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WASHINGTON—Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responded on October 6 to Governor Jerry Brown's signing of the new California law legalizing assisted suicide.

Cardinal O'Malley called the governor's decision "a great tragedy for human life," and a tragedy "compounded by confusion among those who supported this law."

"A government that legalizes assisted suicide sends the terrible message Pope Francis has so eloquently warned us against, that there is such a thing as disposable people," Cardinal O'Malley said. "I am sure the Catholic Church in this country will redouble its efforts to protect innocent life at its most vulnerable stages, and to promote palliative care and other real solutions for the problems and hardships of terminally ill patients and their families."

The full text of Cardinal O'Malley's statement follows:

"Governor Brown's decision this week to sign a bill legalizing doctor-assisted suicide in California is a great tragedy for human life. As a result, in all the West coast states, seriously ill patients suffering from depression and suicidal feelings will receive lethal drugs, instead of genuine care to help alleviate that suffering.

The tragedy here is compounded by confusion among those who supported this law.


WASHINGTON—Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Oscar Cantú welcomed new initiatives in Congress that respond to Pope Francis’ call during his visit to the United States to care for our common home “and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.”

“The bishops welcome the various initiatives to protect the environment and address climate change that have recently emerged in Congress,” said Archbishop Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “Such efforts help respond to Pope Francis’ call in his encyclical Laudato Si’ for ‘courageous actions and strategies aimed at implementing a ‘culture of care.’”

These recent legislative initiatives include: a Congressional resolution introduced by Congressman Chris Gibson and several Republican House Members promoting environmental stewardship and efforts to address climate change; the American Energy Innovation Act of 2015 unveiled by Senator Maria Cantwell along with many Senate Democrats; as well as bipartisan efforts in the Senate and House including The Super Pollutants Act of 2015 introduced by Senators Chris Murphy and Susan Collins and the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act introduced by Congressmen Matt Cartwright and Robert Dold in the House and Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Hoeven in the Senate.

"Consider this ... St. Francis"
Friday, October 02, 2015 by Daybreak TV Productions

St. Francis

Bishop Grosz to celebrate Respect Life Mass on October 4
Thursday, October 01, 2015 by Office of Communications


Bishop Edward M. Grosz, auxiliary bishop of Buffalo and vicar general of the Diocese of Buffalo, will be the main celebrant and homilist at the annual Respect Life Mass on Sunday, October 4, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St., Buffalo.

Following Mass, there will be a blessing of families, babies and expectant mothers. All are welcome.

Bishop Malone to celebrate Red Mass on Thursday
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by Office of Communications

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard J. Malone will be the main celebrant at the annual Red Mass for those involved in the legal and judicial systems. This special Mass will take place on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 12:05 p.m. in St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St., Buffalo. State Supreme Court Judge Hon. Frank Caruso, of the 8th judicial district, will offer remarks at the close of Mass.

Area judges, lawyers and public officials of all faiths, their staffs and all members of the community are encouraged to attend.

"Consider this ... Strengths of our Church"
Monday, September 28, 2015 by Daybreak TV Productions

Strengths of our Church

St. Leo the Great Parish to live stream Papal Mass
Friday, September 25, 2015 by Kevin Keenan

Msgr. Robert Zapfel, pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish on Sweet Home Road, stands below the new video screen which the parish will use for evangelization.

Photo courtesy of St. Leo the Great Parish

Many are excited for the Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the United States. Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish, 885 Sweet Home Rd., Amherst, is especially eager for the Pope’s visit. The parish will debut its new technology on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 4 p.m., featuring Pope Francis celebrating Mass via a live video stream from Philadelphia for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families.

The Papal Mass will be projected in the church by a newly installed HD LCD projector onto a large video screen, which retracts when not in use.

“Pope Francis has invited all of us to participate in the New Evangelization-the mission of the Church to bring Christ to others,” Msgr. Zapfel said. “The new technology in our church will be used to help us grow in our faith and to be better able to respond to the grace of the Holy Spirit in living as disciples of Jesus.”

Midway through, Bishop Malone talks the papal visit
Friday, September 25, 2015 by Mark Ciemcioch

Photo: Bishop Richard J. Malone is greeted by Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2014. (Servizio Fotografico de "L'O.R.")

Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States has taken the country by storm, with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets of Washington, D.C., just to catch a fleeting glimpse of the Holy Father.

Bishop Richard J. Malone, who attended a midday prayer service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral and the canonization Mass of St. Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, talked to the media Thursday afternoon about the pope’s trip so far. Bishop Malone will also participate in papal events in New York City and Philadelphia in the coming days. Here are some highlights from the bishop’s media conference:

On the pope’s message to the bishops:

“He often refers to his own life as an immigrant. He talked about how our own country had such a diversity of cultures and thanked us for that. There was a lot of positive commentary in there. He encouraged the bishops, as he always does, to be the shepherds of the people and not (be) apart from them. At the end, he said, ‘I have two recommendations for you all. First of all, be fathers, especially to your priests. Be concerned about their spiritual growth. Secondly, and this was a constant theme, he (talked about) immigrants; not just to welcoming them, but recognizing the unique gifts that come when people from other lands come here. The pope was pretty realistic with us about the talk he gave the bishops, because he recognized the challenges to faith that we face in this country.

“The high point was the opportunity, for those of us on the administrative committee, to go up and greet the pope. It’s always a very short encounter, but I simply thanked him. I said, ‘I bring you the greetings and prayers of the people of Buffalo (in) Western New York.’ A translator told him what I said and he smiled. It was a very special thing.”

Local sister describes witnessing Pope Francis’ address to Congress
Friday, September 25, 2015 by Kimberlee Sabshin

On Sept. 24, when Pope Francis delivered his address to a joint session of Congress during his trip to the United States, two representatives of the Diocese of Buffalo were in the room. Sister Johnice Rzadkiewicz, CSSF, director of the Response to Love Center in Buffalo, and Father James J. Maher, CM, president of Niagara University, were the invited guests of Congressman Brian Higgins. After the address, Sister Johnice provided some of her thoughts on the experience of hearing Pope Francis speak.

“Being there in Congress was the most electrifying experience for me – just seeing everyone there, the senators, the congressmen, the diplomats, the president – all were there. And as I looked out, I really prayed, and I prayed for unity and that if we would listen to the message of the Holy Father, that we would be able to not leave the message there in the chamber, but to take that message back home,” she said.

“It was electrifying and inspiring. I just thought it was a gift. It was a gift and a blessing, and I do feel that God used our Congressman Brian Higgins to bring that blessing to my life.”

Sister Johnice noted during his address, Pope Francis called the United States the “land of the dream,” and he said that America’s leaders must lead with action and commitment. In keeping with this theme, Pope Francis told the chamber “not to be fearful of foreigners” because “once, we were foreigners,” to a round of applause. The message was especially striking for Sister Johnice in her ministry.

“In our building, at Response to Love Center, we deal with nine different countries, and to embrace them with compassion and love and to make them a part of our family – it has really taught me to reflect as I’m going to go back home, to embrace them with that acceptance, love and compassion that the Holy Father spoke about so beautifully. He gave a beautiful message of peace,” added Sister Johnice.

According to Sister Johnice, this message was given directly to politicians, some of whom have used inflammatory rhetoric to describe immigrants and refugees, but Pope Francis’ call to treat everyone with dignity was meant for all. “All of us have that responsibility as well, because we’re going to meet these people. We’re going to meet the immigrants, but how are we going to embrace them?” she asked.

“I don’t think the call is only to the issue of immigration to the politician,” Sister Johnice said, “but it’s for the everyday person, whom we’re going to meet. It’s our responsibility, and we need to respond lovingly.”


Father James Maher said seeing Pope Francis in Washington, D.C., in September is something he will remember for the rest of his life.

Father Maher is president of Niagara University. He attended the papal visit to Washington, D.C., as a guest of Congressman Brian Higgins. Arriving on Sept. 22, he was able to get an early start to the White House where President Barak Obama officially welcomed Pope Francis to the United States on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

“There was just such a positive energy,” Father Maher said about the arrival ceremony which was attended by almost 20,000 people. “You could see people from all ways and walks of life coming into the White House so it was pretty amazing to see. There was just such a good energy of people wanting to be there, anticipating what was going to be said, wanting to hear the message of the Holy Father.”

Father Maher said the Holy Father has been challenging people and inviting them to a culture of accountability.

“It’s really to encounter others and to listen to them as opposed to a culture that he has talked about; that of a throw away culture where people are just treated as objects,” Father Maher said. “It is very very consistent with what has been spoken about in various strains of Catholic social thought which is a consistent ethic of life. So it’s protecting the environment, caring for the poor and vulnerable, being concerned about inequity and being concerned about the values of family life and protecting human life in all of its forms from the womb to the tomb.”

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