7 encyclicals that shook the church

July 19, 2013, edition By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), released July 5, is the latest installment in a centuries’ old papal tradition. An encyclical is considered the most authoritative form of papal writing, and though many examples are now remembered only by scholars,…

In his first encyclical, Pope Francis celebrates faith as the light 
of human life

July 19, 2013, edition Catholic News Service By Francis X. Rocca Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence,” including philosophy…

Francis’ first encyclical shows continuity of papacies

July 19, 2013, edition By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service Presenting Pope Francis’ new encyclical and acknowledging how much of it was prepared by retired Pope Benedict XVI, top Vatican officials hailed it as a unique expression of the development of papal teaching and unity in faith. “It is a fortunate coincidence that this text…

Artists’ work puts human faces on complexities of the border

July 19, 2013, edition By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service St. Thomas More Newman Center’s walls, halls and even the water fountain in the lobby were decked out in a wide variety of artwork and found items, displayed artistically. But it was the rows of unmatched shoes that told the simplest story. Bedraggled sneakers, boots…

Pope Francis says Benedict’s conscience told him to resign

July 5, 2013, edition Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was “a great example” of what it means to follow one’s conscience through prayer, Pope Francis said during his Sunday Angelus address June 30 to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Following one’s conscience doesn’t mean chasing after one’s own self-interests; it calls for listening to God,…

Federal appeals court finds merit in Hobby Lobby challenge of mandate

July 5, 2013, edition By Catholic News Service In a June 27 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver reversed a decision of the lower court in Hobby Lobby’s challenge to a federal contraceptive mandate, saying that the chain of arts-and-crafts stores will not have to pay fines while its…

‘Buffer zone’ case going to high court

Pro-lifers challenging Massachusetts law that keeps them distant from abortion clinics feel they’ll prevail July 5, 2013, edition By Tanya Connor Catholic News Service Two Worcester sidewalk counselors are among seven plaintiffs in the “buffer zone” lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear during its next term. The court announced June 24 that it…

Supreme Court’s rulings called ‘tragic day for marriage’

July 5, 2013, edition By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service U.S. Catholic bishops said the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 rulings on same-sex marriage were a “tragic day for marriage and our nation.” The court, in separate 5-4 rulings struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defining marriage as between one man…

U.S. bishops want to give ‘careful analysis’ to HHS final rules

July 5, 2013, edition By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service The final rules issued June 28 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implementing its mandate that employers provide coverage of contraceptives “will require more careful analysis,” New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said in a statement. The cardinal, president of the U.S….