Sunday Scripture readings, July 14, 2019: Moved by compassion

The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

July 14, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C
1) 1 Dt 30:10-14
Psalm 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37 or 19:8-11
2) Col 1:15-20
Gospel: Lk 10:25-37

By Jem Sullivan
Catholic News Service

Like you, I’ve heard the Gospel parable of the good Samaritan many times over. Yet this striking story bears repeated hearing because it presents a life-changing path we can easily overlook or forget altogether.

While there is a good Samaritan in all of us, our tendency to self-love and self-preservation blinds us to the burning question that becomes the center of the conversation between Jesus and the scholar of the law who asks, “Who is my neighbor?” Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Not the usual suspects: Cardinal wants parish teams of risk-takers

Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, papal vicar for Rome, greets guests during a reception after a consistory at the Vatican in this June 28, (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — The papal vicar for Rome has asked every pastor in the diocese to form a “pastoral team” of about a dozen “courageous explorers” to help launch a new neighborhood missionary outreach.

“Don’t go looking for those who have shown they are prudent, measured and detail-oriented,” Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the papal vicar, wrote in a letter to pastors July 11.

Instead, he said, the team should be made up of “people who draw outside the lines, people whom the Holy Spirit has made passionate about imperfection.”

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Posted in World

Chile removes statute of limitations on sex abuse cases

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera speaks with James Hamilton, a victim of a clerical sexual abuse in Chile, after signing a bill that removes the statute of limitations on sex crimes involving children July 11, 2019,at the government house in Santiago. The sign behind them reads: “Statute of Limitations of Sexual Crimes.” (CNS photo/Sebastian Rodriguez, courtesy Chilean Presidency via Reuters)

By Junno Arocho Esteves 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the Catholic Church in Chile continues to deal with the fallout of clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up, the Chilean government passed a law removing the statute of limitations on sex abuse crimes against children.

The new law, which passed the Chilean Congress July 6, ensures that there will be no time limit in prosecuting cases “regarding the kidnapping or abduction of a minor, as well as the torture, unlawful coercion or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and all that occurs during an act of rape, carnal access to a minor, statutory rape or other sexual offenses.”

The law also allows victims to take civil action against people or institutions that aided in covering up sex abuse crimes.

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Posted in World

Lay role matters in renewing church wounded by abuse, speaker says

Meghan Cokeley, evangelization director for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, says the laity can lead the way to a renewed church through prayer, redemptive suffering and a deeper understanding of the laity’s calling. She is pictured in a Nov. 11, 2016, photo. (CNS photo/Gina Christian,

By Gina Christian 
Catholic News Service

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — The laity can lead the way in renewing a church wounded by the decades-long sexual abuse scandal, according to Meghan Cokeley, director of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for the New Evangelization.

Prayer, redemptive suffering, forgiveness and a deeper understanding of the laity’s calling can radically revive the church, said Cokeley, who has been touring Philadelphia-area parishes to deliver a talk titled “What Can We Do? The Role of Laity in a Time of Crisis.”

Combining Scripture, catechesis and historical examples, the presentation offers “a message of hope” as well as several specific action points to counter feelings of despair and apathy in church life.

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Posted in U.S.

Appeals court to uphold ACA; health care a basic human right, says CHA

Congressional Democrats stand outside the U.S. Capitol July 9, 2019, showing the faces of Americans they claim “would be hurt if the Trump administration and Republicans succeed in their effort to strike down the Affordable Care Act.” As a U.S. federal appeals court considers the constitutionality of the ACA, the Catholic Health Association declared its support for the law and said access to health care is a basic human right. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

By Elizabeth Bachmann 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit considers the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Catholic Health Association voiced its support for the act, declaring access to health care a basic human right.

CHA is a national organization comprised of 600 hospitals and 1,600 other health care facilities that provide compassionate, nonprofit care to Americans.

In a statement released July 9, CHA emphasized that the ACA brings health care to 20 million Americans, 12 million of whom are low income individuals. “In addition to being harmful to patients’ health, the lack of coverage adds unnecessary expense to our nation’s health care system and deprives patients with an equitable opportunity for a healthy, productive life.”

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Posted in U.S.

Diocese looks to open temporary shelter for migrants in county facility

Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of Tucson, Ariz., responds to questions from a reporter following an announcement the diocese’s Catholic Community Services agency has signed a lease with Pima County for use of a shuttered juvenile detention facility as its new site for accommodating asylum-seekers brought in by federal officials from southern border locations. (CNS photo/Michael Brown, Catholic Outlook)

By Michael Brown 
Catholic News Service

TUCSON, Ariz. (CNS) — Catholic Community Services in the Tucson Diocese has reached a tentative agreement with Pima County to turn an unused juvenile detention facility into a temporary shelter for asylum-seekers.

The agency, which is the human services arm of the diocese, has operated such a shelter at a former Benedictine monastery since the beginning of the year. It is scheduled to vacate the site July 31 but no alternative had been found to house the 300 to 500 asylum-seekers currently there.

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Posted in U.S.

U.S. bishop among nearly 200 faith leaders speaking against war in Iran

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Ky., pictured in a June 18, 2015, photo, is among nearly 200 faith leaders speaking out against war in Iran. Bishop Stowe, who is also bishop-president of Pax Christi USA, and Bishop Marc Stenger of Troyes, France, co-president of Pax Christi International, were among the signers of a statement released July 8, 2019. (CNS photo/courtesy Diocese of Lexington)

By Dennis Sadowski 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Two Catholic bishops are among nearly 200 faith leaders calling on President Donald Trump’s administration to pursue diplomacy to resolve conflicts with Iran.

Bishop John E. Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, bishop-president of Pax Christi USA, and Bishop Marc Stenger of Troyes, France, co-president of Pax Christi International, were among the signers of a statement released July 8.

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Posted in U.S., World