Pope urges Israeli, Palestinian leaders to end Holy Land hostilities

July 20, 2014 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Expressing his serious concerns over the escalating violence in the Holy Land, Pope Francis telephoned Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, urging all sides to end hostilities and build peace. The morning after Israel launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the pope personally…

Bishops: Bill would infringe on religious liberty

Catholic News Service A Senate bill responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby has the potential to affect “all existing federal protections of conscience and religious freedom” when it comes to health care mandates, said the chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees. In a July 14 letter to U.S. senators,…

Pope prays for victims of downed plane, urges peace in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Though exactly what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 remained unclear, Pope Francis offered prayers for the 298 passengers and crew members who died when it came down in eastern Ukraine. According to Australian news reports, as many as 108 of those who died July 17 were on their way to…

Major crisis: Unaccompanied minors crossing the border

By David Agren Catholic News Service Giovani Melendez, 31, fled the capital city of San Salvador in El Salvador with his family, setting out suddenly on a search for safety in the United States after gangs demanded growing extortion payments he was unable afford. The family — Melendez, his wife, and children, ages 5 and…

Protection urged for migrant children

By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service Petitions and letters to members of Congress and the Obama administration are among the measures being pursued by advocates urging humane treatment of the Central American children who are trying to migrate to the United States. A petition delivered July 10 to members of Congress, President Barack Obama and…

Leading by example:

Pope Francis offers abuse victims an open ear, open heart By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service More than a meeting and homily, Pope Francis laid out a clear road map for the church when he celebrated Mass and welcomed abuse survivors to the Vatican. The morning he dedicated to six men and women who had…

Book tells story of Brothers of St. Pius X religious community

Brother Michael Mandernach, author and last living member of the community, marks 60th jubilee By Kristi Anderson For The Visitor In 1952, a young man from St. Martin packed his bags and left his family farm after reading an ad in the local Catholic newspaper that was recruiting members for a new diocesan order in…

Hobby Lobby and ENDA

July 17, 2014 By Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop William Lori, Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Richard J. Malone  The Washington Post reported July 8 that the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups were no longer supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The reason, said the executive director of one of the lead organizations: the…

Votes fall short to move Senate bill forward in response to Hobby Lobby

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Senate July 16 voted to block consideration of a bill aimed at reversing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and forcing businesses to provide contraceptive coverage for employees even if they object to it on religious grounds. Known as the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference…