Bishops say mandate still threatens religious liberty

Washington D.C., Mar 21, 2013 / 05:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite proposals to modify the federal contraception mandate, the U.S. bishops said that the regulation is still unacceptable due to its narrow view of religion and resulting violations of religious liberty.   “The identity of the person or group having the religious freedom objection should not matter; what should matter instead is whether the person or group faces government coercion to violate conscience,” said a … [Read more...]

Priest kidnapped in Argentina clears Pope of accusations

CNA STAFF, Mar 21, 2013 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- Clarifying previous comments, a priest who was kidnapped during Argentina’s dictatorship in the 1970s is emphasizing that Pope Francis was not responsible for his detainment. In a statement published on the official website of the Jesuit order in Germany, Father Francisco Jalics said that while he once believed his 1976 kidnapping was due to a denunciation by then-Father Bergoglio, he realized some 20 years ago that this belief was … [Read more...]

Pope calls Argentine kiosk owner to cancel paper delivery

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mar 21, 2013 / 12:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis surprised the owner of a kiosk in Buenos Aires with a telephone call to send his greetings and explain that he will no longer need a morning paper delivered each day. Around 1:30 p.m. local time on March 18, Daniel Del Regno, the kiosk owner’s son, answered the phone and heard a voice say, “Hi Daniel, it’s Cardinal Jorge.” He thought that maybe a friend who knew that the former … [Read more...]

Pope to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at youth prison

Vatican City, Mar 21, 2013 / 09:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a youth detention center rather than the traditional Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Vatican says. On March 28, Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will celebrate the Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning, but then go to the Casal del Marmo youth detention center rather than the Basilica of St. John Lateran. This tradition is one that new pontiff has … [Read more...]

Maryland Catholics call death penalty repeal a pro-life win

Annapolis, Md., Mar 21, 2013 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Catholics in Maryland are welcoming the repeal of the death penalty in the state as a step towards a culture of life that respects the dignity of all human persons, from conception to natural death. “As Catholics we recognize the intrinsic dignity of every human life, said Linda Brenegan, respect life program director for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. “Repealing the death penalty acknowledges in law that value (of every human life) … [Read more...]

Bishop denounces health network’s compliance with mandate

Sioux Falls, S.D., Mar 21, 2013 / 02:03 am (CNA).- The bishop of a South Dakota diocese has spoken out after a Catholic health care provider made the decision to comply with the federal contraception mandate without seeking diocesan counsel or authorization. Jerry Klein, delegate for social outreach for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, told CNA on March 19 that “there is a continued dialogue between the diocese and Avera” Catholic health care systems, but that a response from the health … [Read more...]

Poll shows most American Catholics happy with Pope Francis

Washington D.C., Mar 21, 2013 / 12:02 am (CNA).- A new survey shows that U.S. Catholics are overwhelmingly content with the election of Pope Francis, with 73 percent of Catholics expressing happiness with the new pontiff. The poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center less than a week after the Pope's March 13 election, also reports a subset of 31 percent of Catholics who say they are very happy with his election. Though reported happiness was high, about 24 percent of Catholic … [Read more...]