National News

Catholics urged to speak truth ‘with love’ in religious freedom fight

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As people of faith and as Americans, the nation's Catholics should kneel in prayer and also stand in defense of religious freedom, Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl said July 4 during the closing Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

With final rules from HHS, bishops need to ‘continue defending’ rights

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The final rules issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implementing its mandate that employers provide coverage of contraceptives do not eliminate "the need to continue defending our rights in Congress and the courts," said New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan in a July 3 statement.

Bishop Bosco, retired head of Greensburg Diocese, dies at age 85

GREENSBURG, Pa. (CNS) -- Retired Bishop Anthony G. Bosco of Greensburg, who headed the diocese for nearly 17 years until his retirement in 2004, died July 2 at his home in Unity Township. He was 85. Bishop Bosco's body will be received at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral the afternoon of July 8, with family members receiving relatives and friends until a 7 p.m. celebration of evening prayer. The cathedral will remain open for visitation until 9 p.m. On July 9 there will be all-day visitation. At 7 p.m. Greensburg Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt will celebrate Mass for the repose of the soul of Bishop Bosco.

New guidelines aim to help houses of worship address gun violence

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Shootings in places of worship are fairly uncommon, but the public nature of churches, synagogues and temples sometimes makes them appealing targets for violent acts. The federal government June 18 released its first guidelines for houses of worship confronted with a homicidal gunman. They were issued just two days after 66-year-old James Evans was shot by his 35-year-old son-in-law inside St. James the Just Catholic Church in Ogden, Utah.

Patchwork of murky laws emerges as more states OK use of marijuana

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (CNS) -- Somewhere among the skateboarders, weight lifters, street artisans and moms pushing strollers at California's Venice Beach may be a high concentration of seriously ill Californians seeking alternative pain relief. That's the impression given by an omnipresent odor and abundance of Oceanfront medical marijuana dispensaries and one-stop "medical consultation" shops on the boardwalk -- some outfitted with mini-ATM machines, leaf-shaped signage and playful sidewalk barkers dressed in green and welcoming passersby.

Arizona fire rages as slain hotshot crew members are mourned

PHOENIX (CNS) -- As the people of central Arizona mourned the deaths June 30 of 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots, hundreds of other firefighters battled the still-uncontrolled blaze that threatened the small towns of Yarnell and Peeples Valley. The men from an elite firefighting crew based in Prescott, Ariz. -- where they made up a significant portion of the city's 92-employee fire department -- were trapped when winds shifted, turning the fast-moving wildfire in their direction.

U.S. bishops, religious leaders call for religious liberty protections

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A diverse group of religious leaders, including Catholics, Protestants, evangelicals and a representative from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, issued an open letter July 2 urging the U.S. government to "expand conscience protections" in its Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate.

U.S. bishops want to give ‘careful analysis’ to HHS final rules

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The final rules issued June 28 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implementing its mandate that employers provide coverage of contraceptives "will require more careful analysis," New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said in a statement. The cardinal, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the 110-page ruling is "long and complex" and the bishops will "provide a fuller statement when that analysis is complete."

Federal appeals court finds merit in Hobby Lobby’s challenge of mandate

DENVER (CNS) — In a June 27 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver reversed a decision of the lower court in Hobby Lobby’s challenge to a federal contraceptive mandate, saying that the chain of arts-and-crafts store will not have to pay fines while its lawsuit makes its way through […]

Pro-lifers challenging ‘buffer zone’ feel they’ll prevail, lawyer says

WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) — Two Worcester sidewalk counselors are among seven plaintiffs in the “buffer zone” lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear during its next term. The court announced June 24 that it accepted the case, which challenges lower court rulings that the Massachusetts “buffer zone” law is constitutional. That law prohibits most […]