National News

Pope appoints Brooklyn auxiliary bishop to head Diocese of Bridgeport

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Brooklyn, N.Y., as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. The appointment was announced July 31 in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Maryland teachers head to Alaska to build partnerships, expand outreach

UPDATED - WASHINGTON (CNS) -- On Aug. 5, Carol Mackie Morris and Margaret Mackie plan to leave behind the comforts of home in Maryland to embark on a three-week journey to Alaska. During their trip, the sisters hope to develop partnerships, expand outreach and compare the spiritual beliefs of the native Alaskans to those of the Catholic faith.

Church musician convention highlights liturgy constitution anniversary

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Most Americans will remember Nov. 22, 1963, as the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, but liturgists will note that date also as the day the Second Vatican Council approved the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. The effects of the constitution, promulgated Dec. 4, 1963, are still being felt today, and its golden anniversary was being celebrated by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians during its July 27-Aug. 2 convention in Washington.

Parish makes it a mission to spread faith, Jesus’ love to neighborhood

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. (CNS) -- About 100 people gathered in a school parking lot in Southbridge on a recent Monday. They laughed, sang, talked, listened, ate -- and went to Mass. It was part of the Neighborhood Mission that Blessed John Paul II Parish is conducting at various sites throughout the summer.

Pope’s remark on gays does not change church teaching, cardinal says

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, a July 30 guest on "CBS This Morning" to discuss the pope's impromptu news conference on a papal flight the previous day, stressed that Pope Francis "would be the first to say, my job isn't to change church teaching; my job is to present it as clearly as possible." Cardinal Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was asked to comment in particular on the pope's remark: "If a person is gay, seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge? They should not be marginalized. They are our brothers."

Lindy Boggs, former congresswoman and U.S. ambassador to Vatican, dies

NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Lindy Boggs, whose career in public service spanned 60 years, including four years in Rome during which she served as a staunch advocate for human trafficking victims, died July 27 at her home in Chevy Chase, Md. She was 97.

Program informs Catholic educators about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Bill Bayly, a history and religion teacher at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Md., said the future for Catholic and Jewish relations is bright. Bayly was one of 40 Catholic school educators from 24 states who gathered at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum July 24 to learn about the history of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and the historical relationship between Jewish and Catholic communities.

Federal judge orders delay in enforcement of Alabama abortion law

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (CNS) -- A federal judge in Montgomery issued an order July 23 to delay enforcement of a new Alabama law that mandates abortion clinic doctors have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The law, which was to have gone into effect Aug. 15, also requires abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as ambulatory care centers.

Catholic ethicist to head international religious freedom commission

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Robert P. George, a Catholic legal scholar and ethicist who is the McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, has been elected to head the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was appointed to the bipartisan commission in 2012 by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and is serving his first term as a commissioner.

Agencies address realities of human trafficking among teenage victims

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With an estimated 27 million people being trafficked around the world for sex and labor throughout the year, according to the State Department, it's not easy to crack down on the lucrative trade in people.