National News

Box Obama gave pope points to history of U.S. Catholicism, says priest

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The use of wood from Baltimore's basilica to construct a "seed chest" President Barack Obama gave to Pope Francis March 27 points to the history of American Catholicism and Baltimore's role in it, said the rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Priest’s study of universe’s origins still guides modern-day cosmology

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The work of researchers who reported detecting the signal left behind by the rapid expansion of space billions of years ago is rooted in the efforts of a Belgian priest whose mathematical computations in the 1920s laid the groundwork for the Big Bang theory.

Central African religious leaders hope to mend relations among citizens

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Quran, Islam's holy book, indicates that when a Muslim is in trouble, he should go to Christians, because they are also children of God, so Imam Omar Kobine Layama fled to the house of a Catholic archbishop.

12-year-old’s wish to go to Vatican, see Pope Francis to come true

OAKLAND, Calif. (CNS) -- Jasmine Munoz could have met Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, gone to a beach or taken a cruise, but the 12-year-old leukemia survivor would rather see the Vatican and meet Pope Francis.

HHS mandate cases prompt rallies outside Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Hundreds of people rallied outside the Supreme Court March 25 as justices heard oral arguments in the lawsuits of two companies concerning the Affordable Care Act and its mandate that employers provide workers health care that covers contraceptives, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs.

Cardinal says Apostolic Signature safeguards process of church justice

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The service of the Apostolic Signature, the Catholic Church's highest appeals court, "is intimately connected with the very apostolic character of the church," U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke told a Washington audience March 20.

High court hears arguments in companies’ challenge to HHS mandate

UPDATED -- WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Oral arguments in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court March 25 focused on whether for-profit corporations have religious grounds to object to the new health care law's requirement that most employers provide contraceptive coverage in their employee health plans.

L.A. group out to ask pope to urge Obama to push for immigration reform

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Seventeen people from the Los Angeles Archdiocese were in Rome March 25 hoping to ask Pope Francis to urge President Barack Obama to strengthen efforts to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Probe recovers funds stolen from U.S. Pontifical Mission Societies

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Following an 18-month investigation, the Pontifical Mission Societies announced March 25, in a joint statement with the Office of the New York State Attorney General, the recovery of some $1.1 million in funds stolen by a now-deceased official of the organization.

Ruling to allow same-sex marriage ‘regrettable,’ say Michigan bishops

LANSING, Mich. (CNS) -- A U.S. District Court judge's March 21 ruling that Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional does not change the fact "marriage is and can only ever be a unique relationship solely between one man and one woman," said the state's Catholic bishops.