And, finally: Some New Year’s advice from Pope Francis

In 2014, step outside your comfort zone — get involved Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service The new year will be brighter only if everyone steps outside their safe havens, gets involved and works together to solve local problems with generosity and love, Pope Francis said. As 2013 comes to a…

Resolved: Be a better television watcher in 2014

Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service A new year always brings the opportunity for a fresh start. Resolutions can be a tricky thing because they force us to consider altering long-held behavior patterns, and then make an affirmative choice for the change in behavior when the situation presents itself. Take TV…

Catholic leaders repeated call to Congress to help poor

 Year in Review Looking back at 2013 Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service Fallout from the partial government shutdown in October and another looming round of automatic spending cuts in January kept congressional leaders busy at year’s end to finalize a budget deal Republicans and Democrats could live with. Through a…

Canadian cardinal reconfirmed to lead key bishops’ congregation

Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Catholic News Service Nine months after his election, Pope Francis has reconfirmed Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, seen as one of the most powerful offices of the Roman Curia, and expanded the international membership of the congregation. Among the new members named Dec. 16…

New Mexico court, federal judge in Utah recognize same-sex marriage

Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Catholic News Service A federal judge Dec. 20 struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. A day earlier the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that barring same-sex couples from marrying violates the equal protection clause of that…

Court reverses decision, orders release of Philly priest

Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Catholic News Service A panel of judges for a Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the decision on a priest’s conviction in handling a clerical abuse case and ordered his release from prison. The decision involves Msgr. William Lynn, former secretary for clergy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Msgr. Lynn has served 18…

Christmas kiss

 Jan. 3, 2014, edition CNS photo by Paul Haring Pope Francis kisses a figurine of the baby Jesus after celebrating Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

Here are a few stories already on the horizon for the new year

Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service After a year that included the historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and a series of celebrated innovations by Pope Francis, it is hard to imagine 2014 at the Vatican could be nearly as eventful. Of course, the biggest stories are likely to be…

Pope Francis captures imaginations well beyond the Catholic Church

Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service Less than a year into his pontificate, Pope Francis has become a phenomenon far beyond the Catholic Church. As Time magazine observed in naming him Person of the Year, Pope Francis has captured the imagination of “young and old, faithful and cynical,” by placing himself…

‘Hidden exiles’

Pope Francis reminds: Don’t forget elderly and others treated as a burden in their own families Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Catholic News Service Just as people must never ignore the plight of today’s immigrants and refugees, they must also remember today’s “hidden exiles” — the elderly and other relatives who are abandoned or forgotten…