National News

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 […]

Pope asks Castro for more church freedom, Good Friday holiday

HAVANA (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI spent more than 40 minutes meeting privately with Cuban President Raul Castro and asked the Cuban leader for further freedoms for the Catholic Church in Cuba and attention to certain “humanitarian” situations. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters late March 27 that Cuban President Raul Castro […]

Vatican announces investigations into document leaks

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has established a commission to investigate a series of leaks of letters exchanged among Vatican officials and between the officials and the pope himself. Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Vatican substitute secretary of state, said March 16 that the papal commission would try “to shed light on the whole affair,” […]

Bishops promise to continue ‘vigorous efforts’ against HHS violations of religious freedom in health care reform mandate

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops are strongly united in their ongoing and determined efforts to protect religious freedom, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said in a March 14 statement. The Administrative Committee, chaired by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB, is the highest […]

Retired Bishop Reiss of Trenton, N.J., dies at age 89

TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) — Retired Bishop John C. Reiss of Trenton, who served as auxiliary bishop and bishop in his home diocese, died March 4 at Morris Hall, the diocesan home for the aged in Lawrenceville. He was 89. The eighth ordinary in the diocese’s history, Bishop Reiss served as auxiliary bishop from 1967 to […]

For Cuban-Americans, generational shift parallels changes on island

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CNS) — As Armando Gil departed Havana in 1965, his father’s last words to him, whispered in his ear, were: “Under no circumstances are you to return as long as there is communism in Cuba.” Bound for Mexico, then the United States, Gil was not in the United States a full […]

Gov. Christie vetoes same-sex marriage bill, wants issue put to voters

TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Feb. 17 made good on his pledge to veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage passed by the state Legislature but at the same time said he might name an ombudsman to make sure the state’s current law recognizing civil unions is respected. The state Assembly passed […]

Priest installed as head of new ordinariate during Mass in Houston

HOUSTON (CNS) — With the reading of a papal pronouncement and the presentation of the miter and crosier — symbols of his new pastoral office — Father Jeffrey N. Steenson received the title of “monsignor” and officially became the head of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter at an historic Mass at […]

Blaire: Catholic Church has long sought ‘decent health care for all’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee said that “long before the current battles” over health care reform and the federal contraception mandate, “the Catholic Church was persistently and consistently advocating for this overdue national priority” of universal health care. “Since 1919, the United States Catholic bishops have supported decent […]

Revision of HHS mandate ignores religious liberty concerns, say bishops

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic bishops across the country have expressed their disapproval of President Barack Obama’s newly announced revision to the contraceptive mandate in the health reform law, saying it does nothing to change what they and other religious leaders and organizations consider an intrusion on religious liberty. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius […]