National News

Curriculum aims to help students understand range of pro-life issues

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The pro-life issue “is one of most important issues our culture faces” and “we thought the time had come for someone to take it as serious as math or science or English,” said one of the developers of a new curriculum with that aim. Camille Pauley is co-founder and president of Healing […]

Internal matters top agenda of bishops’ fall assembly in Baltimore

Statements on preaching and ways that bishops can respond using new technologies to modern-day challenges to their teaching authority are among the items the U.S. bishops will consider when they gather in Baltimore for their annual fall assembly. Set for Nov. 12-15, the assembly also will consider a statement on work and the economy proposed by the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development as a way to raise the profile of growing poverty and the struggles that unemployed people are experiencing.

Supreme Court declines to hear Oklahoma ‘personhood’ law case

WASHINGTON (CNS) — An Oklahoma ruling that stopped an attempt to amend the state constitution to define “personhood” in order to ban abortion will stand, after the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal. Without comment Oct. 29, the court rejected an appeal of the state Supreme Court’s order last spring that stopped a citizens’ […]

Hurricane Sandy a storm ‘many have feared for a long time,’ says N.J. Catholic official

Hurricane Sandy "is a storm that people in southern New Jersey have feared for a long time because of its direct impact on the coast," an area with that is highly developed and also has a significant rate of poverty, said an official of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Camden, N.J. "Ocean City, N.J., which is in Cape May County, that was completely covered with water ... and that's a fairly large area," Kevin Hickey, executive director of Catholic Charities, told Catholic News Service Oct. 30. He said Wildwood, N.J., was similarly underwater and flooding would be a severe problem anywhere where rivers met bays or estuaries.

Bishops to consider new document on preaching at fall meeting

WASHINGTON (CNS) — “My dad used to say, ‘I know what happened 2,000 years ago. I need to know how to live my life today.'” These words, from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, get to the heart of a new proposed document on preaching to be considered by the U.S. bishops at the […]

Catholics urge more focus on social justice, new national survey shows

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A large national study on faith and political views released Oct. 23 highlighted Catholics’ interest in having social justice take a bigger role in the church’s policy priorities. The American Values Survey by Public Religion Research Institute queried a cross section of all Americans but zeroed in on the opinions of Catholics, […]

Archbishop Wenski says lawsuit needed to see HHS mandate overturned

The Obama administration "has not shown any inclination to rescind" its requirement that most religious employers cover contraceptives for their workers, so "we need to get this mandate overturned" by the courts, said Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski. He made the comments at an afternoon news conference Oct. 19 to announce the Miami Archdiocese has joined the 50 or so other Catholic dioceses, universities and entities throughout the U.S. that have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate.

Essayists say church teachings have given them ‘true freedom’ as women

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Helen Alvare, former U.S. bishops’ pro-life spokeswoman, is the co-author and editor of a new book, “Breaking Through, Catholic Women Speak for Themselves,” the idea for which came about, she said, from pages of notes she’s been jotting down for the past 15 years. However, the concept officially took off when the […]

Catholic scientist at Stanford shares Nobel Prize for work in chemistry

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (CNS) — Who could have predicted that a student from St. Mary’s Grade School in Little Falls would one day win a Nobel Prize? But that’s what Dr. Brian Kobilka accomplished. He’s one of two scientists awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry Oct. 10 for their work on cell receptors. “It’s a […]

Spokane Diocese accuses law firm that handled bankruptcy of malpractice

SPOKANE, Wash. (CNS) -- The Spokane Diocese has filed a lawsuit accusing a law firm of malpractice in handling its bankruptcy to address civil lawsuits claiming clergy sex abuse and settle financial claims of victims. Filed Oct. 8 in Spokane County Superior Court, the suit seeks more than $12 million in repayment of legal fees. The suit accuses the attorneys of a conflict of interest because they also represented Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, now retired, and shielded him, it says, from having to testify at the first civil trial in 2004 alleging abuse by a Spokane priest by filing for bankruptcy as the trial was about to begin.