National News

How did we get here? View on evolution marked by partisan, religious divides

The culture wars show no sign of abating in 2014. A Pew Research Center study issued Dec. 30 showed a deepening partisan divide about whether humans existed in present form since the beginning of time or whether they evolved. And, if they did evolve, whether God guided the process along.

New year holds hope for homeless clients seeking work

PHOENIX (CNS) -- The new year will be a brighter beginning for Terrance Alston. The 49-year-old, who spent enough years on the streets, is now fixing up his own home and mending family bonds.

Courts give some last-minute relief from HHS contraceptive mandate

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CNS) -- In the midst of their New Year's Eve celebration with low-income elderly residents, the Baltimore-based Little Sisters of the Poor learned that the Supreme Court issued an injunction temporarily protecting them from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

Milwaukee project makes, markets soaps to help former prostitutes

MILWAUKEE (CNS) -- Soothing aromas of peppermint, lavender, gingerbread and lemon verbena waft through the hallways of the Franciscan Peacemakers headquarters in Milwaukee.

Response to ‘On Eagle’s Wings’ over the years humbling for composer

Father Jan Michael Joncas has composed more than 300 liturgical songs, but his name is widely known for the one that tops a list of favorites: "On Eagle's Wings."

New CLINIC chairman approaches immigration reform as ‘pastor of souls’

Bishop Kevin Vann, an immigration reform advocate, leads the Orange (Calif.) Diocese that is home to the largest Vietnamese community outside Vietnam and encompassing one of the 10 U.S. counties with the greatest Hispanic population.

Archbishop: Rulings to allow same-sex marriage ‘imposed wrong decision’

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As 2013 was drawing to a close, same-sex marriage became legal in two more states with rulings in New Mexico and Utah, which San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone strongly criticized.

Rulings in HHS lawsuits deliver mixed results for Catholic employers

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A U.S. District Court judge Dec. 20 changed a preliminary injunction to a permanent one barring enforcement of the federal health care law's contraceptive mandate against the Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses.

Fracking debate examines America’s quest for energy

The stances of two Pennsylvania Catholics sharing one faith illustrate the divide over how to develop vast natural gas deposits in shale formations across the United States. A three-part series explores the industrial process for extracting the gas, known as slick water hydraulic fracturing, the human dimensions of the debate and the insights of Catholic social teaching.

Advances in drilling technology led to fracking’s rapid expansion

The use of hydraulic fracturing in the U.S. to extract natural gas goes back more than 60 years. These days the Marcellus Shale under Pennsylvania is among the most active natural gas plays in the country. Along with the rapid development comes questions about safety and environmental protection.