National News

Budget deal defined as much by what’s left undone as by what it does

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 — and 2013, considering when the House of Representatives passed it — will be known as much by what it doesn’t include as what it does include. The legislation, among other things, puts off until March 1 all of the elements that could have been […]

US high court justice denies HHS injunction; lower court grants one

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied two companies' request for an injunction Dec. 26 while they challenge part of the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate in court. Four days later, a federal District Court judge in Michigan granted a temporary restraining order to Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza, allowing him to decline to provide contraceptive coverage to the employees of his current business, Domino's Farms Office Complex.

Bishop Edward T. Hughes, former Philadelphia bishop and priest, dies at 92

METUCHEN, N.J. (CNS) -- Retired Bishop Edward T. Hughes of Metuchen, N.J., a former auxiliary bishop and priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, died Christmas Day. He was 92. A funeral Mass was scheduled for Jan. 4 in the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, will celebrate the liturgy.

Parishes called to welcome, support people with mental illness

When Deacon Tom Lambert's wife was hospitalized for open heart surgery, friends brought unsolicited meals to the family's door every day. But "when our daughter was diagnosed with mental illness, no one came to the door," he said. As "people of compassion and justice," the Massachusetts deacon said, Catholics can help by creating safe havens for people to talk about their mental illness and allow their faith to be part of their healing. Even a prayer intention at Mass may spark hope.

Parishioners mourn firefighters ambushed while responding to blaze

WEBSTER, N.Y. (CNS) — Christmas Masses in the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., took on a somber tone as parishioners mourned two volunteer firefighters fatally shot while responding to a fire in a lakeshore community outside of Rochester. Firefighters Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, died in a hail of gunfire Dec. 24 after being […]

Justice Sotomayor denies injunction against contraceptive mandate

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied two companies' request for an injunction while they challenge part of the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate in court. In an order filed Dec. 26, Sotomayor ruled that the owners of the Hobby Lobby craft store and the Mardel Christian bookstore chains did not qualify for an injunction while they challenge requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Budget deal must shield charitable deductions, tax credits, bishops say

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Deductions for charitable giving, tax credits for working families and vital programs that serve poor and vulnerable people in the United States and abroad must be protected in any budget deal that reduces the country’s $16 trillion deficit, the chairman of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops committees told Congress. In letter […]

Bishops remain focused on ‘responsible restrictions’ on gun ownership

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As momentum builds to implement new limits on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, the Catholic bishops of the United States remain focused on seeking "reasonable restrictions" on gun ownership without infringing upon Second Amendment rights. "The bishops continue to support measures that control the sale and use of firearms and continue to call for sensible regulations on handguns," Kathy Saile, the bishops' director of domestic social development, told Catholic News Service.

Judge Bork, who lost fierce fight for high court nomination, dies

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — Judge Robert Bork, former circuit judge, U.S. solicitor general and 1987 Supreme Court judicial nominee, died Dec. 19 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington of complications from heart disease. He was 85. Bork became a Catholic in 2003 at age 76. In an interview with the National Catholic Register after he […]

Bishop Pates urges White House to negotiate with Iran to prevent war

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace called on the White House’s national security adviser to pursue negotiations with Iran on its nuclear research to head off the possibility of war. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, called for “bold steps” to be considered to […]