National News

Astronomy students watch Venus transit at Vatican Observatory

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — An international group of astronomy students watched Venus’ passage across the face of the sun from the roof of the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. “It was a special thrill to be able to see it from the pope’s palace,” said Giannina Dalle Mese Zavala, a student from Mexico. “We […]

Bill on sex-selection abortion fails to get needed two-thirds majority in House

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A bill that would have prohibited abortions motivated by the gender of the unborn child failed to gain a needed two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives May 31. The vote to suspend the rules and pass the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and known as PRENDA, was […]

Franciscan University drops student health insurance plan

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, is discontinuing its student health insurance plan in the upcoming school year in opposition to the Obama administration’s mandate requiring most religious employers, including colleges, to provide no-cost contraceptive and sterilization coverage in its health insurance plans. The school made the announcement to its students in mid-April […]

Obama ‘accommodation’ offers no fundamental change, USCCB attorneys say

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although the Obama administration’s proposed “accommodation” for religious employers to the mandate that contraceptives and sterilization be included in most health plans “may create an appearance of moderation and compromise,” it does not change the administration’s fundamental position, attorneys for the U.S. bishops said in comments filed May 15. “We are convinced […]

Dioceses defend against in vitro suits filed by former teachers

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Both the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., are defending themselves against lawsuits filed by Catholic school teachers who were fired for pursuing in vitro fertilization treatments. In the Indiana case, Emily Herx is suing the diocese after being fired from her teaching job of eight years […]

Chicago Archdiocese offers free burial services to indigents, unborn

CHICAGO (CNS) — Eighteen simple wooden caskets containing indigent adults and unborn babies sat atop graves at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery awaiting burial April 25. Beside them stood funeral directors dressed in black and holding single white carnations. Just minutes before, each casket was removed from funeral hearses, which made a procession with a police […]

Reform of U.S. nuns group an opportunity for dialogue, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Citing “serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life,” the Vatican announced a major reform of an association of women’s religious congregations in the U.S. to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle will provide “review, […]

More than 10,000 educators attend annual NCEA convention in Boston

BOSTON (CNS) — A national and international crowd of Catholic educators converged on Boston April 11 to kick off the National Catholic Educational Association 2012 Convention and Expo. According to organizers, more than 10,000 participants registered for the three-day event at the John B. Hynes Convention Center. The NCEA provided attendees more than 400 workshops […]

Anglican parishes in Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Canada join Church

By Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) — Anglican parishes in Philadelphia and Indianapolis were received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in early April, and two Anglican bishops in Canada were slated to lead their clergy and congregants into the church later in the month. The Anglicans are joining the new U.S. Ordinariate […]

Bill banning late-term abortions in Arizona awaits governor’s signature

PHOENIX (CNS) — The executive director of the Arizona Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops, said he was pleased the Arizona Legislature has passed a bill to outlaw abortions past 20 weeks gestation. “It’s very exciting news,” Ron Johnson told The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese. “It’s on […]