Catholic Church | KCUR

Catholic Church

Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas

To observe their holidays this week, Christians and Jews throughout metro Kansas City have prepared high-tech ways to celebrate ancient traditions.

The pews will be empty on Easter Sunday when Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann celebrates mass at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Kansas City, Kansas, the seat of the city's Roman Catholic Archdiocese. But the service will be livestreamed online for parishioners to watch from home.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Church services were live-streamed, libraries and other gathering places emptied out and people huddled at home on Sunday, as fears of the coronavirus pandemic placed further limits on public life in Kansas City.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas — Republican legislative leaders blocking a push to give Medicaid coverage to about 130,000 more Kansans say they fear the expansion’s impact on publicly funded abortions. Other Republicans and Democrats reject that argument as a red herring.

The Kansas News Service has learned that Medicaid has paid for a total of four abortions in the state between Jan. 1, 2013, and this month.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Uniform-clad students filed somberly across the parking lot from their classrooms Monday morning at Christ the King elementary, on their way to the church. They took their places in the pews, where they’ve gone to pray many times.

This gloomy morning, though, they were there to say goodbye.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

A crossing guard employed by the city of Kansas City, Kansas, died Tuesday after he pushed two schoolchildren out of the way of an oncoming car. 

The incident occurred just before 8 a.m. along the 5400 block of Leavenworth Road outside the Christ the King Catholic School. Kansas City, Kansas, Police have identified the victim as 88-year-old Bob Nill. 

Daniel Caudill / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA, Kansas ⁠— Lawmakers are fast-tracking a push to amend the state constitution and undo a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that said women have the right to abortion.

The goal, with voters’ approval in August, is to add a line to the state bill of rights saying abortion isn’t constitutionally protected ⁠— and that legislators can regulate abortions, including when a pregnancy results from rape or incest or threatens a woman’s life.

The proposal already is awaiting floor votes in both chambers, just over a week after the 2020 session began. 

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

The community around Quindaro Boulevard in Kansas City, Kansas, is mostly black.

But Our Lady And St. Rose Catholic Church, at 5th and Quindaro, attracts a diverse mix congregants, often thought of as a rarity at Sunday morning services around the country.

“It’s been what our mission statement says, it’s been a faith-filled, diverse, family community,” says Sister Therese Bangert.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

 

A Jackson County jury found in favor of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph in a case brought by a Catholic school teacher who was fired after she got pregnant out of wedlock. 

Michelle Bolen’s 15-year career at St. Therese North Elementary ended abruptly two months after she told her pastor and boss, Father Joseph Cisetti, that she and her fiancé planned to keep the baby. 

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday that it’s opened dozens of investigations into alleged sex abuse by Catholic clergy after 119 people came forward in recent months saying they were victims.

The KBI called for tips from the public in February and continues to seek information. Agents have launched 74 cases so far in 33 counties.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, praised the news in a statement.

A Catholic parish school in Praire Village, Kansas, opted not to enroll a same-sex couple's child in kindergarten. We examine the reasoning behind the decision made by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the split among Catholics on the issue.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Local reactions to Pennsylvania grand jury report on seven decades of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A Kansas City attorney and abuse victims are calling on the attorneys general of Kansas and Missouri to launch investigations into clergy sexual abuse, similar to the grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania.

Attorney Rebecca Randles said she has hundreds of clients who allege they’ve been abused by a member of the Catholic Church.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.8

Catholics in and around Kansas City said for the most part they support Pope Francis’ declaration Thursday, in which he officially changed Catholic doctrine to say the death penalty is wrong in all cases.

This is a departure for the church, which has historically accepted the death penalty for the most heinous crimes.

The recent summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un included an agreement to return the remains of American soldiers still missing from the Korean War.

That has caught the interest of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita because one of the missing is Chaplain Emil Kapaun.

Kapaun was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2013 for his bravery in Korea and could become a saint of the Catholic Church. He died in a North Korean prisoner of war camp in 1951.

Evan Pflugradt / Kansas News Service

Teenage girls aging out of foster care in Kansas will soon have a new place to stay and learn the basics of living independently — with the help of some nuns.

St. Francis Community Services, one of the state’s two foster care contractors, is taking over the former convent of the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wichita to house foster care, refugee and behavioral health programs.

Segment 1: Community members recall memories of switching schools after riots following Martin Luther King Jr's assassination.

 After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, two local catholic high schools, one serving a primarily white community and the other serving a primarily black community, held a year-long student exchange program. Today, we speak with a few individuals who participated in the exchange as students and discuss the profound effect it had on their lives.

Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

Today, Stuart Swetland is the president of Donnelly College, which U.S. News & World Report recently recognized as the most diverse college in the Midwest. But in 1985, when TWA Flight 847 was hijacked, he was a Navy officer who was called to participate in a rescue mission with grim chances for survival. Hear his story.

Guest:

  • Stuart Swetland, President, Donnelly College

Epicleff Media

As the summer heat stretches on, fatigue sets in. If you're getting a little exhausted from road trips, swimming pools, or just hiding at home in the air conditioning, why not watch a movie? Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few suggestions to keep this weekend from going stale. 

Steve Walker

Maudie, PG-13

Caitlin Troutman / KCUR 89.3

Students at Archbishop O’Hara, a Catholic high school in South Kansas City, are taking their final exams this week. After 50 years in operation, Friday will be the last last day of school. The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese will open St. Michaels The Archangel Catholic High School in Lee's Summit in the fall. 

"I'm sad for the kids who don't get to experience O'Hara," says Sydney White, a 2013 graduate. "I've had some of the best experiences in these halls."

Kansas City Fashion Week

Kansas City takes the nickname 'Paris of the Plains' seriously, and not just because of our fountains. Today, we learn why Kansas City Fashion Week has designers, photographers, models, makeup artists, and stylists gathered in the Heartland. Then, the director of the Vatican Observatory looks at the intersection of religion and science. He'll also answer an "age-old" question for us: Should extraterrestrials be baptized?

Photocapy / Flickr -- CC

What do ancient religious rituals mean to millennials? Across faiths, people are following the rituals of their parents and grandparents, but the meaning they attach to those practices may be changing.

Plus, a chat with the curator of an exhibit, ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, which features artists of color who are using humor to explore questions of race and belonging.

Guests:

St. Teresa's Academy is still going strong, 150 years after the school's founding on Quality Hill. Though a lot has changed since then, the staff's belief in the benefits of single-gender learning has not. 

Guests:

While Mother Teresa certainly had her critics, she did spread a lot of hope to a lot of people. Her expedited canonization highlights the role saints play in the modern Catholic Church, and a process that's happening with unprecedented frequency.

Guests:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Around a year ago, Bishop James Johnston came to Kansas City to lead the Catholics of northwest Missouri at a challenging time. He came in with an agenda not of his choosing: to clean up the mess of the sexual abuse scandal that engulfed his predecessor. But he also has hopes and priorities of his own.

Bishop Johnston spoke with guest host Brian Ellison on KCUR’s Central Standard about what his job entails, and about his journey from electrical engineer to getting the call from the Vatican to come to Kansas City.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Bishop James Johnston came to town to lead KC's Catholics at a challenging time — and he started with an apology on behalf of the church. We check in on what's being done to address the sexual abuse scandal that engulfed his predecessor, and we'll hear his journey from electrical engineering to shepherding a flock of some 130,000 Catholic faithful here.

Guests:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Black Bob Elementary is one of Olathe’s flagship schools. It’s in the middle of the city, surrounded by neighborhoods, and just a few blocks away, there's a big shopping center with  a Starbucks and Walgreens.

But it didn’t always look that way. Dr. Alison Banikowski, deputy superintendent of Olathe Schools, remembers what the city looked like when she first arrived in 1982. 

“I served for the first year I was here with Blackbob Elementary, and it was really literally out in a field,”

Hannah Copeland / KCUR 89.3

About 100 priests and 200 parishioners filed into the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri, Sunday afternoon in search of closure and the chance to publicly grieve. The priests draped purple sashes over their white robes to symbolize the theme of the service: lament. 

Caroline Kull / KCUR

The Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese has settled with a former church worker who sued it after she was fired when her marriage to another woman was disclosed in a newspaper article.

Terms of the settlement with Colleen Simon, a former church food pantry worker, were not disclosed. But the settlement came two days after a Jackson County judge threw out her fraud claim against the church but declined to throw out two other claims alleging violations of Missouri’s service letter statute and Missouri’s minimum wage law.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

During Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. last month, he praised the late Thomas Merton as one of four great Americans. Merton was one of the most influential Catholic writers of the 20th century. He spent the last twenty years of his life as a Trappist Monk in a monastery called the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.

After his death, his writings remained in the public sphere, but it seemed that little else was left from the man who inspired so many. But this summer, hundreds of his items reappeared in Missouri.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced Saturday two more settlements against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph related to a former priest who took lewd photos of young parishioners. 

Two civil suits were settled between the diocese and three litigants Friday. Two girls and their mother were awarded $200,000 and payment for counseling services related to sexual abuse by former priest Shawn Ratigan.

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