National News

Study shows increase in hostility toward religion around globe

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Pew Research Center study issued Jan. 14 shows another increase in hostility toward religion by most of the world's 198 nations. The number of nations showing hostilities toward Christians rose from 106 to 110.

Court takes up whether buffer zone excessively limits free speech

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Supreme Court justices Jan. 15 pressed attorneys about when it is constitutional to prohibit certain kinds of speech in a case over buffer zones around abortion clinics.

Allowing assisted suicide ‘immoral, unethical,’ say New Mexico bishops

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CNS) -- New Mexico's Catholic bishops said they strongly oppose the "authorization of assisted suicide by the state" and affirm Catholic Church teaching "condemning the immoral and unethical use of physician-assisted suicide."

Late ambassador hailed for deep faith, dedication to diplomatic service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Thomas P. Melady, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican who died Jan. 6, was remembered at his Jan. 13 funeral Mass as a man who loved his Catholic faith and who was inspired by that faith to reach out and help others.

Mideast Catholic leaders give mixed reactions after death of Sharon

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a controversial figure in Israel and abroad, died Jan. 11 after being in a coma following a stroke eight years ago. He was laid to rest at his Negev farm Jan. 13.

Bill would require feds to respect state laws on traditional marriage

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. House should pass a bipartisan bill that would require the federal government to respect state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, a U.S. archbishop said Jan. 10.

Heavenly sounds ever present at only U.S. Catholic boys’ choir school

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (CNS) -- While some students may fantasize about breaking into song in the middle of a school day, it's a common occurrence at St. Paul's Choir School.

‘Great misunderstanding’ seen on church’s teachings on end of life

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- There is "great misunderstanding" among Catholics and others about the church's teachings on whether and when life-sustaining medical treatment can be withdrawn when death is near, according to a leading Catholic bioethicist.

Brain-dead patients prompt new questions about end-of-life decisions

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Recent conflicts in California and Texas between physicians and the families of patients considered to be brain dead have prompted new questions about end-of-life decision-making.

Nine days of prayer part of Roe v. Wade anniversary events for 2014

UPDATED -- WASHINGTON (CNS) -- For the second year in a row, the U.S. Catholic bishops are sponsoring "Nine Days for Life: Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage," planned for Jan. 18-26 this year to mark the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand in the U.S.