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May 14, 2016

Women deacons?

The Pope is once again causing confusion... HERE.

*sigh* 

From the Vatican website: 

IV. The Ministry of Deaconesses

In the apostolic era different forms of diaconal assistance offered to the Apostles and communities by women seem to have been institutional. Thus Paul recommends to the community at Rome "our sister Phoebe, servant [he diakonos] of the Church at Cenchreae" (cf. Rom 16:1-4). Although the masculine form of diakonos is used here, it cannot therefore be concluded that the word is being used to designate the specific function of a "deacon"; firstly because in this context diakonos still signifies servant in a very general sense, and secondly because the word "servant" is not given a feminine suffix but preceded by a feminine article. What seems clear is that Phoebe exercised a recognised service in the community of Cenchreae, subordinate to the ministry of the Apostle. Elsewhere in Pauls writings the authorities of the world are themselves called diakonos (Rom 13:4), and in Second Corinthians 11:14-15 he refers to diakonoi of the devil.
Exegetes are divided on the subject of First Timothy 3:11. The mention of "women" following the reference to deacons may suggest women deacons (by parallel reference), or the deacons' wives who had been mentioned earlier. In this epistle, the functions of the deacon are not described, but only the conditions for admitting them. It is said that women must not teach or rule over men (1 Tim 2:8-15). But the functions of governance and teaching were in any case reserved to the bishop (1 Tim 3:5) and to priests (1 Tim 5:17), and not to deacons. Widows constituted a recognised group in the community, from whom they received assistance in exchange for their commitment to continence and prayer. First Timothy 5:3-16 stresses the conditions under which they may be inscribed on the list of widows receiving relief from the community, and says nothing more about any functions they might have. Later on they were officially "instituted" but "not ordained";58 they constituted an "order" in the Church,59 and would never have any other mission apart from good example and prayer.
At the beginning of the second century a letter from Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia, mentioned two women who were described by the Christians as ministrae, the probable equivalent of the Greek diakonoi (10, 96-97). It was not until the third century that the specific Christian termsdiaconissa or diacona appeared.
From the end of the third century onwards, in certain regions of the Church60 (and not all of them), a specific ecclesial ministry is attested to on the part of women called deaconesses.61 This was in Eastern Syria and Constantinople. Towards 240 there appeared a singular canonico-liturgical compilation, the Didascalia Apostolorum (DA), which was not official in character. It attributed to the bishop the features of an omnipotent biblical patriarch (cf. DA 2, 33-35, 3). He was at the head of a little community which he governed mainly with the help of deacons and deaconesses. This was the first time that deaconesses appeared in an ecclesiastical document. In a typology borrowed from Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop held the place of God the Father, the deacon the place of Christ, and the deaconess that of the Holy Spirit (the word for "Spirit" is feminine in Semitic languages), while the priests (who are seldom mentioned) represented the Apostles, and the widows, the altar (DA 2, 26, 4-7). There is no reference to the ordination of these ministers.
The Didascalia laid stress on the charitable role of the deacon and the deaconess. The ministry of the diaconate should appear as "one single soul in two bodies". Its model is the diakonia of Christ, who washed the feet of his disciples (DA 3, 13, 1-7). However, there was no strict parallelism between the two branches of the diaconate with regard to the functions they exercised. The deacons were chosen by the bishop to "concern themselves about many necessary things", and the deaconesses only "for the service of women" (DA 3, 12, 1). The hope was expressed that "the number of deacons may be proportionate to that of the assembly of the people of the Church" (DA 3, 13, l).62 The deacons administered the property of the community in the bishop's name. Like the bishop, they were maintained at its expense. Deacons are called the ear and mouth of the bishop (DA 2, 44, 3-4). Men from among the faithful should go through the deacons to have access to the bishop, as women should go through the deaconesses (DA 3, 12, 1-4). One deacon supervised the entries into the meeting place, while another attended the bishop for the Eucharistic offering (DA 2, 57, 6).
Deaconesses should carry out the anointing of women in the rite of baptism, instruct women neophytes, and visit the women faithful, especially the sick, in their homes. They were forbidden to confer baptism themselves, or to play a part in the Eucharistic offering (DA 3, 12, 1-4). The deaconesses had supplanted the widows. The bishop may still institute widows, but they should not either teach or administer baptism (to women), but only pray (DA 3, 5, 1-3, 6, 2).
The Constitutiones Apostolorum, which appeared in Syria towards 380, used and interpolated the Didascalia, the Didache and the Traditio Apostolica. The Constitutiones were to have a lasting influence on the discipline governing ordinations in the East, even though they were never considered to be an official canonical collection. The compiler envisaged the imposition of hands with the epiklesis of the Holy Spirit not only for bishops, priests and deacons, but also for the deaconesses, sub-deacons and lectors (cf. CA 8, 16-23).63The concept of kleros Was broadened to all those who exercised a liturgical ministry, who were maintained by the Church, and who benefited from the privileges in civil law allowed by the Empire to clerics, so that the deaconesses were counted as belonging to the clergy while the widows were excluded. Bishop and priests were paralleled with the high priest and the priests respectively of the Old Covenant, while to the Levites corresponded all the other ministries and states of life: "deacons, lectors, cantors, door-keepers, deaconesses, widows, virgins and orphans" (CA 2, 26, 3; CA 8, 1, 21). The deacon was placed "at the service of the bishop and the priests" and should not impinge on the functions of the latter.64 The deacon could proclaim the Gospel and conduct the prayer of the assembly (CA 2, 57, 18), but only the bishop and the priests exhorted (CA 2, 57, 7). Deaconesses took up their functions through an epithesis cheirôn or imposition of hands that conferred the Holy Spirit,65 as did the lectors (CA 8, 20, 22). The bishop pronounced the following prayer: "Eternal God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, creator of man and woman, who filled Myriam, Deborah, Anne and Hulda with your spirit; who did not deem it unworthy for your Son, the Only-Begotten, to be born of a woman; who in the tent of witness and in the temple did institute women as guardians of your sacred doors, look now upon your servant before you, proposed for the diaconate: grant her the Holy Spirit and purify her of all defilement of flesh and spirit so that she may acquit herself worthily of the office which has been entrusted to her, for your glory and to the praise of your Christ, through whom be glory and adoration to you, in the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen."66
The deaconesses were named before the sub-deacon who, in his turn, received a cheirotonia like the deacon (CA 8, 21), while the virgins and widows could not be "ordained" (8, 24-25). The Constitutiones insist that the deaconesses should have no liturgical function (3, 9, 1-2), but should devote themselves to their function in the community which was "service to the women" (CA 3, 16, 1) and as intermediaries between women and the bishop. It is still stated that they represent the Holy Spirit, but they "do nothing without the deacon" (CA 2, 26, 6). They should stand at the women's entrances in the assemblies (2, 57, 10). Their functions are summed up as follows: "The deaconess does not bless, and she does not fulfil any of the things that priests and deacons do, but she looks after the doors and attends the priests during the baptism of women, for the sake of decency" (CA 8, 28, 6).
This is echoed by the almost contemporary observation of Epiphanius of Salamis in his Panarion, in around 375: "There is certainly in the Church the order of deaconesses, but this does not exist to exercise the functions of a priest, nor are they to have any undertaking committed to them, but for the decency of the feminine sex at the time of baptism." 67A law of Theodosius of 21 June 390, revoked on 23 August of the same year, fixed the age for admission to the ministry of deaconesses at 60. The Council of Chalcedon (can. 15) reduced the age to 40, forbidding them subsequent marriage.68
Even in the fourth century the way of life of deaconesses was very similar to that of nuns. At that time the woman in charge of a monastic community of women was called a deaconess, as is testified by Gregory of Nyssa among others.69 Ordained abbesses of the monasteries of women, the deaconesses wore the maforion, or veil of perfection. Until the sixth century they still attended women in the baptismal pool and for the anointing. Although they did not serve at the altar, they could distribute communion to sick women. When the practice of anointing the whole body at baptism was abandoned, deaconesses were simply consecrated virgins who had taken the vow of chastity. They lived either in monasteries or at home. The condition for admission was virginity or widowhood and their activity consisted of charitable and health-related assistance to women.
At Constantinople the best-known of the fourth-century deaconesses was Olympias, the superior of a monastery of women, who was a protegee of Saint John Chrysostom and had put her property at the service of the Church. She was "ordained" (cheirotonein) deaconess with three of her companions by the patriarch. Canon 15 of the Council of Chalcedon (451) seems to confirm the fact that deaconesses really were "ordained" by the imposition of hands (cheirotonia). Their ministry was called leitourgia and after ordination they were not allowed to marry.
In eighth-century Byzantium, the bishop still imposed his hands on a deaconess, and conferred on her the orarion or stole (both ends of which were worn at the front, one over the other); he gave her the chalice, which she placed on the altar without giving communion to anyone. Deaconesses were ordained in the course of the Eucharistic liturgy, in the sanctuary, like deacons.70 Despite the similarities between the rites of ordination, deaconesses did not have access to the altar or to any liturgical ministry. These ordinations were intended mainly for the superiors of monasteries of women.
It should be pointed out that in the West there is no trace of any deaconesses for the first five centuries. The Statuta Ecclesiae antiqua laid down that the instruction of women catechumens and their preparation for baptism was to be entrusted to the widows and women religious "chosenad ministerium baptizandarum mulierum".71 Certain councils of the fourth and fifth centuries reject every ministerium feminae72 and forbid any ordination of deaconesses.73 According to the Ambrosiaster (composed at Rome at the end of the fourth century), the female diaconate was an adjunct of Montanist ("Cataphrygian") heretics.74 In the sixth century women admitted into the group of widows were sometimes referred to as deaconesses. To prevent any confusion the Council of Epaone forbade "the consecrations of widows who call themselves deaconesses".75 The Second Council of Orleans (533) decided to exclude from communion women who had "received the blessing for the diaconate despite the canons forbidding this and who had remarried".76 Abbesses, or the wives of deacons, were also called diaconissae, by analogy with presbyterissae or even episcopissae.77
The present historical overview shows that a ministry of deaconesses did indeed exist, and that this developed unevenly in the different parts of the Church. It seems clear that this ministry was not perceived as simply the feminine equivalent of the masculine diaconate. At the very least it was an ecclesial function, exercised by women, sometimes mentioned together with that of sub-deacon in the lists of Church ministries.78 Was this ministry conferred by an imposition of hands comparable to that by which the episcopate, the priesthood and the masculine diaconate were conferred? The text of the Constitutiones Apostolorum would seem to suggest this, but it is practically the only witness to this, and its proper interpretation is the subject of much debate.79 Should the imposition of hands on deaconesses be considered the same as that on deacons, or is it rather on the same level as the imposition of hands on sub-deacons and lectors? It is difficult to tackle the question on the basis of historical data alone. In the following chapters some elements will be clarified, and some questions will remain open. In particular, one chapter will be devoted to examining more closely how the Church through her theology and Magisterium has become more conscious of the sacramental reality of Holy Orders and its three grades. But first it is appropriate to examine the causes which led to the disappearance of the permanent diaconate in the life of the Church. [end quote] 




No need for the Pope to tell the world he is going to get a commission together to look into this already looked into and defined subject. He is only causing confusion and discord once again. 


God save us from Pope Francis. 


In Christ, 


Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner 






May 6, 2016

Mother's Day and aborted babies part 2

Last year I wrote an article called "Mother's Day and aborted babies".  The article was a follow up to an earlier article called "Two very different mothers". 

I suggest reading "Two very different mothers" if you haven't already to better understand this post. 

Assuming you have now read that article on the Salon's Jenny Kutner's very public abortion and the octopus mother (some of you are going 'WHAT? Octopus mother?' - told ya, ya gotta read the first article!), who was willing to give her own life for the lives of her offspring. 

Jenny Kutner's abortion stuck with me and month's later when Mother's Day was coming up Kutner was on my mind a lot. I wondered how she would feel on this first Mother's Day since her abortion.  Many women suffer great depression and self loathing.  They bury it and tell people lies because they don't want to admit that what they did is haunting them and having an effect on them.  

Abortion stays with a person their entire life. It does not go away. 

So I wrote about that first Mother's Day since Kutner's abortion and as Mother's Day approaches again this year I got a few unexpected comments from Jenny Kutner's mother, Pam Kutner...








These are the automated email copies of the comments left on my blog because as Pam Kutner and I were discussing this, she decided to call me a "nut" and delete her previous (above) comments from the article page.  

But now she's back again (see newest comments in the "Mother's Day and aborted babies" article) and now The Federalist has picked up the story as has dozens of Facebook pages. 


So here I am, sharing the story of Jenny Kutner's abortion and Mother's Day once more. 



In Christ,


Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner 



Links: 

Jenny Kutner from Salon: http://www.salon.com/2014/08/01/im_having_an_abortion_this_weekend/

My article from 2014 (Two Very Different Mothers): http://connecticutcatholiccorner.blogspot.com/2014/08/two-very-different-mothers.html

My article from 2015 (Mother's Day and aborted babies): http://connecticutcatholiccorner.blogspot.com/2015/05/mothers-day-and-aborted-babies.html

The Federalist: http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/06/mothers-day-is-not-the-time-to-justify-your-abortion/



April 24, 2016

My problem: the pope, the pope and the pope some more


Some folks have been wondering and asking "Where are you?  Are you still going to blog?" 


After starting off my Lent by writing a post asking the pope to "shut up" I thought I needed a time-out.  Originally, I had intended only to take a break during Lent and return after Easter.  

My problem was...well... I just couldn't stand Pope Francis nor trust him.  Every day he was driving me nuts in what he did, didn't do, said and didn't say.  I could find nothing in him to like or even tolerate. My feelings for him had gotten so low I was angry, bitter and furious with the pope daily. And this greatly disturbed me. 

And the problem now is... I still feel the same. I don't want to feel like this, but the truth is I do. 

So to give my wonderful priest a break from hearing me confess that same thing week after week; and to keep me from continually hogging the confessional, I've decided I need a longer break and I need to keep away from anything related to our current pope.  That's not an easy thing to do for a Catholic blogger.  

I might focus future posts more on sharing the Catholic faith, prayers, saints- anything Catholic that lets me put out of my mind that Pope Francis is our current pope. 

I am avoiding what leads me to sin.  Sadly, its our pope. :( 

I keep telling myself that God has His reasons and it's not my place to question them- but I don't like it.  So...I am going to ignore my intolerance of this pope to the best of my abilities by avoiding the entire subject of Pope Francis.  There are plenty of other Catholics out there taking on this issue who already do a much better job than I.  May God give them strength in their endeavors.

I will pray for the Church and continue to love my Faith, defend my Faith and share my Faith, but I am going to do my best to avoid the entire subject of who God is allowing to be called "pope" at this moment.  

That's all I'm saying on that. 

If there are any other subjects someone would like to see me comment on, please drop me an email, tweet or comment here. 

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you. 


God bless you all. 

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner 



March 28, 2016

EWTN will be televising all Mother Angelica's Memorial Events globally


Schedule of Memorial Events Announced for Mother Mary Angelica, P.C.P.A.



Irondale, AL (EWTN) – EWTN Global Catholic Network has announced the schedule of memorial events for its Foundress Mother Mary Angelica, P.C.P.A., who died Easter Sunday, March 27, at 5 p.m. CDT. All events will be held at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama and will be televised globally on EWTN. Times listed are U.S. Central (CDT):

Tuesday, March 29
3 PM: Rite of Reception of Mother Angelica’s Body.
Mother Angelica’s body will be received in a ceremony and escorted through the Piazza of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Upon conclusion of the Procession, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed in the Shrine’s Upper Church and the body will be transferred to the Monastery Cloister for private visitation with the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration.

Wednesday, March 30
10 AM: Rosary in Memoriam and Public Visitation.
A public rosary will be led by Fr. Miguel Marie Soeherman, MFVA in the Upper Church of the Shrine. Upon conclusion of the Rosary, a public visitation will begin.

7 PM: Rosary in Memoriam and Conclusion of Public Visitation.
Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe, MFVA will lead a Rosary in the Upper Church of the Shrine to conclude Public Visitation for the day.

Thursday, March 31
10 AM: Rosary in Memoriam and Public Visitation.
A public rosary will be led by Fr. Miguel Marie Soeherman, MFVA in the Upper Church of the Shrine. Upon conclusion of the Rosary, a public visitation will begin.

5 PM: Solemn Vespers.
Evening Prayer will be chanted by the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, the Community of Religious Men founded by Mother Angelica.

7 PM: Vigil Service and Rosary at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament will be led by Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham.
Music will be performed by a Schola composed of the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius in Chicago. The Homilist will be Fr. Miguel Marie Soeherman, MFVA.

Friday, April 1
11 AM: Mass of Christian Burial and Rite of Committal.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated in the Shrine’s Upper Church by bishops and clergy from around the world. The homilist will be Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe, MFVA. The Mass will conclude with a Procession carrying Mother Angelica’s body through the Shrine’s Piazza and into the Crypt. The procession will be followed by the Rite of Committal and interment in the Crypt Chapel.


Because of limited seating capacity, admission to the Shrine for the funeral Mass will be by invitation only. The public may participate directly outside, in the Shrine’s piazza. For a complete schedule of all memorial events and programming information, visit www.ewtn.com.  




March 27, 2016

Mother Angelica Dies at 92




Mother Angelica Dies at 92
Founded the EWTN Global Catholic Network


Irondale, AL (EWTN) Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, P.C.P.A., known to millions around the world as Foundress of the EWTN Global Catholic Network, died peacefully at 5 p.m. CDT, Easter Sunday, March 27, surrounded by the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Ala.

“This is a sorrow-filled day for the entire EWTN Family,” said EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “Mother has always, and will always, personify EWTN, the Network which she founded. In the face of sickness and long-suffering trials, Mother’s example of joy and prayerful perseverance exemplified the Franciscan spirit she held so dear. We thank God for Mother Angelica and for the gift of her extraordinary life.”

Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo in Canton, Ohio in 1923, she entered the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Cleveland on Aug. 15, 1944 at the age of 21. A year later, she received her religious name – Sister Mary Angelica of the Annunciation. Soon after, the Cleveland Monastery established a new foundation in Canton, and Sr. Angelica was chosen to be a member of the community there. On Jan. 2, 1947 she made her first profession of vows and in January 1953, Sister Angelica took her solemn vows as a Poor Clare nun.

In 1956, while awaiting a delicate spinal surgery, Sister Angelica made a promise that, if God would permit her to walk again, she would build a monastery in the South. On May 20, 1962, Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Ala. was dedicated by Archbishop Thomas J. Toolen of Mobile. 
In Irondale, Mother Angelica’s vision took form and her distinctive approach to teaching the Catholic Faith led to parish talks, the publication of pamphlets and books, then radio and television opportunities. By 1980, the Nuns had converted the garage of their monastery into a television studio.

Despite having only a high school education, no television experience and only $200 in the bank, Mother Angelica officially launched the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) on Aug. 15, 1981 and served as the Network’s first Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. She famously refused to air paid advertisements to fund her Network, relying solely on viewer donations, despite coming close to bankruptcy on several occasions.

More than 34 years later, EWTN is the largest Catholic media network in the world, transmitting 11 separate television channels in multiple languages, reaching more than 264 million homes in 145 countries and territories. The Network now also includes multiple radio platforms, online and digital media outlets, global news services and a publishing group.

Known for her humor and ability to colloquially communicate the Catholic Faith to both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, her popular EWTN television show, “Mother Angelica Live” was launched in 1983. Episodes of the program continue to air regularly and have been translated into multiple languages including Spanish, German, and Ukrainian.

In addition to the Eternal Word Television Network and Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, Mother Angelica also founded the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, a religious community of men based in Irondale.

In 1995, Mother Angelica was inspired by God to begin construction of a new monastery and church on a nearly 400 acre site in rural Hanceville, Ala. By 1999, the nuns relocated from Irondale to the new site in Hanceville. Our Lady of the Angels Monastery and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament were formally dedicated in December 1999. The Shrine remains one of the most visited tourist sites in the State of Alabama.

Before stepping down as EWTN’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2000, Time magazine described Mother Angelica as, "arguably the most influential Roman Catholic woman in America.”
Throughout her life, she struggled with painful illnesses and physical challenges.  On Christmas Eve of 2001, Mother Angelica suffered a debilitating stroke and cerebral hemorrhage which took away her capacity to speak.

In 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal by Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of her faithful and extraordinary service to the Roman Catholic Church. This past February, while on board the plane taking him to Cuba, Pope Francis sent a special blessing to Mother Angelica, and asked her for her prayers.

Mother Angelica’s final years were prayerful and quiet, spent with her nuns at the Monastery she built in Hanceville.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. CDT, Friday, April 1 at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville. Interment will immediately follow in the Shrine’s Crypt Church.


Because of limited seating capacity, admission to the Shrine for the funeral Mass will be by invitation only. The public may participate directly outside, in the Shrine’s piazza.  Services will be broadcast by EWTN. Further information is available at www.ewtn.com.


*******



Catholic Leaders React to the Passing of Mother Mary Angelica, P.C.P.A. 

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – Following the announcement of the death of Mother Mary Angelica, P.C.P.A. this evening, several Catholic leaders issued statements reacting to the news of her passing. Known to millions of television viewers around the world, Mother Angelica founded two thriving religious orders, as well as EWTN, the world’s largest religious media network. Mother Angelica died at 5 p.m. CDT, Easter Sunday, March 27, at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, Ala.

Mother Dolores Marie, Superior of the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery:
“Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, P.C.P.A. passed peacefully from this life at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery on 5 p.m. CDT, Easter Sunday, March 27, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, surrounded by the prayers and love of her spiritual daughters, sons and dear friends. Known as “Mother to Millions” to her EWTN Family, she untiringly exhorted all to pursue holiness by living with God in the present moment. We are grateful for your prayers for this courageous daughter of the Church and your support of EWTN, the media network that she founded for the salvation of souls. May our beloved Mother Angelica, Foundress of EWTN, enter through the Mercy of God into the joy of Heaven.”

EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw
“This is a sorrow-filled day for the entire EWTN Family. Mother has always, and will always, personify EWTN, the Network which she founded. In the face of sickness and long-suffering trials, Mother’s example of joy and prayerful perseverance exemplified the Franciscan spirit she held so dear. We thank God for Mother Angelica and for the gift of her extraordinary life. Her accomplishments and legacies in evangelization throughout the world are nothing short of miraculous and can only be attributed to Divine Providence and her unwavering faithfulness to Our Lord. The important thing, as Mother Angelica’s life and the lives so many of the saints have shown us, is to be faithful and to persevere. Mother Angelica’s life has been a life of faith; her prayer life and obedience to God are worthy of our imitation.  Everything she did was an act of faith.”

The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia:
“Mother Angelica succeeded at a task the nation’s bishops themselves couldn’t achieve.  She founded and grew a network that appealed to everyday Catholics, understood their needs and fed their spirits. Mother Angelica inspired other gifted people to join her in the work without compromising her own leadership and vision. I admired her very much, not just as a talented leader and communicator, but as a friend and great woman religious of generosity, intellect and Catholic faith.”

The Most Reverend Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama:
“Mother Angelica brought the truth and the love and the life of the Gospel of Jesus to so many people, not only to our Catholic household of faith, but to many thousands of people who are not Catholic, in that beautiful way she had of touching lives, bringing so many people into the Catholic Faith.”

Father Anthony Mary Stelten, M.F.V.A., Community Servant, Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word:
“The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word are deeply saddened by the death of our Foundress, Mother Mary Angelica, P.C.P.A. Mother was an inspiration for all of us in her contemplative life of adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament and in the deep, personal relationship that she had with the Lord. Her friendly manner, pleasant wit, vision and enthusiastic zeal for evangelization so animated her mission at EWTN and inspired all who had the privilege of getting to know her in person or through the Network. In founding our Community, Mother Angelica imbued our manner of life with her own profound love for the Real Presence, devotion to Our Lady and the spirituality of St. Francis. She shared with us her special charism of evangelization through the modern means of social communication, most especially through service to the apostolate of EWTN. The friars will always treasure the unique relationship we had with Mother Angelica and the way of life that she inspired for us.”

Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus:

“In passing to eternal life, Mother Angelica leaves behind a legacy of holiness and commitment to the New Evangelization that should inspire us all. I was honored to know and be able to assist Mother Angelica during the early days of EWTN. Over the years, that relationship grew, and today the Knights of Columbus and EWTN partner regularly on important projects. Mother Angelica was fearless, because she had God on her side. She saw what He needed her to do and she did it! She transformed the world of Catholic broadcasting, and brought the Gospel to far corners of our world. That witness of faith was unmistakable to anyone who met and worked with her, and generations of Catholics have, and will continue to be formed by her vision, and her "yes" to God's will.”


February 20, 2016

EWTN Press Release: Court rules against EWTN in HHS Mandate Case




Appeals Court Rules Against EWTN in HHS Mandate Case
11th Circuit Court of Appeals Refuses to Protect Catholic Network



Irondale, AL (EWTN) –This afternoon, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled against EWTN Global Catholic Network in its long-running battle against the government’s insurance mandate requiring employer-sponsored health plans to provide coverage for contraception, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs. A three-judge panel issued a 2-1 decision more than a year after oral arguments before the Appeals Court.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Court has refused to protect our religious freedom,” said EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “This decision by the Court of Appeals ignores the arguments that EWTN and numerous plaintiffs around the country have made with regard to this mandate. In effect, this decision orders EWTN to violate its religious beliefs and comply with the government’s HHS mandate or pay massive fines to the IRS.”

In the majority opinion, the Court stated "We accept the plaintiffs’ sincere belief . . . that the accommodation puts them to a choice between honoring their religious beliefs and facing significant penalties. We nonetheless conclude that the accommodation imposes no substantial burden." 

“This is wrong,’ said Lori Windham, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead attorney on the case. “Rather than provide these drugs and devices through its own exchanges, our government wants to punish EWTN for practicing its faith. This 2-1 decision is not the end. The government’s unconstitutional mandate has lost repeatedly at the Supreme Court, and we believe it will lose again.”
EWTN filed its original lawsuit Feb. 9, 2012 against the Department of Health & Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other government agencies seeking to stop the imposition of the contraception mandate as well as asking the court for a declaratory judgment that the mandate is unconstitutional. The Attorney General of the State of Alabama filed a motion to join EWTN March 22, 2012 as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. That lawsuit was dismissed pending the final HHS mandate rules.

The final rules promulgated in July 2013 granted no relief to EWTN.  In October 2013, EWTN and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange joined together to challenge the unconstitutional HHS mandate. A federal judge ruled against EWTN in that case as well.  Hours after the US Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case in June 2014, the 11th Circuit granted EWTN an emergency injunction, protecting EWTN from the mandate while it filed an appeal. Today, a different panel of judges rendered a split decision, voting 2-1 against EWTN.

In a blistering dissent, Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat stated: "The majority runs roughshod over the sincerely held religious objections of Eternal Word Television Network," and concluded that "at bottom, the majority’s reasoning takes aim at the heart of RFRA (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) itself."

Said Warsaw: “As we have said repeatedly, contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and voluntary sterilization are not health care and the government should not force EWTN to provide them as part of our employer-sponsored health plan. We are grateful for the prayers and support of the EWTN Family over the course of this litigation, as well as all those who have written in support of our lawsuit and in support of religious liberty. We ask for continued prayers as we consider our response to the Court’s decision.”


EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 35th year, is the largest religious media network in the world. EWTN’s 11 networks broadcast in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week to over 264 million television households in more than 145 countries and territories. EWTN services include direct broadcast satellite television and radio; AM & FM radio networks transmitted through SIRIUS/XM, iHeart Radio, and over 500 domestic and international radio affiliates; a worldwide shortwave radio service; the largest Catholic website in the U.S.; electronic and print news services, including “The National Catholic Register” newspaper, and two global wire services; as well as a publishing arm.







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