Toronto, Ottawa prelates call faithful to action against euthanasia

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — The Catholic archbishops in two of Canada’s largest English-speaking dioceses stepped up their campaign against euthanasia and assisted suicide, calling the faithful to action. Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa issued pastoral letters read in parishes during Masses over the March 5-6 weekend, reported Canadian Catholic…

Former first lady Nancy Reagan dies; anti-drug effort a signature cause

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Nancy Reagan, who became first lady of the United States in January 1981 following husband Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 presidential election, made her anti-drug campaign a signature effort of her eight-year tenure as first lady. Reagan, 94, died March 6 in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. Her body…

Vatican statistics report increase in baptized Catholics worldwide

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The number of baptized Catholics worldwide has grown at a faster rate than that of the world’s population, according to Vatican statistics. Although the number of priests has increased globally, the number has decreased slightly in Europe and Oceania, according to the Vatican’s Central Office for Church Statistics. The figures are…

Notre Dame to honor Biden and Boehner with 2016 Laetare Medal

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) — With public confidence in government “at historic lows” and cynicism “high,” the University of Notre Dame will present its 2016 Laetare Medal to two public servants known for “their leadership, civility and dedication to our nation,” the university’s president announced. Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House…

Vatican announces consistory to approve canonization of Mother Teresa

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will preside over a consistory to approve the canonization of five men and women, including Women religious celebrate Mass in front of the tomb of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata in this Dec. 18, 2015, file photo from India. (CNS photo/Piyal Adhikary, EPA), the Vatican announced. The March 15 consistory…

Divided court examines ‘undue burden’ test in abortion case

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into some contentious waters March 2 when it heard oral arguments on abortion for the first time in nearly a decade and almost 25 years since it issued a major ruling on abortion. But even though some time has gone by, the court’s 1992 ruling in Planned…

Committee calls attacks on Christians, others in Middle East ‘genocide’

Catholic News Service The House Foreign Affairs Committee March 2 unanimously passed a bipartisan measure condemning as genocide the killing of Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities by Islamic State militants in the Middle East. The House body also passed a second measure unanimously calling for an international tribunal to hold the Syrian…

Four Missionaries of Charity reported killed in Yemen

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service Four Missionaries of Charity and 10 to 12 other people were killed March 4 after uniformed gunmen entered a home the sisters operate for the elderly and disabled in Aden, Yemen. Several news outlets reported 16 people were killed, including patients. The superior of the Missionaries of Charity at…

Sin makes us blind, but confession heals, pope says

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service Exercise a little courage and go to confession, turn away from selfishness and sin and back to God during the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis urged people at a Lenten penance service. “When our desire to be healed becomes more courageous, it leads to prayer, to crying out fervently…