CatholicAnchor.org All are invited to participate in the spring prayer campaign of 40 Days for Life, February 18 to March 29. In 40 Days for Life, each fall and spring, pro-life advocates gather outside abortion facilities around the world to peacefully stand vigil, pray for unborn babies and help mothers choose life for their children….
Planned Parenthood is in court this week challenging a state law that prohibits Alaska abortion practitioners from being reimbursed by the state for performing “elective” abortions that are not done to preserve the life or physical health of the mother. With the help of ACLU of Alaska, Planned Parenthood is laying out its case for why the law should be overturned. The case, Planned Parenthood v Davidson, is being argued before Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock. Supporters of the law note that it closes loopholes that have been exploited by abortion practitioners to gain public funding for so-called “elective” abortions.
“Thank God for the gift of scouting and for our young people,” Archbishop Schwietz told the assembly. “Let us continue to pray for scouting in our society.” In his homily, Archbishop Schwietz spoke about the problem of evil and how the faithful are called to respond. Addressing the Sunday readings which recalled Job’s immense sufferings, the archbishop noted that Job “does not turn away from God but he turned toward God and asks, ‘Why is this happening?’”
Anyone can go to any school and learn where the New England Patriots are from. Anyone can go to school and learn what R-O-U-G-H spells. But Catholic schools are something different. They not only teach the mind and the body, they also teach the soul. It’s important to know that God made you, and that God loves you as you.” With these words Father Frank Reitter’s homily challenged a gathering of more than 400 Catholic school students who traveled from across the Anchorage Archdiocese to attend a Mass that was celebrated as part of the nationwide Catholic Schools’ Week.
A program that distributes funds to keep homeless and emergency shelters open across Alaska has been cut from Governor Bill Walker’s proposed capital budget. Unless legislators restore the funding, dozens of organizations, including Catholic Social Services in Anchorage will feel the pinch.
Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz, who was the seventh bishop of Duluth and now archbishop of Anchorage said it was a “strange feeling to be back here in this pulpit.” “It’s so good to be with you,” he said, as he began his homily for a Feb. 2 Mass celebrating the 25th anniversary of his episcopal ordination at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth, Minn. He was joined by Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba, a small group of area clergy including Father Scott Medlock of Anchorage and several seminarians for the Anchorage Archdiocese.
Alaska Senate Majority Leader John Coghill (R – North Pole) has introduced a bill exempting religious-based health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) from being regulated as health insurance in Alaska. A distinctive and attractive aspect of HCSMs for many Catholics and non-Catholic Christians alike is that HCSMs are not subject to federal or state contraceptive or abortion mandates.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s plan to add up to 40,000 new Medicaid patients would not increase the number of state-funded abortions, says the newly appointed state official tasked with expanding Medicaid. Pro-life activists and politicians are wary of the claim.
Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz, who leads 30,000 Catholics across Southcentral Alaska, strongly opposes the bill, saying it is not about granting people a so-called “right to die,” but pushing “doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to kill people.”
“In a state with a suicide rate twice the national average, we are now proposing that it should be legal in some instances,” Archbishop Schwietz told the Catholic Anchor. “What kind of message does this send to our youth? In their young minds, they look at life without the practical experience that comes from age. They may view their situation as equally depressing or as terminal as someone with an illness. They see no way out. ‘If it’s okay for those who have no hope of regaining their health to kill themselves, why can’t I?’”
The goal in implementing the policies of safe environment is to promote the charity, love and strength of Jesus to and from everyone. I am specifically referring to one very sensitive issue. Parishioners and ministers alike ask me about the church’s policies when a parishioner or church minister or volunteer has been convicted of a serious crime, such as a sexual offense against a child or vulnerable person or child pornography. These offenses are clearly against charity and the dignity of the human person. They cause very deep, life long wounds.