CNS/Nancy Wiechec Members of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart pray in their motherhouse chapel in Fushun, China, in this 2007 file photo. Catholic female religious orders have expanded rapidly in China over the past decade, but are now facing restrictions and a fall in vocations, according to nuns from various parts of the country.
KONSTANCIN-JEZIORNA, Poland — Catholic female religious orders have expanded rapidly in China over the past decade, but are now facing restrictions and a decrease in vocations, said religious sisters from various parts of China.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston asked for prayers for the families of those killed as well as for those whose homes were destroyed in what officials called a 1,000-year storm that brought extreme rains that deluged South Carolina.
PHILADELPHIA — Cathy and Tony Witczak of St. Isaac Jogues Parish, in Wayne, Pennsylvania, were taken by surprise when they were notified Pope Francis had invited them to participate as observers at the Synod of Bishops on the family meeting in Rome through Oct. 26.
SACRAMENTO — Terminally ill patients in the state of California who wish to have physicians hasten their deaths with lethal doses of drugs may now do so after Gov. Jerry Brown today signed a measure legally allowing physician-assisted suicide.
ST. LOUIS — Several critics have called the Missouri attorney general's new report on Planned Parenthood in St. Louis incomplete, saying it raises questions about how state law holds the abortion provider accountable for its handling of human remains from abortions.
VATICAN CITY — The world Synod of Bishops on the family is not a parliament where participants will negotiate or lobby, Pope Francis said, but it must be a place of prayer where bishops speak with courage and open themselves to "God who always surprises us."
VATICAN CITY — Indifference to the crises and tragedies today's migrants and refugees are facing lead to complicity when people remain silent or refuse to act, Pope Francis said. Thursday, October 1, 2015
PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia will be "the city of family love" and the "world capital of families" during the four-day World Meeting of Families, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The largest-ever World Meeting of Families opened in Philadelphia Sept. 22. More than 17,500 participants from more than 100 countries registered for the four-day congress, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.
VATICAN CITY — Millions of Iraqis and Syrians are facing poverty and even death, neighboring countries are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of helping refugees, arms dealers are getting richer and the international community seems helpless, Pope Francis said.
BALTIMORE — Pope Francis’ Sept. 1 announcement that priests worldwide will be able to absolve women for the sin of abortion will have little effect on pastoral practices in the United States and Canada, where most priests already have such authority in the sacrament of reconciliation. Tuesday, September 8, 2015
MANCHESTER, England — Britain's most senior Catholic and Jewish leaders have expressed hope that their good relations may inspire greater tolerance of religious minorities facing harassment and persecution. Friday, September 4, 2015
SANTA FE, N.M. — The Catholic bishops of New Mexico in a joint statement welcomed a ruling by the state's Court of Appeals that reversed a lower court's approval of physician-assisted suicide. Tuesday, August 18, 2015
WASHINGTON — The Catholic Legal Immigration Network and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas decried the Obama administration's effort to have a judge set aside her orders for the release of families being held in immigration detention centers.
JAMAICA, N.Y. — The first Steubenville Youth Conference to be held in New York drew 1,800 teenagers from around the country Aug. 7-9 to St. John's University in Jamaica in the New York borough of Queens.
WASHINGTON — The Catholic Church's strong stance against pornography is based on church teaching that the human body should be respected and every person has a God-given dignity. But the fight against pornography is not unique to religious organizations. "This is not a moral issue. We now have science to back this up," said Dawn Hawkins, vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
WASHINGTON — Pornography is sexualizing the innocence of the nation's young children, causing a race to adulthood before the end of childhood. Young girls are being bombarded with photo-shopped images and are buying into unrealistic expectations set before them at an age meant for skinned knees and the Disney Channel.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled July 24 that the government's immigrant family detention system violates a settlement agreement dating to 1997 over how juveniles in the custody of the immigration agency are treated.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals July 23 reversed a lower court ruling that had granted some pro-life pharmacists at a Ralph's grocery store pharmacy in Washington state the right on religious grounds to refuse to stock emergency contraception or fill such prescriptions. Monday, July 27, 2015
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker July 20 signed a bill into law that would prohibit all Wisconsin abortions at or beyond the 20-week gestation mark, making an exception only for medical emergencies.
DENVER — In a July 23 filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Little Sisters of the Poor have asked the court for relief from being forced to comply with the federal contraceptive mandate or face heavy fines.
ROME — Elections, like profit reports, have regular short-term rhythms, which is why Pope Francis' encyclical letter on the environment was so "appropriate and absolutely essential" for waking people up to the dangers of climate change, said California Gov. Jerry Brown.
DENVER — The Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious entities are not substantially burdened by procedures set out by the federal government by which they can avoid a requirement to provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled July 14.
TORONTO — California Gov. Jerry Brown, in Toronto for the Climate Summit of the Americas, said he is traveling with a copy of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical "Laudato Si'" and "going through it carefully."
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis' address to a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24 will be broadcast live to members of the public on the West Front of the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner announced July 8.
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Camillian Father Mateo Bautista Garcia plans to push his palms outward when Pope Francis passes by so the pontiff can read his political protest written with a marker: "10 percent."
SAN ANTONIO — Five centuries-old Spanish missions in Texas newly declared as World Heritage Sites by a U.N. agency "have helped to shape the face of San Antonio," said Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A new Florida law establishing a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion has not gone into effect, after a July 2 ruling lifted the stay on a June 30 injunction that had put the law on hold.
DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Catholic leaders, interfaith leaders, clean energy advocates and others encouraged Iowans to take action in light of Pope Francis' historic encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home."
LA PAZ, Bolivia — Jesuit Father Luis Espinal was returning from a movie in March 1980 when he was intercepted, tortured and killed. His remains were found in a landfill. Paramilitaries were blamed for his death. Outrage ensued, with an estimated 70,000 Bolivians attending his burial in La Paz.
WASHINGTON — Witnesses at a Capitol Hill hearing urged Congress to pass a reauthorization measure that would keep funding going for transplant programs that use adult stem cells from bone marrow and cord blood to treat diseases and for continued research.
OKLAHOMA CITY — By ordering the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol grounds, the Oklahoma Supreme Court is ignoring the historical significance of the moral code "in the formation of our state," said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley.
WASHINGTON — Religious freedom is "the human right that guarantees all other rights," Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski said July 4 in his homily at the closing Mass of the U.S. bishops' fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom.
PHILADELPHIA — The first stop for Pope Francis when he visits Philadelphia the morning of Sept. 26 will be the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul to celebrate a special Mass for the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A Dominican Republic court decision rescinding the citizenship of Haitians born in that country "has caused a moral and civil outcry against this seemingly unjust law," Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said at a special Mass.
NEW YORK — A June 29 prayer service at Holy Family Church in New York City not only recalled the sacrifices of African martyrs in church history but also paid tribute to those who have died recently for their faith.
NEW YORK — The 30 hours or so Pope Francis will spend in New York in September will be relatively brief, but "his presence here among us will have a profound and lasting impact on all New Yorkers, said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan.
WASHINGTON — In a June 29 order, the Supreme Court continued to shield several Pennsylvania religious institutions from having to provide employees with health care coverage that includes contraceptives.
BALTIMORE — Archbishop William Lori reminded those gathered for Mass June 21 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore that when it comes to religious freedom, American Catholics and Christians worldwide are in the same "boat."
JERUSALEM — The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land issued a strong condemnation against an early morning arson attack on the Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee on June 18.
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Finally, “Baby Francis” is resting in peace. In a simple, but dignified ceremony June 10 in a section of Gate of Heaven Cemetery set aside for the repose of babies, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence presided over a Christian burial service for the unborn child he named “Francis,” fulfilling a commitment he made to officials five months ago after a fetus was found floating amid the sewage at a nearby wastewater treatment facility.