National News

Supreme Court overturns federal marriage law on 5-4 vote

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defining marriage as between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause, the Supreme Court ruled June 26 in a 5-4 opinion. In a separate case, the court declined to hear a challenge to California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative barring same-sex marriage in that state. The apparent result is that same-sex marriage will again be legal in California as soon as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals formally dismisses the case, as the high court instructed it.

U.S. Supreme Court overturns key provision of Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Supreme Court June 25 overturned the part of the Voting Rights Act used to determine that 15 states have had to comply with the law’s protections for minority voters. The 5-4 decision said: “Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional; its formula can no longer be used as a […]

Court kicks back college quotas case; takes clinic protests, visa cases

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Supreme Court June 24 kicked back a university affirmative action case to a lower court and took cases for the next term dealing with buffer zones for protests at abortion clinics and whether the children of immigrants lose their place in line for visas when they turn 21. Remaining cases to […]

Salt+Light uses Internet to send Chinese programming to mainland

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Salt+Light TV, the Toronto-based Catholic television programmer, is using the Internet to send its Chinese-language programming to mainland China. And, unlike some of the North American giants of online services, Salt+Light's programming is not getting blocked by Chinese censors.

Environment advocates consider Obama climate plan a good step forward

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholics working for environmental justice welcomed President Barack Obama's plan to address climate change, saying it is an ambitious proposal that deserves watching to ensure that it is carried out. The primary concern identified by the faith-based environment advocates revolves around how the plan will affect low-income communities around the world and workers who may be displaced because of the shift toward renewable energy sources.

Roe raised more questions about abortion than it resolved, says speaker

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) — In 1973, many people thought the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision would resolve the abortion debate, but “in fact, it was no resolution at all,” said the associate director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. “Abortion itself remains perhaps the most unresolved of all modern public […]

Democracy needs moral values shown by publicly lived faith, archbishop says

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore held up statesman Sargent Shriver and other Catholics like him as "a living example of how faith enriches public life" June 21 at a standing-room-only Mass opening the second Fortnight for Freedom.

Knights sponsor vigil for religious freedom on feast of English martyrs

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A religious liberty prayer vigil held the evening of June 22 on the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol drew about 100 supporters, and was preceded by a Mass celebrated at St. Joseph's Church on Capitol Hill. The Mass was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus as part of a Fortnight for Freedom initiative.

N.Y. Catholics hail defeat of abortion plank in women’s equality bill

ALBANY, N.Y. (CNS) -- The New York State Senate rejected the abortion-related plank of a 10-point women's equality bill, prompting the New York State Catholic Conference to call the action a "remarkable victory for unborn children."

‘Don’t dumb down the faith,’ priest tells Denver convention crowd

DENVER (CNS) — The “dumbing down of the Catholic faith” that impacted catechesis in the mid-1960s “was a pastoral disaster of the first order,” Father Robert Barron told a crowd of about 500 people at the Catholic Media Conference in Denver June 19. “That’s why many people in my generation left the faith,” Father Barron […]