National News

Essayists say church teachings have given them ‘true freedom’ as women

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Helen Alvare, former U.S. bishops’ pro-life spokeswoman, is the co-author and editor of a new book, “Breaking Through, Catholic Women Speak for Themselves,” the idea for which came about, she said, from pages of notes she’s been jotting down for the past 15 years. However, the concept officially took off when the […]

Catholic scientist at Stanford shares Nobel Prize for work in chemistry

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (CNS) — Who could have predicted that a student from St. Mary’s Grade School in Little Falls would one day win a Nobel Prize? But that’s what Dr. Brian Kobilka accomplished. He’s one of two scientists awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry Oct. 10 for their work on cell receptors. “It’s a […]

Spokane Diocese accuses law firm that handled bankruptcy of malpractice

SPOKANE, Wash. (CNS) -- The Spokane Diocese has filed a lawsuit accusing a law firm of malpractice in handling its bankruptcy to address civil lawsuits claiming clergy sex abuse and settle financial claims of victims. Filed Oct. 8 in Spokane County Superior Court, the suit seeks more than $12 million in repayment of legal fees. The suit accuses the attorneys of a conflict of interest because they also represented Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, now retired, and shielded him, it says, from having to testify at the first civil trial in 2004 alleging abuse by a Spokane priest by filing for bankruptcy as the trial was about to begin.

Half of Hispanics favor legalizing same-sex marriage, study finds

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- More than 50 percent of Hispanics now favor legalizing same-sex marriage, marking nearly a statistical flip-flop in the six years since the Pew Hispanic Center first began asking that question. However, majorities of those who attend religious services most regularly continue to oppose such marriages.

Charter school enrollment surpasses Catholic schools

WASHINGTON (CNS) — For the first time, more children are enrolled in charter schools than in Catholic schools, reported the Lexington Institute, a think tank in Arlington, Va., that focuses on the role of federal government in education reform, tax reform and national security. “Our clients are going elsewhere; we have to do something different […]

Bl. John Paul II added to liturgical calendar starting Oct. 22, 2013

Blessed John Paul II will be included in liturgies as an optional memorial in the proper calendar of the dioceses of the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Oct. 19. The U.S. bishops last November voted overwhelmingly to request the addition of the popular pope, who reigned for 27 years, into the U.S. […]

Native Americans feel ‘pulled up’ by Blessed Kateri becoming a saint

LA CROSSE, Wis. (CNS) — Since 1997, Eleanor St. John has lived for the day when one of her greatest heroes would be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church — Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. That year St. John attended her first Tekakwitha Conference, named for the young maiden known as the “Lily of the […]

Parish as center of Catholic life focus of annual canon law convention

In a talk about parishes in the future, a canon law expert described the parish as a means to reach the goal of establishing a eucharistic community. Shifting populations, a shortage of priests and a decline in religious practice are causing parish mergers and closures in the United States and will continue to do so, said Msgr. Roch Page, judicial vicar of the Canadian Appeal Tribunal of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. "The next decades will certainly see the canonical status of the laity conform with its theology," he said.

CRS renews Rice Bowl campaign as part of worldwide effort to end hunger

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic Relief Services' popular Lenten Rice Bowl campaign is getting a new name and a new look. Now called CRS Rice Bowl, the program will encourage greater connection between Americans and millions of people around the world struggling to overcome hunger. CRS President Carolyn Woo also pledged $150 million from the agency during the next three years toward food, nutrition and agriculture programs. The pledge is part of a $1 billion effort by members of InterAction, an alliance of U.S.-based international humanitarian organizations.

Signature on same-sex marriage referendum brings employer sanction

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference called it alarming that a university would sanction one of its officials for signing a petition to bring Maryland’s same-sex marriage law to a public referendum. “To express a desire that marriage is and should remain a union between one man and one woman […]