National News

U.S. lawmakers invite pope to address joint meeting of Congress

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A bipartisan invitation to Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress if he comes to the U.S. in 2015 recognizes "the importance of the qualities" the pontiff embodies that resonate with people around the globe, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

Social media, smartphones give young people a new look at Lent

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- This is not your parents' Lent. That's pretty clear when smartphone alarms -- sounding like police whistles -- ring at mealtimes on Fridays along with text messages from the "meat police" offering reminders such as: "Hey, it's Friday, drop the cheeseburger!" The Friday no-meat reminder comes through the Lentsanity app produced by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. By the third day of Lent, the app -- which also offers plenty of Lenten resources - already had more than 10,000 downloads.

Catholic organization files class-action lawsuit to block HHS mandate

A coalition of nearly 200 Catholic entities formed the Catholic Benefits Association -- of which Archbishop Charles Chaput is a board member -- then filed the lawsuit against the mandate that would require them to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs, abortifacients and surgical sterilizations.

Lenten observance becoming more widespread in Protestant churches

While Anglicans, Lutherans and Orthodox Christians have long celebrated Lent, other Protestant churches are beginning to take up the devotions. It is seen as a step toward Christian unity.

Passage urged for tax credit to help New York students, schools

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Labor, business and religious leaders assembled March 10 in New York to urge state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve an investment tax credit, similar to those in Pennsylvania, that would benefit schools and students.

Minn. Archbishop resumes ministry; police close investigation of claim

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) -- Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis has returned to public ministry following a thorough investigation by police of an allegation that he had inappropriately touched a male minor in 2009. The county DA declined to file charges against him.

Ukrainian Catholics say Americans helped rebuild church leadership

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- After the fall of communism, the U.S. Catholic Church helped rebuild the people, not just the structures, of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

U.S. Catholic Church helped rebuild church in Ukraine after communism

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the winds of change were in the air. One particularly strong breeze was the effort by the Catholic Church in the United States to revitalize the church in the Warsaw Pact nations and former Soviet republics.

Catholic organization files class-action lawsuit to block HHS mandate

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A coalition of nearly 200 Catholic dioceses, agencies and businesses has asked a federal court in Oklahoma to block enforcement of a Department of Health and Human Services mandate that it says would force its members to violate their religious beliefs.

College students take journey to Catholic Church through RCIA on campus

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- It's Thursday evening, and Georgetown University's small Copley Crypt Chapel is filling up with students from every corner of campus.