• 1
  • 2
  • 3

DAVEY & GOLIATH SERIES: HAPPY EASTER

Length30 min.
Age GroupP - Primary
PublisherGospel Films
TopicsSocial Justice

An excellent approach to teaching death and eternal life to children in a way they can readily understand.

Featured Events

Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPABy Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Immediately after the Supreme Court sent the contraceptive case back to the lower courts May 16, some called the decision a punt -- the football analogy of sending the ball back to the other team -- or in this case the lower courts.But the analogy falls short on a practical level because the seven consolidated cases in Zubik will be sent back to the lower courts with a very different look -- bearing the stamp of being vacated by the nation's high court. The 3rd, 5th, 10th and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- which ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate and did not see it as posing a substantial burden to the petitioners' free exercise of religion -- now must give another look at the issue equipped with the new information submitted to the Supreme Court showing a possible compromise. Although the justices' unanimous decision in Zubik v. Burwell took many by surprise, others said they saw something like this coming when the Supreme Court essentially showed its hand asking both sides to provide ways to implement the contraceptive mandate that would satisfy both sides. "Contrary to most press coverage, this was not a punt," said Michael McConnell, a law professor at Stanford Law School in California, writing about the Zubik ruling. He described the decision as "a compromise in which the Little Sisters won the case but no precedent was set for the future. This is unorthodox, but arguably Solomonic," he added. Hannah Smith, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the Little Sisters of the Poor in the case, similarly didn't buy the sports analogy that grabbed headlines. "I don't see it as a punt at all," she told Catholic News Service May 27. She said the Supreme Court was not just returning the cases to the lower courts but was "very specific in its order and outlined several points" such as forbidding the government from levying fines on the groups that objected to the contraceptive coverage, erasing previous court decisions and telling the courts to essentially find a feasible resolution. In other words, when the court sent these cases back, it also sent guidelines for a new way forward. Smith said the court's decision was essentially telling the federal government: "You can do this in a different way, now you have to go back and do it." She said it is going to take some time for this to work through the courts and she couldn't predict a time frame for it. It has already been nearly five years that religious groups have been involved in challenging the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate. The Department of Health and Human Services announced an "interim final rule" in August 2011 requiring that coverage of contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration be included in most employees' health plans. The rule provided a narrow religious exemption to the mandate that only applied to houses of worship and did not include most religious universities, schools, social service agencies, outreach ministries or health care providers. The plaintiffs don't seem daunted by the time it is taking for a resolution. Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl said in a statement after the Supreme Court's decision that the court's opinion offered a path forward but "this struggle will continue." The Washington Archdiocese is one of seven plaintiffs in the consolidated Zubik case. Now the question for both sides is whether the courts follow the Supreme Court's cue and find a compromise. In a post for scotusblog.com, University of Notre Dame law professor Richard Garnett wrote that the courts could possibly "extend unwarranted deference to the government's assertions about 'compelling interests' and the least restrictive ways of accomplishing them or engage in ungenerous second-guessing of religious claimants' descriptions of the burdens imposed by government action on their religious exercise." Legal experts say the government could either decline to cooperate on a solution or could change its regulations to implement the Supreme Court's opinion and adopt a less restrictive alternative for religious employers who currently would need to have a third party to provide contraceptive coverage through their health insurance. However, the government would still need to determine how to accommodate religious objectors that self-insure. While the final outcome hangs in the balance, Garnett said the case itself highlights a troubling sign about the accommodation of religion. "To the extent, the right to religious freedom is regarded as a luxury good, a license to do wrong, or as special pleading by the culture war's losers, it is increasingly vulnerable," Garnett wrote. "This should concern us all, because believers and nonbelievers alike benefit from a legal and cultural commitment to religious freedom and have a stake in the legal regime that respects and protects it." - - - 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 photo/Lucy Nicholson, ReutersBy WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said in a May 25 statement that a planned increase in federal immigration raids is "yet another depressing sign of the failed state of American immigration policy." The raids were announced in mid-May. Archbishop Gomez' comment was echoed by Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration. The archbishop is chairman-elect of the committee. "These operations spark panic among our parishes," Bishop Elizondo said in a May 25 statement. "No person, migrant or otherwise, should have to fear leaving their home to attend church or school. No person should have to fear being torn away from their family and returned to danger." While saying he recognized the federal government's role in upholding immigration laws, he said the deportations would not be "an effective deterrent" to migration because these "vulnerable populations" are facing a humanitarian crisis in their home countries. On May 24, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel deported a mother and her 14-year-old daughter from the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. ICE took the action despite knowing that the family was afraid of being killed in their home country, that their asylum claim had never been heard, and despite knowing that attorneys had requested a stay of removal and were in the midst of filing an appeal, according to Katie Shepherd, managing attorney for the Cara Family Detention Pro Bono Project, which provides legal representation and undertakes advocacy on behalf of mothers and children held in federal family detention centers. According to Shepherd, ICE also knew that attorneys had requested a stay of removal for the family and were in the midst of filing an appeal. "ICE swiftly deported the mother and her child, informing counsel only after the fact. It is outrageous that, knowing that her appeal was in the works and that she had expressed a fear of return, ICE chose to hustle the family out of the detention center in the dark of night and put them on a plane before the courthouse doors opened," Shepherd said in a May 25 statement. "Just like in January, we are seeing mothers and children who are confused, disoriented, and terrified for themselves and their children," she added. In January, Bishop Elizondo and Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Orange, California, chairman of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about recent raids that had netted 121 undocumented immigrants in a three-day span, many of them mothers and children. "Our organizations have firsthand knowledge that these actions have generated fear among immigrants and have made their communities more distrustful of law enforcement and vulnerable to misinformation, exploitation and fraud," the two bishops told Johnson. "To send migrant children and families back to their home countries would put many of them in grave danger because they would face threats of violence and for some, even death." CLINIC is one of four partners in the Cara Project. The others are the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. "This family is just the latest in the string of lives destroyed by a government that refuses to administer our refugee protection system with the care it requires. Sadly, ICE's harsh enforcement tactics will put many more vulnerable people at risk," said the Cara Project's Shepherd. Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, also issued a statement May 25 about the new wave of deportation raids. "Children and families should not be used as pawns in a politics of deportation aimed more at maintaining the illusion that we have a viable immigration policy in this country than at actually addressing the issue," he said. "The entire system needs reform; it fails to protect the most basic of human goods. Those fleeing violence should be accorded due process protection." Over the past year or more, the Brownsville Diocese, which is in the Rio Grande River Valley, has had an increase of immigrants with numbers as high as 200 on some days. Mostly from Central America, the immigrants receive help at the diocesan respite center at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen at continue north to other states. Michelle Mendez, who represents some clients for CLINIC and does training and legal support as well, also moderates a closed Facebook page for women who were detained. Introduced just last October, the group, she said, now has 750 members. Having worked in direct services for many years prior to joining CLINIC, Mendez said, "I learned that clients, despite lacking sophistication in some areas, had on their phones What's App or something that's cheaper to call internationally and Facebook, because they want to connect with folks all over." On the page, "we give them guidance on the removal proceedings," Mendez said. "They have a lot of misinformation or lack of information. They think that reporting to ICE on a monthly basis is the same as going to court. Or that changing your address with ICE is the same as changing your address with the court." Neither is true, she added, and some women have been tripped up by this false belief. - - - Contributing to this story was Mark Pattison.  - - -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.

  • By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To follow the path of Christ means to serve the poor and the downtrodden while not turning Christian virtues simply into ideas and humanitarian endeavors, Pope Francis said. "In them, you touch and serve the flesh of Christ and grow in union with him, while always keeping watch so that faith does not become an ideology and charity is not reduced to philanthropy so that the church doesn't end up becoming an NGO," the pope told members of the general chapter of the Little Work of Divine Providence May 27. Founded by St. Luigi Orione, the order is comprised of two religious congregations -- the Orionine Fathers and the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity -- who care primarily for the sick, the elderly and people with learning disabilities. The pope encouraged the religious congregations to follow the example of their founder, who sought to heal the wounds of people in need of "bread for the body and the divine consolation of faith." "With Don Orione, I also exhort you to not remain closed in your surroundings, but to go out. There is much need of priests and religious who do not remain solely in charitable institutions -- albeit necessary -- but who also know how to go beyond their own boundaries in order to bring to every environment, even the most distant, the perfume of Christ's charity," the pope said. Pope Francis also called on them to not lose sight of the "church's mission to bring God's mercy to all without distinction." Their service to the church, he said, will be all the more effective by taking care of their personal commitment to Christ and their own spiritual formation. By "giving a witness to the beauty" of consecrated life, the Little Work of Divine Providence can offer an example of the "good life of the religious servants of Christ and the poor," especially to younger generations, the pope said. "Life begets life; a holy and happy religious person can inspire new vocations," Pope Francis said. - - - Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -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 Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The former secretary to a saint and the oldest member of the College of Cardinals died May 26 at the age of 100. Italian Cardinal Loris Capovilla, who served St. John XXIII before and after he became pope, died in Bergamo, near Milan. Cardinal Capovilla was born in Pontelongo, Italy, on Oct. 14, 1915, and ordained to the priesthood in 1940. A journalist before starting to work for the future saint, he was an energetic and eloquent storyteller, drawing on his remarkable and vividly detailed memory. When the freshly named patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, chose 37-year-old Father Capovilla as his private secretary in 1953, a skeptical adviser told the cardinal -- who would become Pope John XXIII -- that the priest looked too sickly to bear the strain of his new job. But the cardinal outlived his employer by half a century and was a dedicated custodian of his legacy, running a small museum dedicated to the saint's memory in the late pope's native town of Sotto il Monte Giovanni XXIII, near Milan. A friend and confidant, he was by the pope's side during a pivotal point in the church and the world's history: for the launch of the Second Vatican Council and the escalation of political and military tensions of the Cold War. He turned many of his stories into numerous writings, including a memoir published in English as "The Heart and Mind of John XXIII." The papal secretary also served Pope Paul VI for a time after his election, following St. John's death in 1963. He was made archbishop of Chieti-Vasto in 1967 and appointed prelate of Loreto in 1971, retiring in 1988. Pope Francis made him the world's oldest living cardinal when he elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 2014 at the age of 98. Some observers saw the honor as an indirect tribute to Pope John, whom Pope Francis canonized just one month later. But the then-cardinal-designate told Catholic News Service at the time, in a telephone conversation, that his elevation was a "sign of attention to all those thousands of priests around the world who have spent their lives in silence, in poverty, in obedience, happy to serve God and our humble people, who need, as Pope Francis continually says, tenderness, friendship, respect and love."In a telegram May 27 to the bishop of Bergamo, Pope Francis offered his condolences and expressed his affection for "this dear brother who, in his long and fruitful life, gave witness to the Gospel with joy and meekly served the church."He praised the late cardinal's attentive and caring service to St. John as well as for being the "dedicated custodian" of his historical memory and "valid interpreter" of his ministry. The pope said Cardinal Capovilla had always been fully dedicated to the well being of priests and the faithful, reflecting "a firm devotion to the direction of the Second Vatican Council."Cardinal Capovilla's death leaves the College of Cardinals with 213 members, 114 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave. - - -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 WoodenROME (CNS) -- A Corpus Christi procession should honor Christ's gift of himself in the Eucharist, but also should be a pledge to share bread and faith with the people of the cities and towns where the processions take place, Pope Francis said. Just as the "breaking of the bread" became the icon of the early Christian community, giving of oneself in order to nourish others spiritually and physically should be a sign of Christians today, the pope said May 26, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. On a warm spring evening, the pope's celebration began with Mass outside Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran and was to be followed by a traditional Corpus Christi procession from St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one mile away. Hundreds of members of parish and diocesan confraternities and sodalities -- dressed in blue, brown, black or white capes and robes -- joined the pope for Mass and would make the nighttime walk to St. Mary Major for eucharistic benediction with him. "May this action of the eucharistic procession, which we will carry out shortly, respond to Jesus' command," he said in his homily. The procession should be "an action to commemorate him; an action to give food to the crowds of today; an act to break open our faith and our lives as a sign of Christ's love for this city and for the whole world." In every celebration of the Eucharist, the pope said, the people place simple bread and wine into "poor hands anointed by the Holy Spirit" and Jesus "gives us his body and his blood." The people's gifts are an important part of the process, just as they were when Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish, Pope Francis said. "Indeed," he said, "it is Jesus who blesses and breaks the loaves and provides sufficient food to satisfy the whole crowd, but it is the disciples who offer the five loaves and two fish." "Jesus wanted it this way," he said. Rather than letting the disciples send the people away to find food, Jesus wanted the disciples to "put at his disposal what little they had." "And there is another gesture: The pieces of bread, broken by the holy and venerable hands of Our Lord, pass into the poor hands of the disciples, who distribute these to the people," Pope Francis said. The miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish, he said, "signals what Christ wants to accomplish for the salvation of all mankind, giving his own flesh and blood. And yet this needs always to happen through those two small actions: offering the few loaves and fish which we have; receiving the bread broken by the hands of Jesus and giving it to all." Later in the Mass, a couple with four children and a grandmother with her three grandchildren brought the gifts of bread and wine to the pope for consecration. Pope Francis urged the crowd gathered on the lawn outside the basilica to consider all the holy men and women throughout history who have given their lives, "'broken' themselves," in order to nourish others. "How many mothers, how many fathers, together with the slices of bread they provide each day on the tables of their homes, have broken their hearts to let their children grow, and grow well," he said. "How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated!" The source of strength for such given, he said, is found in "the Eucharist, in the power of the risen Lord's love, who today too breaks bread for us and repeats: 'Do this in remembrance of me.'"- - -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.