National News

Judge dismisses Serra suit; aim is for both parties to settle dispute

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CNS) -- A Chicago circuit judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Serra International against Serra's USA Council to pave the way for bishops to help settle the dispute. But the more than two years of internal strife in the vocations organization has caused at least one former U.S. Serra Club to strike out on its own. "Some of our members agonized over this, hoping that a satisfactory resolution might unfold. But it took so long that everyone lost heart and we voted unanimously to leave Serra," read the June newsletter of the Vocations Ministry of Savannah, Ga., formerly a Serra club.

Theologian urges church to give Holy Spirit more ‘breathing room’

MIAMI (CNS) -- Although the Second Vatican Council called on the Catholic Church to mirror the life of the Trinity, the church is still far from being converted to that vision, a leading Australian theologian said June 8. "The major issue is that the Holy Spirit is given very little institutional breathing room," Father Ormond Rush said in a plenary address to the annual convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America in Miami.

Obama administration drops fight to limit age restrictions on Plan B

WASHINGTON (CNS) — U.S. Catholic officials expressed disappointment with the June 10 announcement that the federal government will comply with a judge’s ruling to allow girls of any age to buy the morning-after pill without a prescription. The decision reversed recent course of action by the federal government. On May 1, the Justice Department announced […]

Hope for those ‘living in shadows’ seen in immigration reform debate

AUSTIN, Texas (CNS) — With the debate on immigration underway in the U.S. Senate, the nation may finally be making some headway on long-overdue comprehensive reform of its immigration policies, said Austin Bishop Joe S. Vasquez. “Our country has needed this legislation for years,” he said. “With the help of all in the Catholic community, […]

Theologians give Pope Francis thumbs up for ‘good pastoral directions’

MIAMI (CNS) -- The new papacy of Francis has thus far been inspiring, challenging and accessible and is giving "new traction" to Catholic social teachings, according to a cross section of distinguished scholars on hand for a convention of theologians.

Mass celebrates life of Boston marathon bombing victim Martin Richard

DORCHESTER, Mass. (CNS) — A June 9 Mass at St. Ann Church in Dorchester celebrated the life of Martin Richard, the boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings and who would have turned 9 the day of the Mass. The crowd, at the 10:30 a.m. Mass that the Richard family usually attends, included […]

People long for spiritual home, an inviting parish, says Franciscan nun

NEW YORK (CNS) — People long for a spiritual home and Catholics expect to find it at their parish, with a pastor who provides a rich diet of spiritual food and “meets people where they are,” Franciscan Sister Katarina Schuth told a New York audience June 7. Catholics want their parish to be an inviting […]

Church has led way in addressing abuse of minors, says board chairman

WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) -- The Catholic Church has led the way in addressing the sexual abuse of minors, said the new chairman of the National Review Board. Francesco C. Cesareo, president of Assumption College in Worcester and a member of the review board for one year, will oversee the board as chairman at its first meeting in September.

For Mother Dolores Hart, it’s time for her close-up — again

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Don't look now, but Dolores Hart is about to become a star again, 50 years after her last movie. Hart -- that's Mother Dolores, the prioress of a Benedictine women's monastery in Bethlehem, Conn. -- has just had her memoir published a year after a documentary featuring her life in as a cloistered nun picked up an Oscar nomination for best documentary short subject.

Bishops warn against changes in immigration bill that could kill it

SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- Three bishops weighed in on the ongoing congressional debate on immigration reform legislation June 10, warning against amending a Senate bill in ways that would block the path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. "Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals and schools, we witness the human consequences of a broken immigration system,” said Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration. "Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert."