DC health plans accused of illegally funding abortion

Washington D.C., Dec 7, 2013 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Obama administration is being accused of violating federal law by directing members of Congress and congressional staff to over 100 health insurance plans that pay for elective abortions. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said the abortion-providing health care plans show that President Obama’s 2010 health care legislation is an “abortion mandate” that “violates federal law and makes taxpayers complicit in the … [Read more...]

Jesuit theologian remembered for scholarship, joyfulness

St. Louis, Mo., Dec 6, 2013 / 04:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic theologian and professor Father Edward T. Oakes, S.J. died in St. Louis Dec. 6, prompting his colleagues to remember his work in Christology, his wit, and his lasting effect on students. “Fr. Oakes was a unique scholar, largely because of his Jesuit background in Classics, where he was able to really do theology within the full richness and the full texture of the Western intellectual tradition,” Fr. Thomas Baima, … [Read more...]

Over 10,000 youth to send birthday card to Pope Francis

Steubenville, Ohio, Dec 6, 2013 / 02:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 10,000 young people have signed a giant birthday card for Pope Francis, offering their prayers and well-wishes for the Holy Father’s 77th birthday on Dec. 17. “We wanted to give the Pope a gift he would truly appreciate; something he would be proud of,” said Mark Nelson, founder of Catholic to the Max, the Ohio-based arts and gifts outlet company behind the initiative. The 4-foot-tall card consists of … [Read more...]

Amid persecution, Christianity growing in ‘Global South’

Washington D.C., Dec 5, 2013 / 05:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Researchers say the Christian population is growing in regions that experience anti-Christian persecution, though this threatens their ability to contribute to societies. “Persecution is growing because Christianity is growing in the places where people are persecuted,” said Todd Johnson of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Speaking during a Dec. 5 media call, he … [Read more...]

Group aims to ease US water poverty with Advent campaign

Smith Lake, N.M., Dec 5, 2013 / 03:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A human rights organization is teaming up with a Catholic mission this Advent to help offer free, clean water to an area of the world that often gets overlooked when fighting water poverty: the United States. “As a Roman Catholic myself and as a human rights organization, we really try to seek out these marginalized populations that just don’t have a voice,” said George McGraw, founder and executive director of … [Read more...]

Notre Dame, FOCUS lawsuits challenge contraception mandate

South Bend, Ind., Dec 5, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA).- Lawsuits from the University of Notre Dame and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students are challenging the HHS mandate for forcing them to violate Catholic teaching or face crippling fines. Notre Dame's president Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said the university's lawsuit is about the freedom to “live out a religious mission” with broader significance than a debate about contraception. “For if we concede … [Read more...]

‘No sense’ in ACLU suit against bishops, law professor says

Washington D.C., Dec 4, 2013 / 04:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A lawsuit against the U.S. bishops for teaching Catholic hospitals not to perform direct abortions ignores religious freedom protections and laws, a legal expert has said. “The ACLU’s idea that the courts should hold religious institutions liable for their religious teachings on abortion makes no sense,” Professor Mark Rienzi of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law said Dec. 4. He … [Read more...]