National News

Congressional plan to cut $16B in food aid called ‘unjustified and wrong’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A proposed $16 billion cut in the nation’s Supplemental Nutritional and Assistance Program is “unjustified and wrong,” said a joint letter from the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic and international justice committees, leaders of Catholic Relief Services and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. The cuts in SNAP, once known as […]

Masses, devotions, rallies mark U.S. Church’s ‘fortnight for freedom’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asked Catholics to dedicate 14 days to the preservation of religious freedom through prayer, education and public action, they listened. Catholics in dioceses across the United States participated in Masses, devotions, holy hours, educational presentations and rallies during the June 21 to July 4 campaign […]

Appeals panel overturns language mandate for pro-life pregnancy centers

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) — In a ruling hailed by Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori as “a major victory for the First Amendment,” a federal appeals court in Richmond said two Maryland pregnancy centers cannot be compelled to post notices that they do not have licensed medical professionals on staff. In separate decisions, a three-judge panel […]

Lawsuits over HHS mandate keep health reform law in court

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although legal scholars and political observers will likely spend days parsing each line of the 193 pages of U.S. Supreme Court opinions and dissents on the health reform law, the court’s June 28 decision is not likely to be its final word on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “It seems […]

Communicators hear how blogging helps Church to evangelize

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Blogging offers the Catholic Church one more way to evangelize for the faith while reaching new audiences, especially young people, a panel of Catholic bloggers told a packed room during the Catholic Media Conference in Indianapolis. The panelists, which included Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, a frequent user of Twitter, agreed that while not all bloggers are official Church representatives, the relatively new but quickly growing form of communication has influenced how the Church spreads its message.

Archbishop Lori takes Fortnight for Freedom to Rome

ROME (CNS) — On the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Obama administration’s health care law, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore warned an audience in Rome about what he characterized as the law’s threat to religious freedom. The archbishop, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Freedom, addressed […]

Christ Cathedral is name of Orange Diocese’s new cathedral

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Bishop Tod D. Brown of Orange, Calif., said June 9 that Christ Cathedral is the new name of the former Crystal Cathedral, now owned by the diocese and once home to the ministries of the Rev. Robert H. Schuller. He also announced Father Christopher Smith has been named episcopal vicar for the […]

Astronomy students watch Venus transit at Vatican Observatory

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — An international group of astronomy students watched Venus’ passage across the face of the sun from the roof of the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. “It was a special thrill to be able to see it from the pope’s palace,” said Giannina Dalle Mese Zavala, a student from Mexico. “We […]

Bill on sex-selection abortion fails to get needed two-thirds majority in House

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A bill that would have prohibited abortions motivated by the gender of the unborn child failed to gain a needed two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives May 31. The vote to suspend the rules and pass the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and known as PRENDA, was […]

Franciscan University drops student health insurance plan

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, is discontinuing its student health insurance plan in the upcoming school year in opposition to the Obama administration’s mandate requiring most religious employers, including colleges, to provide no-cost contraceptive and sterilization coverage in its health insurance plans. The school made the announcement to its students in mid-April […]