National News

Organists plentiful but not many parishes ‘blessed’ with budget for one

NEW YORK (CNS) — If music conservatories are producing a bumper crop of organ performance graduates, why can’t the parish down the street get a substitute organist for the 10 a.m. Mass? There’s no single answer, but liturgical musicians who spoke with Catholic News Service attribute it to parish finances, cultural changes and the pastor’s […]

Bishops’ economic letter fails; foes urge more consultation

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The U.S. bishops' effort to send a pastoral message of hope in trying economic times came up short of the votes needed Nov. 13, after concerns were raised about its limitations, its expedited process and whether it actually was something that they would use to reach out to people.

Sisters, bishops begin discussions on LCWR doctrinal assessment

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Officials of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious met with three U.S. bishops charged with overseeing the organization's reform Nov. 11 in Baltimore prior to the U.S. bishops' annual fall general assembly. "The discussion was open and cordial and those present agreed to meet again to continue the conversation," according to a brief statement issued Nov. 12 by Franciscan Sister Florence Deacon, LCWR president, and Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who was assigned by the Vatican to provide "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of LCWR.

Church must ‘redouble’ efforts on marriage, SF archbishop says

BALTIMORE (CNS) — Just shy of a week after laws permitting same-sex marriage passed in three states and voters in a fourth rejected an amendment to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said, “Tuesday was a disappointing day for marriage.” The chairman of the […]

Efforts to promote religious liberty will not end, archbishop says

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The work of defending religious liberty will continue more robustly and without end in the face of growing challenges, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, told his fellow bishops during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of […]

Proposed text ties sacrament of penance to new evangelization effort

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The U.S. bishops Nov. 12 began consideration of an exhortation that would be issued in their name encouraging Catholics to take advantage of the sacrament of penance, also known as reconciliation. The text — presented on the first day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore — was prepared by the […]

Document developing on bishops’ use of new technologies

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The chairmen of four U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees will begin work soon on drafting a document that reiterates the teaching authority of local bishops while urging them to use new technologies to share Catholic theology. The end result is expected to complement a 20-year-old document on the teaching authority of […]

Bishop says West Virginia’s poverty causing ‘anguish,’ urges outreach

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) — Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston in a new pastoral letter called attention to poverty in West Virginia and its devastating effects on the state’s children, and urged outreach to the poor as part of the Catholic Church’s new evangelization efforts. “It is my hope to speak to the grief and […]

Tree from devastated New Jersey heading to Rock Center

An 80-foot-tall Norway Spruce, selected to be the 2012 Christmas tree at New York’s Rockefeller Center, is raised by a crane above spectators after being cut down at the home of Joseph Balku in Flanders, N.J., Nov. 13.

Bishops OK first new preaching document in 30 years

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The U.S. bishops approved their first new document in 30 years on preaching Nov. 13, the second day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore. The document, “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily,” encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people’s daily lives. The vote was 227-11, with […]