Pope approves synod members elected by U.S. bishops, other conferences

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis formally approved the delegates to October’s synod on the family elected by 28 bishops’ conferences, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; other conferences have yet to elect their delegates or have done so only recently. The pope approved the U.S. bishops’ election of: Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of…

Congress urged to act on poverty, conscience protection, online access

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In two letters to members of Congress, the chairmen of four committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged action to protect the poor and to enact conscience protections for medical workers and insurers. A third letter by the chairmen of two other committees encouraged the chairman of the Federal Communications…

USCCB secretary sees successes from bishops’ planning process

BALTIMORE (CNS) — A myriad of activities revolving around four key goals of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is an indication that “the conference planning process is working quite well,” according to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, USCCB secretary and chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans. The four priorities chosen by…

Bishops reminded of role as pastors to Christ’s family — the church

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The role of Catholic bishops is to accompany their family of the church through their fears and concerns, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Nov. 10. In his first presidential address since his election last November, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz told his brother bishops gathered in Baltimore for…

Liturgical items top agenda at USCCB general meeting in Baltimore

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Liturgical matters will take center stage on the agenda of action items at the fall general meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to be held Nov. 10-13 in Baltimore. There will be five liturgical items up for consideration. All are subject to amendments from bishops. All but one require approval…

New rules to opt out of HHS mandate still unsatisfactory, says USCCB

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Oct. 8 urged the federal government “to reconsider” its new rules to allow religious institutions — and potentially some for-profit companies — to opt out of the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act. On Aug. 22, the Obama administration issued rules it described as a…

CCHD grants foster hope, help people help themselves

By Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully The Visitor In the fall of 2012, a professor, a machinist union steward, an advocate for immigrants and a couple of employees approached the owners of a restaurant in St. Cloud. The owners had not given the employees the wages they had been promised, so the group banded together to request that…