National News

Church in Illinois decries state Senate vote on same-sex marriage

CHICAGO (CNS) — The head of the Catholic Conference of Illinois decried a Feb. 14 Illinois Senate vote to permit same-sex marriage in the state, calling it “redefinition of marriage legislation.” “Marriage joins a man and a woman in love to meet one another’s needs, to procreate and to raise children. This is the lifeblood […]

Archbishop Lori requests conscience provision be added to HHS mandate

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty has urged the House of Representatives to extend long-standing federal conscience protections to the Affordable Care Act’s new coverage mandates for private health plans. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore made the request in a Feb. 15 letter to members […]

Migration center study shows 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in US

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A new study concludes that there are about 11.7 million of what it calls unauthorized immigrants in the U.S., 4 million more than in 2000. In a report released Feb. 15, the Center for Migration Studies, a New York-based educational institution also quantified why residents of some states, particularly in the Southeast, have perceived a significant growth in the number of immigrants around them.

Judge dismisses dioceses’ HHS lawsuit, calls it not ripe

CHICAGO (CNS) -- A U.S. District Court judge Feb. 8 dismissed a lawsuit filed against the federal contraceptive mandate by the Springfield and Joliet dioceses, their respective Catholic Charities agencies and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Judge John W. Darrah of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago said in his ruling the claims of the plaintiffs "are unripe for adjudication."

‘This is our house’: Parishioners help snowbound churches dig out

BURLINGTON, Mass. (CNS) -- After the Blizzard of 2013 dumped more than 2 feet of snow on New England Feb. 8 and 9, Catholic parishes in the region were among those facing the challenge of digging out after the storm.

Church’s work of social justice encouraged at annual meeting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With stories of Dorothy Day, Rep. Wilbur Mills, Pope John Paul II, Flannery O'Connor and Cardinal Francis Spellman, as well as the humble saga of a poor immigrant from El Salvador and a mission parish in Papua New Guinea, Boston's cardinal archbishop called Catholic social ministry workers to be mentors and examples in living out the Gospel.

Economist urges closer look at intersection of social thought, economy

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The tension in U.S. economic life is between “wealth creation” and “wealth capturing,” according to an economics professor who delivered a keynote address Feb. 11 at the 2013 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington. According to Charles M.A. Clark, a senior fellow at the Vincentian Center for Church & Society at St. […]

US church leaders, including Archbishop Chaput, express surprise, admiration for pope’s decision

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. Catholic Church leaders who awoke to the news of Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he will retire at the end of February said they were surprised by the news but admired the pontiff's courage and humility for making the decision.

Legal path uncertain for for-profits fighting HHS mandate

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The latest round of proposed federal rules covering religious institutions that want an exemption from the requirement to provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance make it clear that there's no inclination at the Department of Health and Human Services to accommodate for-profit secular corporations the same way as nonprofit religious institutions.

Theologian: American youth a ravaged but promising mission field

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In sexual morality, family life and education, the Baby Boom generation ushered in a series of cultural changes that led to an "anthropological crisis" in American society, leaving younger generations yearning acutely for what the Catholic Church has to offer. That is the assessment of Pia de Solenni, a Seattle-based writer with theology degrees from two Vatican-chartered universities, who now serves as a consultant to the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.