National News

Obama administration says it plans opt-out alternative on mandate

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Obama administration has filed a brief with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver indicating it plans to develop an alternative for Catholic and other religious nonprofit employers to opt out of providing federally mandated contraceptives they object to including in their employee health care coverage.

Agency’s plan to house migrants from border called ‘right thing’ to do

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- After news broke July 17 that Catholic Charities of Baltimore planned to house unaccompanied immigrant children at a Baltimore-area facility, executive director William J. McCarthy said the first response he received was positive: an email praising the agency's decision with a pledge of $200 in support.

Humanity at the heart of immigration crisis, say faith leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- While hundreds of children and families continued crossing the U.S.-Mexico border daily, a group of diverse religious leaders remained focused on the plight that immigrants are forced to face after they arrive in the country illegally.

Catholic agencies study Obama order on government contract employment

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic agencies were studying President Barack Obama's executive order that expands the prohibition on employment discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender by the federal government and nonprofit agencies and corporations that receive federal contracts.

Archbishop says neither church nor courts can change nature of marriage

MIAMI (CNS) -- A Florida county judge's ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry "represents another salvo in the 'culture wars' that ultimately seek to redefine the institution of marriage as solely for adult gratification," said Miami's archbishop.

Plight of unaccompanied minors at forefront of Mass in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles and several other bishops and priests from Southern California concelebrated Mass July 20 to honor immigrants and focus attention on the humanitarian crisis of tens of thousands unaccompanied migrant children surging across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Executive order prohibits firing of gays by U.S. government, contractors

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Barack Obama's executive order of July 21 has installed workplace rules forbidding the firing of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people by the federal government and federal contractors -- a key provision in a congressional bill opposed by the U.S. Catholic bishops.

Inside prison walls, volunteers change inmates’ lives and their own

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- The letter still touches and inspires Laura Kazlas. She received the letter several weeks after she felt "very strongly urged by the Holy Spirit" to have the children she taught in a religious education program make Christmas cards for the inmates at a nearby correctional facility.

Catholic leaders speak out about policy toward migrant kids, families

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Church leaders and experts were among those urging the government toward humanitarian responses to a surge of children and families crossing the U.S. border from Central America. Proposals included strategies that have been successful in Iraq, Vietnam and the former Soviet Union.

For Clavius Group, mathematics a means to explore mystery of God

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) -- For Jesuit Father Binoy Jacob, a mathematician from India, life is more than numbers, differential equations and complex calculations.