Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration, said the court's decision was a "huge disappointment" and a setback, but he said the focus now needs to be on how to fix the current immigration system. "We must not lose hope that reform is possible," he said. Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, called the court's decision "a sad ruling" and said the president's immigration plan had been "the result of years of painstaking work and committed efforts by migrant advocates, grass-roots organizations, some legislators and the faith community." The bishop was joined in the statement by Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, and the Hope Border Institute, a community organization on the U.S.-Mexico border. The statement also said the court's decision exposes how the current immigration policy in the U.S. "criminalizes and scapegoats immigrants who fight for a better life for their children and families that contribute every day to our economy and communities." In a news briefing, President Barack Obama said the country's immigration system is broken and the Supreme Court's inability to reach a decision set it back even further. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin praised the court's decision for making clear that "the president is not permitted to write laws -- only Congress is," which he said was a "major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers." At issue in the United States v. Texas case are Obama's executive actions on immigration policy that were challenged by 26 states. The Texas Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state's Catholic bishops, said in a statement that "respect for human life and dignity demands leaders put people before politics." Added Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston: "Our legislators continuously refuse to address immigration policies in a comprehensive manner." "I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision ... putting millions of families at risk of being ripped apart," said Dominican Sister Bernardine Karge of Chicago, speaking for the Washington-based group Faith in Public Life. "The stories of immigrant families are intimately woven into the tapestry of this great country, and today's decision threatens our nation's commitment to justice and compassion," she said, adding that she hoped the presumptive presidential nominees and Congress makes comprehensive immigration reform a priority. Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. or CLINIC, similarly expressed disappointment in the court's decision and said the responsibility is more than ever on Congress to come up with comprehensive immigration reform. She said the court's decision will put "millions of long-term U.S. residents in fear of law enforcement and at risk of mistreatment in the workplace, by landlords and from abusers due to threats of deportation." Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles similarly urged immigration reform, saying it was not a matter of politics but of "defending human rights and protecting human dignity." The case, argued before the court in April, involved Obama's 2014 expansion of a 2012 program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, known as DAPA. The programs had been put on hold last November by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, upholding a Texas-based federal judge's injunction against the executive actions. The original DACA program is not affected by the injunction. The states suing the federal government claimed the president went too far and was not just putting a temporary block on deportations, but giving immigrants in the country without legal permission a "lawful presence" that enabled them to qualify for Social Security and Medicare benefits. U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who defended the government, said the "pressing human concern" was to avoid breaking up families of U.S. citizen children, something echoed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, CLINIC, and at least three Catholic colleges, which joined in a brief with more than 75 education and children's advocacy organizations. When the case was argued before the high court in mid-April, Justice Sonia Sotomayor stressed that the 4 million immigrants who might be given a temporary reprieve from deportation "are living in the shadows" and "are here whether we want them or not," adding that the government had limited resources available for deportations. Thomas Saenz, a lawyer representing three mothers in in the country without documentation who have U.S. citizen children, told the court his clients live in "daily fear that they will be separated from their families and detained or removed from their homes." On the day the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case, the plight of families was visible with many gathered in front of the court hours before the arguments began carrying placards saying: "Fight for families," and "Love your neighbor" while a mariachi band played alongside them. Two months later when the court issued its opinion, a small crowd stood on the steps with placards saying: "The fight continues" and "Keep families together." One speaker emphasized that supporters of the president's plan should not go home sad but should be prepared to vote on the issue in November. In his June 23 statement, Archbishop Gomez specifically addressed the immigrant community "suffering from the cruelty and uncertainty caused by this broken immigration system." "Please know that the Catholic Church will never abandon you. You are our family," he said. "We will continue to accompany you and support you and defend your inalienable rights and dignity as children of God."- - - Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.  - - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO ARMENIA (CNS) -- Commenting on the peace agreement reached in Colombia, Pope Francis hailed the end of "more than 50 years of war and guerilla warfare and so much bloodshed." Pope Francis told reporters flying with him to Armenia June 24 that he prayed Colombia would "never return to a state of war" again. Although he usually does not answer questions on his flights from Rome to other countries, Pope Francis was asked by his spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, to comment on both the Colombia agreement and the results of a June 23 referendum in England on membership in the European Union. The decision to leave the EU "was the will expressed by the people," the pope said. The English decision, he said, "requires great responsibility on the part of all of us to guarantee the good of the people of the United Kingdom and the good and coexistence of the whole European continent." After his brief response to the questions, Pope Francis returned to his normal routine on outbound flights, walking the length of the plane and personally greeting each of the almost 70 media representatives. He collected letters and books and signed a few autographs. The Colombian government reached a cease-fire agreement June 23 with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, ending 52 years of hostilities. The government and the Marxist guerillas have been in talks since 2012, reaching agreement on what the parties describe as five pillars. The final pillar, the demobilization of the guerillas, was the most difficult to settle. The other pillars cover political participation, rural development, the illicit economy, and victims of the violence and were settled in earlier negotiations. In the United Kingdom, voters June 23 decided to exit the EU by 52 percent to 48 percent. The decision sent a shock wave through world financial markets and led Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation. The referendum turnout was 71.8 percent as more than 30 million people went to the polls. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election. Voters in Great Britain and Wales decided strongly to leave the EU while residents of Northern Ireland and Scotland supported staying in the European bloc. Britain has two years to complete the withdrawal process under EU rules.- - -Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.