• Living Last Supper

    The Last Supper comes to life in a unique production.

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  • Chrism Mass, April 1

    Bishop John Noonan invites you to participate in the celebration of the Chrism Mass on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

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  • Free Concert

    with ValLimar Jansen and John Angotti on Wed. April 8

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  • Day of Reconciliation - March 30

    All parishes will offer the Sacrament of Penance to help believers journey back to God this Lenten Season.

    March 30, 2015
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  • The Way, The Truth and The Life

    Videos to help Catholics in their Walk of Faith.

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  • National Catholic Educational Association Convention and Expo, April 7-9, in Orlando

    In partnership with the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors Convocation and the Catholic Library Association

    Read More
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Latest Events

Mon Mar 30, 2015
Day of Reconciliation
Tue Mar 31, 2015
Lenten Day Program
Wed Apr 01, 2015
Chrism Mass
Fri Apr 03, 2015
Special Collection
Fri Apr 03, 2015
Stations of the Cross
Fri Apr 03, 2015
Stations of the Cross at San Pedro Center
Sat Apr 04, 2015
Holy Saturday Prayer Service

Bishop Noonan on Twitter

BishopNoonan As we enter Holy Week, may the God of mercy and abundant grace ready our hearts and minds to enter fully into the paschal mystery.
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BishopNoonan Be reconciled to God by taking part in the beautiful Sacrament of Penance – available at all parishes today.
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BishopNoonan As we are purified by the sacred Sacrament of Penance, may God lead us in sincerity of heart to attain the holy things to come.

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Torture - February 2008

Torture undermines dignity of perpetrators and victims.

During Lent — and of course in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary — our minds and hearts are turned to meditating on the sufferings of Our Lord: his agony in the garden before his arrest, his painful scourging, the mocking crowning with thorns, his carrying the cross and his crucifixion. We do well to recall how this was visited upon Jesus with state sanction if only to understand why the Church in her teachings condemns torture. Pope Benedict XVI, in a Sept. 6, 2007, address, said, “I reiterate that the prohibition against torture ‘cannot be contravened under any circumstances.’” Torture undermines and debases the human dignity of both victims and perpetrators.

As chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I have written several letters to Congress over the past two years urging passage of legislation to prohibit torture as an interrogation technique. In 2005 our Conference of Bishops was successful in encouraging Congress to adopt provisions prescribing uniform standards for interrogating detainees held by the Department of Defense and prohibiting cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under its custody or control. Congress adopted these provisions. However, the president has threatened to veto HR 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act, which includes legislation just passed last week that would expand this ban on torture to other agencies and agents of the U.S. government. Thus regretfully the debate over torture continues.

The United States should hold itself to the highest ethical standards and fully comply with earlier commitments to observe international law in its treatment of detainees. This should apply to those held here in the United States or abroad or whether rendered by the United States to its allies. This is important to how the United States is viewed abroad; but, more importantly, human dignity is undermined once we allow ourselves to pursue an ethic of ends justifying means.

A “might makes right” posture undermines the rule of law and opens the door to tyranny. The foundation of security, justice and peace in an open society must be based on respect for the dignity of every person, ally or enemy. There can be no compromise on the moral imperative to protect the basic human rights of any individual incarcerated.

As a nation we have championed human rights. Support for Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions has long been U.S. policy. This article prohibits “cruel treatment and torture” as well as “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment….” While combating terrorism remains a top priority for our government, any report of prisoner mistreatment by the United States or its allies will ultimately prove counterproductive in the war against terrorism.

Terrorism does incite fear; but, we cannot allow fear to dehumanize us as we seek to respond to very real threats. In adhering to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions we would commit our nation to treat prisoners as we would demand that our enemies treat our own military personnel or citizens. Congress should act to ban torture by any agent of the U.S. government. To tolerate or condone torture not only undermines our moral credibility in the world but also erodes our own self-understanding as a people dedicated to the proposition that all men, created equal, “are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…”

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