National News

Response to ‘On Eagle’s Wings’ over the years humbling for composer

Father Jan Michael Joncas has composed more than 300 liturgical songs, but his name is widely known for the one that tops a list of favorites: "On Eagle's Wings."

New CLINIC chairman approaches immigration reform as ‘pastor of souls’

Bishop Kevin Vann, an immigration reform advocate, leads the Orange (Calif.) Diocese that is home to the largest Vietnamese community outside Vietnam and encompassing one of the 10 U.S. counties with the greatest Hispanic population.

Archbishop: Rulings to allow same-sex marriage ‘imposed wrong decision’

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As 2013 was drawing to a close, same-sex marriage became legal in two more states with rulings in New Mexico and Utah, which San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone strongly criticized.

Rulings in HHS lawsuits deliver mixed results for Catholic employers

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A U.S. District Court judge Dec. 20 changed a preliminary injunction to a permanent one barring enforcement of the federal health care law's contraceptive mandate against the Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses.

Fracking debate examines America’s quest for energy

The stances of two Pennsylvania Catholics sharing one faith illustrate the divide over how to develop vast natural gas deposits in shale formations across the United States. A three-part series explores the industrial process for extracting the gas, known as slick water hydraulic fracturing, the human dimensions of the debate and the insights of Catholic social teaching.

Advances in drilling technology led to fracking’s rapid expansion

The use of hydraulic fracturing in the U.S. to extract natural gas goes back more than 60 years. These days the Marcellus Shale under Pennsylvania is among the most active natural gas plays in the country. Along with the rapid development comes questions about safety and environmental protection.

Catholic voices raise moral concerns over fracking

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In ongoing national discussions about the mining of natural gas, Catholic voices are not necessarily taking sides while decidedly upholding the church's social teaching on the importance of protecting creation and promoting the common good.

N.J. Catholic Conference applauds passage of in-state tuition bill

TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) -- The New Jersey Catholic Conference praised state officials for adopting a law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at the state's public colleges and universities.

New Mexico court, federal judge in Utah recognize same-sex marriage

UPDATED -- WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A federal judge Dec. 20 struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process. A day earlier the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that barring same-sex couples from marrying violates the equal protection clause of that state's constitution.

Push for measures to limit gun violence continues despite roadblocks

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Senate's inability last spring to pass a bipartisan plan to expand gun background checks despite strong nationwide sentiment in favor of it is motivating a broad coalition of advocates to promote gun violence prevention laws.