National News

Ethicists blast tech firms’ offer to freeze women’s eggs

Offers by Facebook and Apple to pay for young women to freeze their eggs for future use was met with strong objections by pro-life leaders, who call it a corporate gimmick. Give parents better options for raising children now, suggested a Philadelphia bioethicist.

Institute officials outline alternatives to in vitro for infertile couples

Catholic couples struggling to conceive a child might not know they have other options than the in vitro fertilization procedure many doctors recommend. But there are natural and effective approaches to infertility.

Cardinal says mergers tough to take, but address shifts in population

In a long-awaited but nonetheless stunning announcement, the Archdiocese of New York said Nov. 2 it would merge 112 of its 368 parishes into 55, effectively shuttering at least 31 churches by Aug. 1, 2015.

Woman’s suicide called tragedy, symbol of ‘culture of death’ in U.S.

Brittany Maynard, a young California woman who was suffering from terminal brain cancer and gained national attention for her plan to use Oregon's assisted suicide law, ended her life Nov. 1. She was 29 years old.

Creighton criticized for giving benefits to same-sex spouses of workers

Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha said he was disappointed that Creighton University's president said the Jesuit-run institution will extend health care benefits to the same-sex spouses of employees in 2015.

Maronite bishop urges ‘profound defiance’ in face of persecution

Maronite Bishop Gregory J. Mansour of Brooklyn, New York, spoke to Belmont University students Oct. 22 about the need for all Christians to respond to persecution with "profound defiance," which is markedly different from vengeful retaliation or submissive inaction.

Panelists examine role of religion in Supreme Court justices’ ruling

The influence of religion on U.S. Supreme Court justices has grown more prominent in the last 50 years, according to five panelists who convened Oct. 27 to examine how the religious beliefs of the current justices affect their interpretation of the Constitution.

Young and old pray rosary together for peace over 4 weeks

How often do you see approximately 150 men, women and children attending a parish rosary devotion, at least in this day and age? That’s what happened at St. Christopher Parish in Northeast Philadelphia on the four Tuesday evenings in October.

Chicago Archdiocese will close or merge 14 Catholic schools

Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago said the archdiocese cannot afford to continue giving $18 million annually in aid to the parish grade schools, as their operating costs continue to rise. The archdiocese and its parishes have given $165 million to the schools over the past five years.

Panel addresses psychological evaluations in seminary admissions

A priest working in the vocation field told a group of Catholic psychotherapists that "we have to be careful not to hold our standards so high that nobody can get in." A dysfunctional family background and sense of entitlement should also be noted, along with a candidate's college debt.