National News

Medjugorje apparitions not deemed authentic, Vatican tells U.S. bishops

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Vatican ambassador to the United States has reminded U.S. Catholics that the Vatican has not recognized alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as authentic. The reminder came as one of the visionaries was scheduled to tour U.S. parishes.

Illinois OKs same-sex marriage, Catholic group ‘deeply diasappointed’

CHICAGO (CNS) -- By legalizing same-sex marriage, Illinois lawmakers have changed the definition of marriage and undermined "an institution that is the cornerstone of a healthy society," the Catholic Conference of Illinois said Nov. 5, the day the Illinois House passed a state Senate bill allowing same-sex marriage.

Newark coadjutor asks for ‘prayers, patience’ as he learns his new role

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- In one of America's largest gothic cathedrals, more than 2,000 clergy, religious and lay Catholics gathered Nov. 5 with four cardinals and bishops from six states to welcome Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda to his new see during a two-hour Mass.

Court weighs constitutionality and tradition of town council prayer

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In considering a New York town’s practice of opening council sessions with a prayer, the Supreme Court Nov. 6 raised questions about whether the situation is adequately covered by previous rulings allowing legislatures to open with prayers. The Rochester suburb of Greece was sued by two residents who argued that the town […]

Serve common good, put poor people first in farm bill, lawmakers urged

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic leaders urged members of a Senate and House conference committee that began working on a compromise farm bill Nov. 6 to negotiate a measure "that reflects a commitment to the common good" and puts "poor and hungry people first."

Sainthood candidate an intercessor ‘for all of God’s people,’ says nun

OMAHA, Neb. (CNS) -- The prayers of two religious sisters born in the Archdiocese of Omaha were key elements of the Vatican-approved miracle that led the way to the upcoming beatification of their order's foundress, Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

U.S. bishops say employment bill goes beyond barring discrimination

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a letter to the U.S. senators, the chairmen of three U.S. bishops' committees outlined their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, saying the legislation "elevates 'sexual orientation' discrimination" to the same level as race discrimination, among other issues. It also does not make a distinction between homosexual inclination and conduct, which they said legally affirms and protects that conduct.

Panelists recall lessons from last effort to fix immigration problems

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The last time Congress attempted a full-blown fix of immigration law in 1986, the major accomplishments were that a few million people won legal status and some employment verification systems were created, but the legislation proved inadequate to repair systemic problems, according to panelists at a migration law and policy conference that featured Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Catholics must make space for the soul online, Vatican official says

BRAINTREE, Mass. (CNS) -- The Internet will host the parish community of the future, according to Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. "Social media is redefining how we understand local community," he said. "The digital parish will be where people cluster around shared interests and shared ideas."

Appeals court OKs admitting privileges for abortion doctors in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (CNS) -- A panel of judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 31 that a provision in a Texas law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect. The panel made the ruling three days after Judge Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court in Austin said the provision was unconstitutional.