Plan to close detention center leaves unanswered questions for advocates

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As President Barack Obama offered a long-awaited plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, organizations advocating for the closure welcomed the news and called for an end of the policy of holding remaining detainees without charges. Keeping the detention center open and holding some detainees without charges for more…

Lawmakers’ action on guns less swift and sure than the president’s

WASHINGTON (CNS) — When President Barack Obama unveiled a series of executive orders Jan. 5 intended to make a dent in gun violence in the United States, people reacted. And how. “Thank God that someone finally has the courage to close the loopholes in our pitiful gun control laws to reduce the number of mass…

Catholic schools give high marks to sweeping new federal education law

WASHINGTON (CNS) — When President Barack Obama signed the sweeping bipartisan legislation Every Student Succeeds Act Dec. 10, he described it as a “Christmas miracle.” “This is an early Christmas present. After more than 10 years, members of Congress from both parties have come together to revise our national education law,” he said. The other…

Some believe Keystone pipeline through country’s midsection is not dead yet

WASHINGTON (CNS) — President Barack Obama may have denied the permit for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Alberta in western Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, but Nebraskans Susan and Jim Dunavan aren’t so sure the $8-billion project is dead yet. TransCanada, the Calgary, Alberta-based company building the…

At White House, hours in line for brief welcoming ceremony

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The 11,000 ticketed guests and a cast of hundreds extra — military units, musicians and federal employees — who waited on the White House lawn to greet Pope Francis Sept. 23 were clearly there as fans of the visiting pope. As the sun rose over a spectacularly blue September sky, a cross…

Vatican spokesman declines to speculate on what pope will say in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Despite repeated questions from journalists on what Pope Francis will say to President Barack Obama, a joint meeting of Congress and the United Nations on any range of potential subjects, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi advised everyone to wait and listen for themselves. During a Sept. 22 news conference in Washington…

Obama in CHA address thanks organization for supporting health care law

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Telling the Catholic Health Association that he was there to say thank you, President Barack Obama June 9 recalled the struggles of passing the Affordable Care Act and ticked off the successes since it became law five years ago. “Every one of these stories touched me,” Obama said of those without affordable…

Priest tells Obama about Cuban exiles’ suffering, longing for freedom

MIAMI (CNS) — The priest prayed an Our Father. The president lit a candle. And while gazing together at a revered image of Cuba’s patroness, the priest reminded the president of the suffering of Cuba’s people. “Only in the United States that’s possible,” said Father Juan Rumin Dominguez, rector of the National Shrine of Our…

Refocus attention on poverty, Obama says at Georgetown summit

WASHINGTON (CNS) — President Barack Obama, a late addition to a Catholic-evangelical summit at Georgetown University on overcoming poverty, said events like those in Ferguson, Missouri, and in Baltimore demonstrate a need to “refocus attention on poverty.” Obama, speaking May 12, said, “We have been stuck, I think for a long time, in a debate…