National News

Priest laicized after violating order prohibiting contact with minors

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Vatican officials laicized a New Jersey priest who violated a 2007 court memorandum of understanding that prohibited unsupervised contact with minors.

Federal courts, Homeland Security weigh in on immigration issues

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In early March, federal judges ruled in two cases in ways that may ease detention for some immigrants, and a federal agency's new directive clarifies Border Patrol policies for use of force at the border.

Pope’s first year marked by ‘real call’ for church to be more pastoral

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Pope Francis "has taken the world by storm" in the year since his election, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz said March 13. He and Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared on "CBS This Morning" to talk about the pope, saying he "does it the way Jesus said: 'Don't just tell people to do something but do it yourself.'"

Bill would continue programs that help inmates with life after prison

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Clevelander Alease Fleming is no stranger to prison.

Survey shows Pope Francis has influenced giving by U.S. Catholics

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- While any increase in church attendance prompted by the pope's appeal isn't quite yet measurable, a new survey shows Pope Francis has made an impact on Catholic giving in the year since his papacy began.

U.S. lawmakers invite pope to address joint meeting of Congress

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A bipartisan invitation to Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress if he comes to the U.S. in 2015 recognizes "the importance of the qualities" the pontiff embodies that resonate with people around the globe, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

Social media, smartphones give young people a new look at Lent

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- This is not your parents' Lent. That's pretty clear when smartphone alarms -- sounding like police whistles -- ring at mealtimes on Fridays along with text messages from the "meat police" offering reminders such as: "Hey, it's Friday, drop the cheeseburger!" The Friday no-meat reminder comes through the Lentsanity app produced by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. By the third day of Lent, the app -- which also offers plenty of Lenten resources - already had more than 10,000 downloads.

Catholic organization files class-action lawsuit to block HHS mandate

A coalition of nearly 200 Catholic entities formed the Catholic Benefits Association -- of which Archbishop Charles Chaput is a board member -- then filed the lawsuit against the mandate that would require them to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs, abortifacients and surgical sterilizations.

Lenten observance becoming more widespread in Protestant churches

While Anglicans, Lutherans and Orthodox Christians have long celebrated Lent, other Protestant churches are beginning to take up the devotions. It is seen as a step toward Christian unity.

Passage urged for tax credit to help New York students, schools

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Labor, business and religious leaders assembled March 10 in New York to urge state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve an investment tax credit, similar to those in Pennsylvania, that would benefit schools and students.