National News

Parishes called to welcome, support people with mental illness

When Deacon Tom Lambert's wife was hospitalized for open heart surgery, friends brought unsolicited meals to the family's door every day. But "when our daughter was diagnosed with mental illness, no one came to the door," he said. As "people of compassion and justice," the Massachusetts deacon said, Catholics can help by creating safe havens for people to talk about their mental illness and allow their faith to be part of their healing. Even a prayer intention at Mass may spark hope.

Parishioners mourn firefighters ambushed while responding to blaze

WEBSTER, N.Y. (CNS) — Christmas Masses in the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., took on a somber tone as parishioners mourned two volunteer firefighters fatally shot while responding to a fire in a lakeshore community outside of Rochester. Firefighters Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, died in a hail of gunfire Dec. 24 after being […]

Justice Sotomayor denies injunction against contraceptive mandate

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied two companies' request for an injunction while they challenge part of the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate in court. In an order filed Dec. 26, Sotomayor ruled that the owners of the Hobby Lobby craft store and the Mardel Christian bookstore chains did not qualify for an injunction while they challenge requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Budget deal must shield charitable deductions, tax credits, bishops say

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Deductions for charitable giving, tax credits for working families and vital programs that serve poor and vulnerable people in the United States and abroad must be protected in any budget deal that reduces the country’s $16 trillion deficit, the chairman of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops committees told Congress. In letter […]

Bishops remain focused on ‘responsible restrictions’ on gun ownership

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As momentum builds to implement new limits on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, the Catholic bishops of the United States remain focused on seeking "reasonable restrictions" on gun ownership without infringing upon Second Amendment rights. "The bishops continue to support measures that control the sale and use of firearms and continue to call for sensible regulations on handguns," Kathy Saile, the bishops' director of domestic social development, told Catholic News Service.

Judge Bork, who lost fierce fight for high court nomination, dies

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — Judge Robert Bork, former circuit judge, U.S. solicitor general and 1987 Supreme Court judicial nominee, died Dec. 19 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington of complications from heart disease. He was 85. Bork became a Catholic in 2003 at age 76. In an interview with the National Catholic Register after he […]

Bishop Pates urges White House to negotiate with Iran to prevent war

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace called on the White House’s national security adviser to pursue negotiations with Iran on its nuclear research to head off the possibility of war. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, called for “bold steps” to be considered to […]

New collection seen as boost for Archdiocese for the Military Services

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The head of the Archdiocese for the Military Services is expecting greater financial stability and less pressure on the delivery of ministries and services once funds from a new national collection begin hitting the books in 2013. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio said the collection, approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops […]

Religious colleges win legal round with court ruling on HHS suit

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Four days after the first federal appellate-level hearing on two religious colleges’ legal challenge to the contraceptive mandate, the appeals court said Dec. 18 the lawsuit will remain pending and it “will hold” the government to its word that it plans to modify enforcement of the mandate for some religious employers. Oral […]

Motives said to be as varied as the perpetrators in killing sprees

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Although the recent spate of mass gun attacks has the same results -- multiple deaths and woundings -- the motivations behind those attacks can be nearly as varied as those who commit those atrocities. "People talk about the profile as if there's one population of perpetrators," said Peter Langman, a clinical psychologist based in Allentown, Pa. "There's not one perpetrator, there's multiple types."