Nation and World News

MRS director says refugee screening process is thorough, keeps U.S. safe

WASHINGTON — The extensive vetting process that all refugees undergo before arriving in the United States "screens out any possible threat of terrorism," said the executive director of the U.S. bishops' Migration and Refugee Services.

"We believe the risk is nil and certainly when we look at this (process) under a microscope, these are the most vetted people that come into our country," William Canny said.

The director said the State Department screening procedure — which the White House posted on its website Nov. 20 — is comprehensive and makes security its highest priority.

Catholics offer prayer, condolences after Paris attacks

A young woman lit a candle in Republique Square in Paris Nov. 14 in memory of victims of terrorist attacks. Coordinated attacks Nov. 13 claimed the lives of 129 people. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

WASHINGTON -- An outpouring of grief, condolences and prayers came from Catholics across the United States in reaction to Nov. 13 evening attacks in Paris. The French government said the attacks were carried out by three teams of Islamic State terrorists.

The U.S. Catholic bishops Nov. 14 pledged their prayers for those killed and injured at three sites in France's capital and voiced their support for those "working to build just and peaceful societies."

Bishop disturbed by calls to end resettlement of Syrian refugees in U.S.

Syrian refugees waited on the Syrian side of the border near Sanliurfa, Turkey, June 10. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, says the United States should welcome Syrian refugees and work for peace.

BALTIMORE -- The head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration said he was disturbed by calls from federal and state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.

"These refugees are fleeing terror themselves -- violence like we have witnessed in Paris," said Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the migration committee. "They are extremely vulnerable families, women, and children who are fleeing for their lives. We cannot and should not blame them for the actions of a terrorist organization."

At USCCB General Assembly, pornography, politics statements take center stage

Bishops laughed while watching a video presentation about World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, at the 2015 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore Nov. 17.

BALTIMORE -- The U.S. bishops approved a formal statement on pornography and additions to their quadrennial statement on political responsibility at their Nov. 16-19 fall general meeting in Baltimore.

The votes were made during the public portion of the meeting, which ran Nov. 16-17. The bishops met in executive session Nov. 18-19.

Bishops, in draft statement, call pornography 'mortal sin'

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., listened to a speaker Nov. 16 during the opening of the 2015 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

WASHINGTON -- A draft statement on pornography to be considered for approval by the U.S. bishops at their Nov. 16-19 fall general meeting in Baltimore calls pornography "mortal sin" and urges Catholics to turn away from it.

"Producing or using pornography is a mortal sin that needs to be confessed in order for the person to receive God's forgiveness," says the draft version of "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography." "Those who produce and distribute pornography harm the common good by encouraging and even causing others to sin," it says.

Paris violence won't alter Church outreach to refugees, USCCB head says

BALTIMORE -- Church resettlement programs in the United States will continue to aid refugees who are fleeing violence and social ills despite calls that the country's borders should be closed to anyone but Christians.

The Church's response is focused on people in need of food, shelter and safety and not their particular faith, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,told reporters Nov. 16 during a midday break at the bishops' annual fall general assembly.

Syndicate content