National News

CCHD awards $800,000 to three groups working on immigration reform

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Three faith-based organizations working to reform the country’s immigration laws are set to receive $800,000 from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. The grants to the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, known as CLINIC, Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the PICO National Network will bolster campaigns […]

Conscience-protection bill for HHS mandate introduced in House

The Health Care Conscience Rights Act would offer a full exemption from the U.S. Department Health and Human Services' mandate for individuals and health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of their religious beliefs. A sponsor said it is possible that the bill could be folded into a continuing resolution being considered by the House to keep the federal government operating beyond March 27.

Father Kapaun, Korean War hero, to receive Medal of Honor in April

WICHITA, Kan. (CNS) -- Father Emil Kapaun, whose actions as a U.S. Army chaplain during the Korean War saved the lives of dozens of soldiers in the field and in a North Korean prisoner of war camp before his death, will be awarded the Medal of Honor. A priest of the Diocese of Wichita, Kan., Father Kapaun will be honored during ceremonies at the White House April 11 and at the Pentagon the next day.

Deficit forces layoffs, ministry consolidation in Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO (CNS) -- The Chicago Archdiocese has laid off 60 pastoral center employees and must consolidate some of its agencies because of a deficit in the budget of its administrative operations, according to Cardinal Francis E. George. The archdiocese's "administrative operations have run operating deficits of more than $30 million in each of the past four years," the cardinal said.

Arkansas lawmakers override governor’s veto of fetal pain bill

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CNS) -- Both houses of the Arkansas Legislature voted to override Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of a fetal pain bill, outlawing most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Medical evidence suggests that the unborn can feel pain beginning around 20 weeks of life.

Ecumenical community in Va. told to make changes in Sunday liturgical practice

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond issued a directive to a Catholic-Episcopal community in his diocese saying it must make changes to its Sunday liturgy to conform with the Catholic Church's norms. But he assured members of the Church of the Holy Apostles community in Virginia Beach he has no plans to withdraw the diocese's support of the ecumenical community.

Defense Department lifting ban on women in combat draws mixed reaction

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- For centuries, men have formed a band of brothers as they faced the enemy on the field of battle, but now in the U.S., military women will soon be on the front lines, too, and Catholic women who have served in the military or are training to do so after college have mixed feelings about the new directive. "There's something special about that bond. It makes for a cohesive unit," said Sue Reininger, a veteran of the Air Force who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., and attends St. Peter Parish in Monument, Colo.

Curial reform ‘reasonable priority’ to help new pope, says US prelate

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Since Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Feb. 11, various commentators on church affairs -- and also some church leaders -- said that reforming the Roman Curia needs to be a priority of the next pontiff. Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, who was named to Indianapolis last October and has several years of firsthand experience of working in and with the curia, said such reform "is a reasonable priority to have, not so much to avoid scandals, but to provide for a government that will help the Holy Father exercise his Petrine service."

Justice Department argues denial of same-sex benefits unconstitutional

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Justice Department, in a brief filed Feb. 22 at the U.S. Supreme Court, said a federal law that defines marriage as between one man and a woman, denying financial benefits to legally wed same-sex couples, is unconstitutional.

Cardinal Dolan will go to White House to discuss mutual concerns with Obama

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan in a letter to President Barack Obama accepted a White House offer to continue discussing the Catholic Church's concerns about abortion, traditional marriage and federal rules governing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. "We accept your invitation to address these areas together, always with the civility we have both encouraged in public discourse," the president U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in the letter Feb. 22.