National News

Parish as center of Catholic life focus of annual canon law convention

In a talk about parishes in the future, a canon law expert described the parish as a means to reach the goal of establishing a eucharistic community. Shifting populations, a shortage of priests and a decline in religious practice are causing parish mergers and closures in the United States and will continue to do so, said Msgr. Roch Page, judicial vicar of the Canadian Appeal Tribunal of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. "The next decades will certainly see the canonical status of the laity conform with its theology," he said.

CRS renews Rice Bowl campaign as part of worldwide effort to end hunger

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic Relief Services' popular Lenten Rice Bowl campaign is getting a new name and a new look. Now called CRS Rice Bowl, the program will encourage greater connection between Americans and millions of people around the world struggling to overcome hunger. CRS President Carolyn Woo also pledged $150 million from the agency during the next three years toward food, nutrition and agriculture programs. The pledge is part of a $1 billion effort by members of InterAction, an alliance of U.S.-based international humanitarian organizations.

Signature on same-sex marriage referendum brings employer sanction

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference called it alarming that a university would sanction one of its officials for signing a petition to bring Maryland’s same-sex marriage law to a public referendum. “To express a desire that marriage is and should remain a union between one man and one woman […]

Defending life, liberty part of the new evangelization, archbishop says

At what is a critical time for American Catholics to stand up in defense of life and religious freedom, they must engage in the church's new evangelization effort, deepening their faith and sharing it in their everyday lives and in the public square, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori said Oct. 14. He made the comments in the homily at a Mass and Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, which drew a standing room crowd of an estimated 5,500 to 6,000 people, and for which he was celebrant and homilist.

‘No religious affiliation’ now describes nearly fifth of US population

WASHINGTON (CNS) — People who say they are unaffiliated with any religion constitute nearly 20 percent of the American public, making them almost as numerous as Catholics, who accounted for 22 percent of participants in a new Pew Research Center study released Oct. 9. The survey of 2,973 adults conducted this summer found people who […]

Georgia’s Catholic archdiocese, diocese file suit against HHS mandate

ATLANTA (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Diocese of Savannah and other Catholic entities in Georgia, including Catholic Charities and Christ the King School in Atlanta, filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 5 challenging the Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Defendants are the […]

Archbishop Chaput consecrates new bishop of Erie

ERIE, Pa. (CNS) — Live television coverage of the ordination of Bishop Lawrence T. Persico revealed a humanity that is already endearing him to the northwest Pennsylvania flock he will now shepherd as Erie’s 10th bishop. The microphone he was wearing picked up private comments he made during the nearly three-hour-long ceremony, which required a […]

Religious orders say social media use spurs more interest in vocations

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Several religious congregations and organizations are taking advantage of social media to “introduce” individuals discerning a call to a vocation and the seminary, convent or monastery that fits them. With more than 1,400 likes on Facebook, the National Religious Vocation Conference takes full advantage of social networking, through its Vision Vocation Guide […]

Catholic media urged to help church find best way to use new media

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CNS) — The new culture of communication requires that Catholic media rethink their approach, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications told a Fort Wayne audience gathered to celebrate the centennial of Our Sunday Visitor. Archbishop Claudio Celli spoke about the Catholic Church’s focus on new evangelization and addressed new […]

Conference to explore life, death of Pope John Paul I

DOUGLASTON, N.Y. (CNS) -- Experts from Europe and the United States will speak at an international conference focusing on the life of Pope John Paul I and his brief pontificate Oct. 12-13 at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. Speakers at the conference on "The True Pope John Paul I: A Man of Faith for Our Time" will include the pope's niece, Pia Luciani; Italian journalist Stefania Falasca, one of the prime movers in his sainthood cause; and Paul Spackman of Corwen, Wales, author of "God's Candidate: The Life and Times of Pope John Paul I."