US bishops welcome end of government shutdown

Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2013 / 07:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The end of a two-week shutdown of the federal government was welcomed by both the U.S. bishops and President Barack Obama, both speaking to the harm caused to the American people by the stalemate. “The shutdown has had a widespread impact on many people, especially the poor, who suffered for lack of basic services during the period,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton in an Oct. 17 statement distributed by the U.S. … [Read more...]

Academics call religion vital to a well-functioning society

Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2013 / 05:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Although different belief systems create varying ideas on what's best for a nation, religious freedom is essential for the maintenance of a just and thriving society, academics said at a recent D.C. event. “Instead of treating religious conviction as the problem, we can treat religious traditions as part of the solution,” Kristine Kalanges, law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said at the Oct. 10 panel. If … [Read more...]

Oklahoma City archbishop reveals five-year discipleship plan

Oklahoma City, Okla., Oct 17, 2013 / 04:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an Oct. 7 pastoral letter entitled “Go Make Disciples,” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City offered to the members of his archdiocese a multi-year vision of holiness and mission.“The whole language of discipleship is not something that perhaps has been well understood or very much emphasized, but I think it's something that we really have to latch onto,” the archbishop told CNA Oct. 15 in a … [Read more...]

Springfield diocese offering free legal aid to those in need

Springfield, Ill., Oct 17, 2013 / 02:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An Illinois diocese is launching a volunteer legal services program for the poor in need of legal counsel for civil matters, its bishop announced.“I have seen first-hand how civil legal aid can be a lifeline that enables families to save their home from foreclosure or eviction, recover back wages from an employer, secure disability benefits or provide protection in domestic violence situations,” said Bishop Thomas … [Read more...]

Health and development non-profit expands work to Peru

Phoenix, Ariz., Oct 17, 2013 / 12:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An Arizona-based international development organization has announced its expansion into Peru to help impoverished rural families who live near the famous Incan sanctuary of Machu Picchu.“For the past year, we’ve been looking at South America and planning our expansion,” Tom Egan, president and CEO of Esperança, said Sept. 27. “The need in Peru is great and we’re excited to bring hope to the … [Read more...]

Supreme Court term touches on prayer, religious liberty

Washington D.C., Oct 15, 2013 / 04:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The 2013-2014 Supreme Court term, which began Oct. 7, will address several prominent issues in the public square, including freedom of speech for pro-life demonstrations, prayer in legislative settings, and religious freedom.Limits on pro-life protests outside of abortion clinics are being challenged in the upcoming case “McCullen v. Coakley.” The petitioners argue that a Massachusetts law limiting sidewalk counseling for … [Read more...]

Calif. governor vetoes ‘unfair’ abuse lawsuit bill

Los Angeles, Calif., Oct 15, 2013 / 04:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed more decades-old sexual abuse charges against Catholic schools and other non-profit institutions, while exempting public schools where abuse took place.Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson of Los Angeles, the president of the California Catholic Conference, said the bishops of the state are “grateful” that the bill was vetoed.“It … [Read more...]