National News

Archbishop Chaput asks Catholics to make opposition to HHS mandate known

"The HHS mandate is not simply 'bad' social policy, but precedent-setting in its disregard for conscience rights. There is no reasonable defense for a coercive approach to contraception in health insurance coverage, and Catholics need to make their opposition known firmly and immediately to the Department of Health and Human Services." -- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia and Chairman of the PCC

Press conference highlights pro life call to action

A press conference was held today at the Capitol in Harrisburg in support of pro-life legislation. In attendance were over 35 legislators as well as various leaders of pro-life constituencies. Francis Viglietta, director of social concerns for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, said, “the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference applauds the many House and Senate pro-life legislators from both parties who are committed to advancing legislation to provide additional protections for women and unborn children. Our conference shares this goal and welcomes the opportunity to help accomplish it.”

‘God has given you a mission,’ Archbishop tells state legislators in Harrisburg

As the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania gathered at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg Sept. 27 to concelebrate Mass for those who serve in public office, Archbishop Charles Chaput told Catholic elected officials that God has given them a mission. “To be a politician is to have a mission. It’s a noble vocation to be a leader in the community, to help draw the community into a deep commitment to the dignity of every individual and profound respect for the common good of everyone,” he said in his homily.

Bishops aim to mobilize Catholics to guard consciences on contraception

The U.S. bishops are working to mobilize Catholics across the country to tell the Obama administration that contraception and sterilization do not constitute preventive care for women and must not be mandated as part of health reform. Through a new website at, the bishops hope to generate thousands of comments to the Department of Health and Human Services about its Aug. 1 proposal that would require nearly all employers to provide sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including some that can cause an abortion, at no cost to women covered by their health insurance plans.

Fight against federal law will undermine marriage, says Archbishop Dolan

New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, told President Barack Obama in a Sept. 20 letter that his administration's fight against the Defense of Marriage Act will undermine marriage and create a serious breach of church-state relations.

Catholic, other groups mourn executions of Georgia, Texas inmates

Catholic and other groups mourned the executions Sept. 21 of Troy Davis in Georgia and of Lawrence Brewer in Texas.

In land of Martin Luther, Pope prays for Christian unity

Visiting the land of Martin Luther, Pope Benedict XVI prayed for Christian unity and told Lutheran leaders that both secularization and Christian fundamentalism pose challenges to ecumenism today. "God is increasingly being driven out of our society, and the history of revelation that Scripture recounts to us seems locked into an ever remote past. Are we to yield to the pressure of secularization and become modern by watering down the faith?" the Pope said in a meeting Sept. 23 with 15 representatives of the German Evangelical Church Council.

Cardinal urges theologians to teach faith to ‘famished’ young adults

While acknowledging that their primary job is not catechesis, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo urged young theologians to help educate their fellow young adults who are "hungry, starving for the word of God."

Knights of Holy Sepulcher welcome Archbishop O’Brien in ceremony

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Officials at the Vatican headquarters of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem welcomed U.S. Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien as their new pro-grand master. Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, the assessor of the chivalric organization, placed a gold chain and pendant around Archbishop O'Brien's neck and told him his new role "is like a chain that ties him to the Holy Land" and to the knightly order of the Holy Sepulcher.

New poverty figures show Hispanics, children especially hard hit

As the median U.S. household income declined, more Americans dropped below the poverty line, with Hispanics and children taking a particularly hard hit, according to statistics released Sept. 13 by the U.S. Census Bureau.