Contraception mandate kicks in for wave of employers

Washington D.C., Jan 3, 2013 / 06:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The battle over religious freedom is intensifying as the controversial federal contraception mandate goes into effect for many for-profit employers at the start of the New Year. “We shouldn’t have to give up our First Amendment rights to make a living,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor for The Catholic Association, which seeks to bring a faithful Catholic voice to the public square. Ferguson told CNA on … [Read more...]

Catholic dorms to debut at two secular universities

Dallas, Texas, Jan 3, 2013 / 04:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Newman Student Housing Fund is working to establish faith-based dormitories on two college campuses, housing students starting the fall semester of 2013. “What makes them work is the community,” Matt Zerrusen, president of Newman Student Housing Fund, told CNA Jan. 2. “We're just putting people together in a dorm who are faith-based, and want to keep their faith through college,” he added, and … [Read more...]

Venezuelan cardinal urges calm amid President Chavez’s health concerns

Caracas, Venezuela, Jan 3, 2013 / 12:03 pm (CNA).- A Venezuelan cardinal has called on locals to remain calm despite the uncertainty surrounding the health of President Hugo Chavez, who is hospitalized in Cuba after undergoing surgery for cancer. According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Chavez is in an induced coma and could be disconnected from artificial life support “at any moment.” The newspaper reported that Chavez’s cancer has spread to his entire body and that his … [Read more...]

Pope chooses new auxiliary bishop for Atlanta

Atlanta, Ga., Jan 3, 2013 / 10:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI has named Atlanta priest Monsignor David P. Talley, a convert to Catholicism, as the newest auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory said Jan. 3 that he announced the appointment “with great joy.” “The Holy Father has selected a wonderful member of this zealous local presbyterate for the episcopacy and I know that he will bring all of his many gifts and … [Read more...]

Chicago bishops: ‘gay marriage’ will have consequences for Illinois

Chicago, Ill., Jan 3, 2013 / 04:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Francis George and the six auxiliary bishops of Chicago have warned that a proposal to recognize “gay marriage” in Illinois is against the common good and will force Illinoisans to “pretend to accept something that is contrary to the common sense of the human race.” “Civil laws that establish ‘same-sex marriage’ create a legal fiction. The state has no power to create something that … [Read more...]

Bishops call for cultural changes after Newtown shooting

Newtown, Conn., Jan 3, 2013 / 02:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Disturbing trends of violence in society should prompt both policy examinations and cultural changes, said committee leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It is time for our nation to renew a culture of life in our society,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The prelates, who lead the U.S. … [Read more...]

Philippines Catholics pledge to defeat backers of RH bill

Manila, Philippines, Jan 3, 2013 / 12:04 am (CNA).- Philippines Catholics have strongly criticized President Benigno Aquino III for signing a controversial “reproductive health” bill, vowing to oust supporters of the legislation in the country's 2013 elections.   “We will exhaust all legal remedies to fight this unjust, unethical and anti-poor and anti-life law,” said Dr. Ricardo Boncan, a spokesman for the Catholic Vote Philippines alliance. He said the … [Read more...]

Iranian pastor’s Christmas arrest worries religious liberty advocates

Tehran, Iran, Jan 2, 2013 / 06:15 pm (CNA).- A Christian pastor who spent nearly three years in an Iranian prison for his religious conversion was reportedly arrested again on Christmas Day, contrary to a previous agreement. “Iran has historically cracked down on the Christian community over the Christmas season; this year was no exception,” said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director at the American Center for Law and Justice, which has been monitoring the case of Pastor … [Read more...]

Pope appoints Boston priest as Vatican’s abuse investigator

Vatican City, Jan 2, 2013 / 04:50 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI has named Boston priest Father Robert W. Oliver as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s promoter of justice, the “chief prosecutor” at the office responsible for promoting and safeguarding Catholic doctrine and morals. “It is with deep humility and gratitude that I received the news that the Holy Father is entrusting me with this service to the Church,” Fr. Oliver said Dec. 22. … [Read more...]

Hobby Lobby braces for millions in mandate fines

Washington D.C., Jan 2, 2013 / 01:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby says it is willing to pay fines of $1.3 million per day to follow its owners’ religious beliefs, which conflict with the federal mandate that requires coverage of abortion-inducing drugs. “The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby in … [Read more...]