Category: National and International

Virginia bishop says racist photo another assault on human dignity

ARLINGTON, Va. | Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge called on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Feb. 2 “to do what is best to restore the trust and confidence of the people in our leaders” after a racist photo from the governor’s 1984 medical school yearbook emerged a day earlier. “In recent days, the commonwealth of Virginia… Read more »

Canon law examined in wake of push for excommunication over abortion

WASHINGTON | On Jan. 22, the New York Statehouse burst into cheers after a landmark abortion bill had been passed. The Reproductive Health Act, or RHA, most notably removed abortion from New York’s criminal code and now permits abortions with very few restrictions at any week of a pregnancy. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had… Read more »

Church must take clerical abuse of women seriously, editor says

VATICAN CITY | The Catholic Church has been too slow coming to terms with the sexual abuse of women — particularly women religious — by priests, said the editor of the Vatican newspaper’s women’s magazine. Although scandalous, the delay in recognizing the problem is not surprising for an “ecclesiastical institution with centuries of culture focused… Read more »

USCCB domestic policy chair sees hope in bipartisan carbon pricing bill

WASHINGTON | The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said a new carbon pricing bill introduced Jan. 24 in Congress is a “hopeful sign” that “climate change is beginning to be seen as a crucial moral issue, one that concerns all people.” Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida,… Read more »

Supreme Court asked to put Louisiana abortion law on hold

WASHINGTON | The U.S. Supreme Court received an emergency request in late January to put on hold a Louisiana restriction on abortion providers. The law, set to go into effect Feb. 4, requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles radius of their clinic. It sounds familiar because… Read more »

Like Mary, be ‘influencers’ for God, pope urges at World Youth Day vigil

PANAMA CITY | Although Mary would not be considered an “influencer,” like many social media personalities, she still became the most influential woman in history by trusting “in the love and promises of God, the only force capable of making all things new,” Pope Francis told young people at the World Youth Day prayer vigil… Read more »

During Arctic blast, Catholic service agencies extend services, hours

WASHINGTON | The deep freeze that plunged much of the Upper Midwest into historic and dangerously low temperatures was a matter of life and death for many of the area’s homeless at risk of frostbite or hypothermia. In Chicago, temperatures dipped to nearly a record low Jan. 31 at minus 21, with a wind chill… Read more »

Church leaders call Philippine church attack ‘heinous and evil’ terrorism

MANILA, Philippines | Church leaders condemned bomb explosions that killed at least 20 people and injured about 100 others inside a Catholic church in the southern Philippines Jan. 27. They called the attack a “heinous and evil” act of terrorism. Ucanews.com reported the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred during Mass… Read more »

Survey assesses views of bishops, diaconate directors on women deacons

WASHINGTON | Should the Vatican permit the ordination of women as deacons — a topic that has been studied by a papal commission — a majority of U.S. bishops surveyed said they would expect the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to pave the way to implement it. There was, though, only a minority of U.S…. Read more »

Keep God’s love alive, pope tells young people at World Youth Day

PANAMA CITY | Young men and women in the church can bring the joy of the Gospel to the world by showing that God’s love extends to all people and excludes no one, Pope Francis said. “By your actions and your approach, your way of looking at things, your desires and above all your sensitivity,… Read more »