National News

Cardinal praises conscience provisions in House appropriations bill

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities praised lawmakers for including two conscience provisions in the House version of the 2013 appropriations bill for the federal departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. “Our government has a long history of respecting rights of conscience in health care, and […]

What Catholics can learn during Islam’s holy month

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started July 20 in many countries, is a time of fasting, prayer and repentance, when Muslims distance themselves from worldly activities in an effort to align their lives more closely with God and his laws. According to the Vatican’s point man for dialogue with […]

Federal judges in Nebraska, D.C. dismiss lawsuits against HHS mandate

Two federal judges have dismissed lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandated contraceptive coverage under the new health reform law. U.S. District Court Judge Warren K. Urbom ruled July 17 in Nebraska that seven states and various other individuals and groups that filed suit in February against the mandate had failed to […]

Denver prelates offer prayers after Colorado shootings

DENVER (CNS) — Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver and his auxiliary, Bishop James D. Conley, offered prayers and support to the victims, survivors and the community after a gunman killed at least a dozen people and wounded dozens more during a July 20 midnight screening of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora. […]

Mississippi abortion clinic stays open; Indy abortion law overturned

JACKSON, Miss. (CNS) — A federal judge allowed Mississippi’s only abortion clinic to remain open while it continued to work toward compliance with a new state law permitting only certain doctors to perform abortions there. District Court Judge Daniel P. Jordan III of Jackson partially lifted the injunction on a law that had been scheduled […]

Cleveland Poles celebrate parish’s reopening with joyful Mass

CLEVELAND (CNS) -- A congregation of more than 1,000 packed into the historic 94-year-old St. Casimir Church on Cleveland's east side stood, made the sign of the cross in Polish and began reciting a decade of the rosary. The unified voice of prayer July 15 was the first offered in the ornately decorated church in more than two-and-a-half years. The prayers served as a prelude to the first Mass in St. Casimir since Nov. 8, 2009, when the parish was suppressed under a diocesan reconfiguration plan that saw 27 parishes close and another 41 merge to form 18 new parishes.

New profession of faith seen as ‘public way of witnessing’ to beliefs

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) — In a move that will go into effect Sept. 16, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde has directed that a “profession of faith” declaring assent to all church teachings be made by all teachers of the faith, including catechists, youth ministers and religion teachers in the diocese. The policy, announced in a […]

Some military chaplains feel religious freedom challenged, says bishop

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNS) — While they work to defend the U.S. Constitution, some Catholic military chaplains feel that their First Amendment right to the “free exercise” of religion has been called into question. “Many have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms, and of course among the first and the founding freedoms of our country was […]

Congressional plan to cut $16B in food aid called ‘unjustified and wrong’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A proposed $16 billion cut in the nation’s Supplemental Nutritional and Assistance Program is “unjustified and wrong,” said a joint letter from the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic and international justice committees, leaders of Catholic Relief Services and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. The cuts in SNAP, once known as […]

Masses, devotions, rallies mark U.S. Church’s ‘fortnight for freedom’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asked Catholics to dedicate 14 days to the preservation of religious freedom through prayer, education and public action, they listened. Catholics in dioceses across the United States participated in Masses, devotions, holy hours, educational presentations and rallies during the June 21 to July 4 campaign […]