National News

Ripple effect continues five years after immigration raid on Iowa plant

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNS) -- Carrying red flowers representing the 389 workers arrested during a 2008 raid, hundreds of people participated in a Walk for Justice and interfaith prayer service to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the immigration raid on the Agriprocessors Plant in Postville. The event continues to have an impact far beyond the small town in a rural corner of the Dubuque Archdiocese. During the opening blessing to a prayer service May 10, recently retired Dubuque Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus of Dubuque, who visited Postville shortly after the raid in 2008, alluded to how the event tore apart families and devastated the community of about 2,000 residents.

Cardinal Dolan cites Gosnell’s atrocities in opposing proposed N.Y. abortion law

ALBANY, N.Y. (CNS) -- If New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushes to have "a right to an abortion" codified in state law, he will face "vociferous" and "rigorous" opposition from Catholic and other pro-lifers, said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York. But the cardinal hopes it doesn't come to that because Cuomo, he said, has told him "he wants to work hard on alternatives to abortion," such as expanding adoption, having "greater latitude" in maternity leave and better assisting pregnant women in need and those with small children.

Diocese of Joliet, Ill., sued for alleged sexual abuse by priests

JOLIET, Ill. (CNS) -- Five lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Joliet May 15 alleging sexual abuse of minors by four priests and a lay teacher during the 1970s and 1980s. A Chicago law firm filed the lawsuits on behalf of victims who said they were between the ages of 8 and 16 at the time.

FCC to try rewriting broadcast indecency standards; will it succeed?

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- After running afoul of the courts yet again, the Federal Communications Commission is taking another stab at rewriting its regulations on indecent content on over-the-air television and radio. Whether the regulations need to be rewritten, though, is another matter entirely.

Father Pavone: ‘Truth of abortion’ exposed in trial will bring end to abortion

MADISON, Wis. (CNS) — Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, predicted “the end of abortion in our lifetime” in a recent talk he gave in Madison sponsored by Wisconsin Right to Life. The trial of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia exposed the grisly truths about the abortion industry, the priest said. […]

Helen Alvare blasts ‘sexual expressionism,’ government interference

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In dealing with several serious issues confronting the church and society today, "the only question is how you respond, not whether you should," said Helen Alvare at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, held May 9 in Washington. The response Alvare suggested to her audience: "As our leader (Pope Francis) is fearless, let us be fearless leaders."

Researchers’ embryonic stem-cell advance decried as morally troubling

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As Oregon scientists announced May 15 that they had successfully converted human skin cells into embryonic stem cells, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities warned that the technique is morally troubling on many levels. Scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon National Primate Research […]

Women religious uniting in nationwide effort to end human trafficking

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Human trafficking is so widespread that congregations of women religious are uniting in a nationwide effort to limit its reach. The effort will focus on broader education about sex and labor trafficking, legislative advocacy for stricter laws and penalties for traffickers and wider support for victims through much-needed social services and employment. […]

Bishops say full effect of ‘redefining marriage’ will be felt for years

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — The “full social and legal effects” of state lawmakers’ decision to legalize same-sex marriage “will begin to manifest themselves in the years ahead,” said the Minnesota Catholic Conference. “Today the Minnesota Senate voted to redefine marriage in Minnesota. The outcome, though expected, is no less disappointing,” the conference said in […]

Audit shows number of abuse allegations in church dropped in 2012

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The annual audit of diocesan compliance with the U.S. Catholic Church's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" found a drop in the number of allegations, number of victims and number of offenders reported in 2012. The report found "the fewest allegations and victims reported since the data collection for the annual reports began in 2004." Most allegations reported last year were from the 1970s and 1980s with many of the alleged offenders already deceased or removed from active ministry.