Browsing News Entries

U.S. Supreme Court shows some support to Trump's travel ban

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

By Carol Zimmermann

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In the last case before the U.S. Supreme Court this session, it seemed the majority of justices might uphold President Donald Trump's travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries.

Comments made during the hourlong oral arguments April 25 in Trump v. Hawaii emphasized national security reasons for Trump's action.

The challengers to the ban -- Hawaii, several individuals and a Muslim group -- have argued that Trump's policy was motivated by his antagonism toward Muslims and it violates federal immigration law and the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on the government favoring one religion over another.

Trump's campaign pledges, including one where he called for a "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," were raised in court, but Solicitor General Noel Francisco said these comments should not influence the justices because they were made before Trump was president.

Francisco stressed that Trump's basis for the travel ban was a result of concerns about national security and not personal beliefs.

"No matter what standard you apply, this proclamation is constitutional," he added.

Justice Samuel Alito said the travel ban didn't look "like a Muslim ban" as some have labeled it, saying it "only applies to about 8 percent of the world's Muslims."

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked: "Where does the president get the authority to do more than Congress has already decided is adequate" in national security measures. Francisco's response, in short, was that the country's immigration laws provide the executive branch broad authority to decide who can enter the country.

Trump has said the travel ban is necessary to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamic militants. Its current version is indefinite and applies to travelers from five countries with predominantly Muslim populations: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also blocks travelers from non-Muslim countries: North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.

Trump's first travel ban, issued right after he took office, was blocked by several U.S. courts. A few months later, a second version of the ban was similarly blocked by several lower courts but the Supreme Court voted last December to allow the policy to take effect until it heard oral arguments about it.

Catholic Church leaders have expressed their objection to the travel ban.

An amicus brief filed March 30 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Legal Immigration Network said the ban singles out "populations of six overwhelmingly Muslim nations for sweeping immigration restrictions" that do not exist elsewhere in the world.

The brief said the president's order showed "blatant religious discrimination," which is "repugnant to the Catholic faith, core American values, and the United States Constitution." It also said the Supreme Court should relegate the order "to the dustbin of history, so it will do no further harm."

The Catholic groups noted that Trump's action poses a major threat to religious liberty and also fails the basic test of religious neutrality. If it stands, they said, it will prevent countless refugees from escaping persecution and starting a new life in this country with the help of church resettlement agencies.

Before, during and after the oral arguments, about 100 demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court on the rainy spring morning holding up signs saying: "Refugees Welcome" and "No Muslim Ban" The fairly small crowd should not belie the interest in this case, which received friend of the court briefs from Mormon history and legal scholars, a group of U.S art museums, and Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who criticized Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Anticipating the interest in the case, the court announced in mid-April that it would make the audio of the oral argument available shortly after the court session was over instead of at the end of the week when audios are normally released.

A ruling in this case is expected in late June.

- - -

Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.

- - -

Copyright © 2018 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.

Curriculum Corner: Is Technology Taking Over Your Job?

We hear it repeatedly: Technology has automated another job, leaving more workers unemployed. Amazon alone has impacted the retail industry...

Superintendent’s Corner

With Easter behind us and the weather warming, we are now asking the question: “Is summer far behind?”  Of course...

May Staff Spotlight: Jason Lawrence

Jason Lawrence has built one of the region’s top robotics programs at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. For his work,...

THE SCHOOL OF THE MONTH FOR MAY: ST. IRENAEUS PARISH SCHOOL IN CYPRESS

At St. Irenaeus Parish School, faith extends beyond the four walls of the classroom and it starts with staff and...

Finding Faith

There is an even flow of liturgical seasons from Lent to Easter to the time when the flow seems to...

Survivor hopes papal meeting will bring end to 'culture of abuse'

IMAGE: CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A survivor of clergy sexual abuse in Chile said he hopes his meeting with Pope Francis will be an opportunity to make a difference and bring an end to a culture within the Catholic Church that disparages victims and makes them feel guilty for coming forward.

"I hope that it is not just about me. I hope I can convey the pain of thousands of people who are still suffering, and that this is the beginning of the end of this culture of abuse and this culture of cover-up among bishops," Juan Carlos Cruz said in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service April 25.

In a statement released by the Vatican April 25, Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo will meet individually with Pope Francis and will stay at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where the pope lives. The pope's individual meetings with the men will take place April 27-29 and then he will meet them as a group April 30.

"The pope thanks them for accepting his invitation," Burke said. "During these days of personal and brotherly encounter, the pope wants to ask their forgiveness, share his pain and shame for what they have suffered and, above all, listen to all suggestions that can be made to avoid the repetition of such reprehensible acts."

The Chilean survivors have alleged that Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno -- then a priest -- had witnessed their abuse by his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima. In 2011, Father Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

During his visit to Chile in January, the pope sparked controversy when he pledged his support for Bishop Barros and said: "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I will speak. There is not one piece of evidence against him. It is calumny."

He later apologized to the victims and admitted that his choice of words wounded many.

A short time later, the Vatican announced Pope Francis was sending Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and an aide, Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos, to Chile to listen to people with information about Bishop Barros.

Not all of the 64 witnesses spoke about Father Karadima and Bishop Barros; several of them gave testimony about abuse alleged to have occurred at a Marist Brothers' school.

Burke said the pope called for prayers for the church in Chile and hoped the meetings would be "a crucial step to repair and forever avoid the abuses of conscience, power and especially sexual (abuse) in the heart of the church."

Cruz told CNS that there is still much to be done in the fight against clergy sexual abuse, because the attempts at reform have failed to address a pervasive culture that treats historical abuses as "something that happened that's already in recovery" when in reality it is "an open wound that keeps getting deeper."

"I think we need to attack the problem head-on, directly, and deal with that," he said.

While there are good people on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cruz said it was "pretty shameful" that the commission has accomplished little in helping survivors.

Cruz said he intends to tell Pope Francis "all these things directly."

"He wants to hear the truth, he has an open heart and he's a good man and I'm excited in a good way to be able to speak about these things frankly and with respect with him," Cruz told CNS.

After receiving more than 2,300 pages of documentation from Archbishop Scicluna, Pope Francis acknowledged he had made "serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information."

In a letter to the bishops of Chile released by the Vatican April 11, Pope Francis asked "forgiveness of all those I have offended," and said he hoped to "be able to do it personally in the coming weeks."

The pope said he was convening a meeting in Rome with the Chilean bishops to discuss the findings of the investigations and his own conclusions "without prejudices nor preconceived ideas, with the single objective of making the truth shine in our lives."

Following the release of Pope Francis' letter, Bishop Santiago Silva Retamales, president of the bishops' conference and head of the military ordinariate, said the bishops of Chile would travel to the Vatican in the third week of May.

Regarding the pope's meeting with the Chilean bishops, Cruz told CNS he hopes Pope Francis will hold accountable bishops who covered up abuse, rather than punish them "with a cushy job in the Vatican." They should be replaced with good people because "the people in Chile have been pretty scandalized" by the behavior of several members of the church hierarchy.

"I hope too that this -- what's happening in Chile -- sends a (message) to the universal church that this behavior will not be tolerated anymore," Cruz said.

- - -

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

- - -

Copyright © 2018 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.

FILM AND EVANGELIZATION – HOW BISHOP BARRON INSPIRED HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS

Richmond, Va. — Each year at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, students are required to complete a “senior evangelization project”...

Toronto cardinal calls for prayers after van kills at least 10

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, Reuters

By

TORONTO (CNS) -- Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins called for special prayers after a van jumped a curb and killed at least 10 people on a busy Toronto street.

Although officials said the April 23 incident did not appear to be terrorism, they said it did appear to be deliberate. Cabinet members from leading industrialized nations were meeting in Toronto in preparation for a G-7 summit in Quebec in June.

"I invite the Catholic community across the Archdiocese of Toronto to join me in offering our prayers for all those who were killed and injured in the violent incident earlier today," the cardinal said in a statement. "I will be asking all 225 Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Toronto to offer special prayer intentions this week for all those who have suffered. Let us all unite in our efforts to bring comfort and care to those who are hurting today."

Authorities identified the driver as Alek Minassian, who was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder. The Associated Press reported witnesses said he appeared to intentionally jump a curb in the North York neighborhood as people filled the sidewalks on a warm afternoon. He continued for more than a mile, knocking out a fire hydrant and leaving bodies strewn in his wake.

Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of the Toronto-based Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation, tweeted: "Death toll of today's horrific accident is now at 10 with many more in critical condition. Tonight we celebrated Mass for all who have died. Such senseless, horrible killing of many innocent people who were outside enjoying our first taste of spring. God bless Toronto tonight."

- - -

Copyright © 2018 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.

DIOCESAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR CAMP

  The third annual Diocesan Children’s Choir Camp is now accepting registrations for its summer program. The morning camp will...