National News

Use of Louisiana state funds for school vouchers ruled unconstitutional

BATON ROUGE, La. (CNS) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called it "wrong-headed" and a "travesty" that a state judge ruled Nov. 30 that a voucher program passed by the Legislature last spring is unconstitutional. State District Judge Tim Kelley said the state cannot use funds set aside for public education to pay for children in failing schools to attend nonpublic schools.

Is capitalism Catholic? A priest defends free-market economics

Father Robert Sirico insists that applying principles of the church's social teaching is a matter of prudential judgment, allowing for a range of legitimate approaches, including market-based solutions.

A goat for Christmas? Thriving alternatives for less commercial gifts

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Should the Christmas shopping crowds, costs and commercialism be at odds with how one is trying to observe Advent and the celebration of the birth of Christ, there’s a burgeoning world of alternative ways of gift-giving that are vying for attention. * Angel trees or giving trees set up in churches, schools […]

Lawsuits’ dismissal called disappointing but won’t end legal challenge

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- After judges in two separate rulings Nov. 27 dismissed lawsuits filed by Catholic organizations and dioceses in Pennsylvania and Tennessee challenging the federal contraceptive mandate, Catholic leaders in both states expressed disappointment but also some hope the rulings left the door open to refiling their claims.

New York Archdiocese announces 26 schools ‘at risk of closure’

NEW YORK (CNS) — The New York Archdiocese has announced that 26 of the 159 regional, parish and archdiocesan elementary schools are at risk of closing next June. In addition, St. Agnes Boys High School in Manhattan also is at risk of closing at the end of the current school year. The Nov. 26 announcement […]

Scientific evidence points only toward a created universe, says Jesuit

In a recent address in New Orleans, Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer said the exciting news for the new evangelization being called for by Pope Benedict XVI is the recent discoveries in "space-time geometry," prompting eminent physicists to assert the cosmos had to have a beginning and thus had to have a creator.

MP3 players loaded with spiritual material reach thousands of soldiers

WASHINGTON (CNS) — American troops have a strong presence around the globe, serving in 75 percent of the world’s countries, yet “one soldier told me they are starving for spiritual support,” said Cheri Lomonte, founder of Frontline Faith. The Catholic nonprofit organization gives MP3 players loaded with the Mass, stories and prayers to active-duty members […]

Supreme Court clears path for health care lawsuit

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Nov. 26 for a federal appeals court to take up a Christian college's challenge to the Affordable Care Act, reopening one of several lawsuits filed by religious and other groups who oppose elements of the law. The court ordered the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the argument of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that the health care law infringes on the Christian school's religious freedom.

Archbishop says church won’t see much change under China’s new leaders

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — A high-ranking Vatican official from China says he doesn’t expect much to change in church-state relations with the new Chinese government. “I don’t think there will be a big change in the immediate future for the religious policy in China. It’s not one of the immediate priorities of the new government. […]

Pope names US archbishop, Benedictine abbot to advise Vatican offices

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI named U.S. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and U.S. Benedictine Abbot Christopher M. Zielinski to help manage the staff of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The Vatican announced the appointments Nov. 24. Archbishop Gomez, […]