Dioceses solicit Catholics’ answers to key questions

Survey taking in the U.S. and around the world part of preparation for extraordinary synod on the family Dec. 6, 2013, edition By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service In the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., Catholics are being encouraged to do a little studying about church teaching and then weigh in on the preparation material for…

Bishops sued over abortion stand

Lawsuit charges that USCCB health care directives led to negligent care of Michigan woman Dec. 6, 2013, edition By Catholic News Service Lawyers for a woman who claims she suffered a miscarriage because of the way a Michigan Catholic hospital handled her case have filed suit on her behalf against the U.S. Conference of Catholic…

Wall Street vs. Main Street:

Pope Francis’ words on the economy stir controversy Dec. 6, 2013, edition By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service In enunciating the principles of Catholic social teaching, popes have long stressed the church’s special concern for the poor and the need for state intervention to promote economic justice. Pope Benedict XVI, for instance, blamed the…

Pope Francis’ first apostolic exhortation coming Nov. 26

The Vatican will publish Pope Francis’ first apostolic exhortation Nov. 26, two days after he formally delivers it to the church at a Mass concluding the 2012-13 Year of Faith. “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) is expected to take into account the October 2012 synod on the new evangelization, held at the beginning…

Now-overturned abortion law aimed at protecting women, archbishop says

Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley called it “gravely disappointing” the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a challenge to a ruling that overturned an Oklahoma law requiring women who seek an abortion to get an ultrasound. By declining to hear the appeal, the high court “declined to support a law that would assist and…

‘Bishop Bling’ pays perjury fine

The so-called “luxury bishop” or “Bishop Bling” of Limburg, Germany, agreed to pay a fine of 20,000 euros rather than contest charges that he perjured himself before the Hamburg District Court. The court press office announced Nov. 18 that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had paid the fine, which is about $27,000. Hamburg prosecutors had charged…

Youngest typhoon victims make appeals

Filipino children stand along a road with signs urging passing aid trucks to stop in the village of Mercedes near the coastal town of Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 20. Philippine authorities, the U.S. military and international agencies face a mounting humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 4 million people displaced by Typhoon Haiyan when it came ashore…

Outside firm to review files of clergy in the archdiocese

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has hired the Los Angeles-based firm of Kinsale Management Consulting to review clergy files as part of an archdiocesan plan to take a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of clergy sexual misconduct. Kinsale Management, which provides consulting services for executives in businesses, is headed by its founding…

Religious rights law being tested in ways not foreseen

The Supreme Court Nov. 26 will consider whether to accept one or more of four cases it’s being asked to review that deal with faith-based objections to provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Part of what’s at stake is a couple of centuries’ worth of history for the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment,…

Newly elected USCCB president says he is rooted in simple values

Nov. 22, 2013, edition By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service The newly elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been a bishop for nearly 14 years, but it’s as priest, family member and social worker that he describes himself. By way of introduction to American Catholics, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville,…