National News

CPA leader says Catholic press key to covering religious liberty issues

CHICAGO (CNS) — Catholic Press Month, celebrated in February, “comes at a particularly critical moment” this year, said Greg Erlandson, president of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. The nation’s Catholic bishops “have made clear their concern with recent government regulations and the threat such regulations pose to religious liberty,” said […]

Half a century after Vatican II, a year of faith and debate

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Fifty years ago this October, Blessed John XXIII and more than 2,500 bishops and heads of religious orders from around the world gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica for the opening session of the Second Vatican Council. Over the following three years, Vatican II would issue 16 major “pronouncements” on such fundamental […]

Catholic voters urged to press US government to rescind HHS mandate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) — It will be up to Catholic voters to convince the federal government to rescind a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to go forward with a mandate that all health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. “Bishops can’t […]

Summit brings together pro-life lawyers, members of advocacy groups

WASHINGTON (CNS) — If the argument against abortion is “grounded in the concept of human equality, you kind of catch people off guard” because “it’s not a religious argument,” a University of Notre Dame law professor told a pro-life crowd gathered at the National Press Club in Washington. “Biology and modern science have confirmed that […]

Confession: Celebration of mercy, not trial before prosecution

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Priests hearing confessions need to replace any negative or aggressive attitudes with meekness and mercy toward the penitent, said a Vatican expert on confession. The sacrament of reconciliation “has led to a unilateral overemphasis on the accusation and listing of sins,” said Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a […]

HHS move amounts to ‘to hell with you,’ bishop says as protests mount

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A week after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told individuals and institutions who oppose contraception “to hell with you,” as one bishop put it, members of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy were mobilizing their followers to fight. Bishops across the country — including Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta, Archbishop […]

Cardinal links religious liberty fight with abortion struggle

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Participants at the annual March for Life were urged in advance of the march not to let themselves be compromised in their beliefs as the federal government pursues regulations that Catholic leaders say constitute an attack on conscience and religious liberty. “I beg and pray for the young people present and all […]

HHS delays, but does not change, rule on contraceptive coverage

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although Catholic leaders vowed to fight on, the Obama administration has turned down repeated requests from Catholic bishops, hospitals, schools and charitable organizations to revise its religious exemption to the requirement that all health plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge. Instead, Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health […]

Supreme Court upholds church school’s exception to laws against firing

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Supreme Court Jan. 11 upheld the idea that a “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws means the church can’t be sued for firing an employee who the church classified as a minister. For the first time, the court held that such an exception to federal employment laws exists. The unanimous opinion reversed […]

As legislature convenes, Maryland bishops sound alarm about poverty

BALTIMORE (CNS) — Sounding the alarm about poverty in Maryland, the state’s bishops called on Catholics to urge lawmakers to “make decisions, pass legislation and appropriate public money in a manner that is charitable, just and reflective of our shared human dignity.” In a joint statement released Jan. 9, two days before the Maryland General […]