National News

‘Don’t dumb down the faith,’ priest tells Denver convention crowd

DENVER (CNS) — The “dumbing down of the Catholic faith” that impacted catechesis in the mid-1960s “was a pastoral disaster of the first order,” Father Robert Barron told a crowd of about 500 people at the Catholic Media Conference in Denver June 19. “That’s why many people in my generation left the faith,” Father Barron […]

Archbishop urges U.S. support, resettlement of Syrian, other refugees

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez marked World Refugee Day June 20 by asking for U.S. support and resettlement of vulnerable refugee populations across the world, especially for Syrians fleeing the civil war in their country. “The conflict in Syria is worsening and it is time for the United States and the […]

House rejects farm bill; Catholic advocates had called for fairness

UPDATED -- WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The House of Representatives June 20 voted down the farm bill 234-195. Catholic leaders had urged Catholics nationwide to call their representatives in the House and ask for a farm bill that does not make deep cuts into food assistance programs both here and abroad. Bread for the World, the Christian citizens' anti-hunger lobby, said the farm bill deserved to be defeated.

House OKs measure called ‘most important’ pro-life bill in 10 years

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. House June 18 passed the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act to prohibit abortion nationwide after 20 weeks of gestation, approximately the stage at which scientists say unborn babies are capable of feeling pain.

Report says ‘witch hunt’ tactics hurting CCHD’s outreach to poor

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. bishops' domestic anti-poverty arm, should "resist efforts that isolate Catholic-funded organizations from effective coalitions that are improving the lives of low-income citizens," according to a new report examining threats to CCHD's funding. The report is titled "Be Not Afraid?: Guilt by Association, Catholic McCarthyism and Growing Threats to the U.S. Bishops' Anti-Poverty Mission."

Hungry, stunted children a top priority for anti-poverty advocates

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The prestigious medical journal The Lancet has shown that more than a third of child deaths and 11 percent of the rate of disease worldwide was the result of mothers and children being malnourished. Malnutrition, which causes nearly 45 percent of all deaths in children under 5, slows children's mental growth, making them 20 percent less able to read and handicapping them so that as adults they earn on average 20 percent less than their counterparts who had a healthy diet as children.

Former head of Catholic Relief Services named U.S. ambassador to Vatican

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Barack Obama June 14 nominated Ken Hackett, retired president of Catholic Relief Services, to be U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. Hackett retired in December 2011 after 18 years as president of CRS, the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency.

Migrant advocate flees Catholic-run shelter after death threats

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- An advocate for undocumented migrants has left a Catholic-run shelter in southern Mexico after receiving death threats, a statement from a coalition of nine Catholic and human rights organizations said. The departure of an activist, Ruben Figueroa of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, marks yet more difficulties for the shelter and its operator, Franciscan Father Tomas Gonzalez Castillo, whose work with undocumented migrants on the Mexico-Guatemala border has brought him into conflict with both criminals and government officials.

Colorado wildfire destroys homes, land, forces thousands to flee

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CNS) -- For the second year in a row, a wildfire got out of hand on a hot and windy afternoon in Colorado Springs June 12, leaving thousands of people fleeing for safety and thousands of others reliving a nightmare. More than 360 homes have been destroyed in the blaze that has consumed nearly 15,000 acres. No injuries have been reported, and it is not known yet how the fire started.

Judge dismisses Serra suit; aim is for both parties to settle dispute

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CNS) -- A Chicago circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Serra International against Serra's USA Council to pave the way for bishops to help settle the dispute. But the more than two years of internal strife in the vocations organization has caused at least one former U.S. Serra Club to strike out on its own. "Some of our members agonized over this, hoping that a satisfactory resolution might unfold. But it took so long that everyone lost heart and we voted unanimously to leave Serra," read the June newsletter of the Vocations Ministry of Savannah, Ga., formerly a Serra club.