Federal appeals court rules Wisconsin abortion law unconstitutional

CHICAGO (CNS) — A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that Wisconsin’s abortion law requiring abortion clinic doctors to have hospital admitting privileges was unconstitutional. In a 2-1 decision Nov. 23, the 7th Circuit in Chicago said the provision of the 2013 law endangered the health…

Climate deal must be transformative, papal envoy tells leaders in Paris

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Heads of state discussing carbon emission limits must create a global and “transformative” agreement built on justice, solidarity and fairness, a papal representative told the U.N. climate conference in Paris. Pope Francis has said “it would be tragic” if special interests “manipulated information” and won out over the common good, Cardinal…

Shooting at Colorado clinic antithesis of pro-life movement, says priest

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CNS) — A priest who celebrates Mass every Friday morning on a sidewalk near the Planned Parenthood clinic targeted by a lone gunman Nov. 27 said the shooter’s actions were the antithesis of the pro-life cause. “We want the conversion of Planned Parenthood, not their destruction,” said Father Bill Carmody, the longtime…

On eve of U.N. climate summit, Catholics join in calls for change

  PARIS (CNS) — Hundreds of thousands of people in at least 150 countries around the world demanded action on climate change on the eve of a U.N. conference that aimed to find agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. Heads of state traveled to Paris for the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 Conference of Parties, or COP21, in…

Pope says he was surprised by crowds, joy in Africa

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM AFRICA (CNS) — Pope Francis told reporters he is well aware that God is a god of surprises, but he had not been prepared for what a surprise his first visit to Africa would be. Obviously tired, but equally content, Pope Francis told reporters he prayed in a mosque in…

Pope in Bangui: Open the doors of mercy, counter violence with love

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service BANGUI, Central African Republic (CNS) — Put down the weapons of war and work for justice, Pope Francis urged the people of the Central African Republic. “Even when the powers of hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons, their heads held high, and be ready to brave…

Honor your martyrs by putting faith into action, pope tells Ugandans

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service KAMPALA, Uganda (CNS) — As Pope Francis encouraged Ugandan Christians to draw inspiration from the 19th-century Ugandan Martyrs, he carried with him graphic images of the horrors the 45 Anglican and Catholic martyrs endured. The pope made an early morning visit Nov. 28 to the Anglican shrine and museum…

Pope ends Kenya visit defending rights of poor, denouncing tribalism

  By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service The wealth of residents of the poorest neighborhoods ringing big cities around the world will never be quoted on the stock exchange, even though their wealth gives life and joy to millions of people, Pope Francis said. The pope began his day Nov. 27 in Nairobi’s Kangemi neighborhood,…

National Geographic magazine’s cover story reveals Mary’s appeal

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Maureen Orth, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine who has written about music icons, world leaders and Hollywood celebrities, tackled a completely different subject for National Geographic magazine: the Virgin Mary. For the magazine’s December cover story, “Mary the most powerful woman in the world,” Orth visited several countries and interviewed…