(RNS) A group of leading Catholic activists and academics has renewed its criticisms of Catholic University of America over a large gift from the billionaire industrialist and conservative funder Charles Koch, and over statements that seemed to endorse Koch’s stands against climate change and the right of public workers to unionize.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Institutions — both secular and “religious institutions,” as well as “religious organizations” — do not have the right to claim “consciences” in order to trample on the conscience rights that properly belong to their employees.
(RNS) If ministries don’t comply with the government’s contraception mandate, the financial penalties will mean that some ministries may have to close their doors. As that happens, the poor and those who serve them will be hurt the most.
WASHINGTON (RNS) The scrutiny of the Rev. Bob Nugent’s activism symbolized the Vatican’s approach to all talk of homosexuality under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI compared with the more tolerant “who am I to judge?” tone set recently by Pope Francis.
(RNS) This week’s court decision that freed a senior cleric in Philadelphia who had been jailed for shielding an abusive priest was a symbolic setback for victims’ advocates but one with a substantial, and discouraging, message for their cause: None of the churchmen implicated in cover-ups during the worst decades of abuse will likely ever face charges.
(RNS) Dozens of Catholic leaders are protesting the decision by Catholic University of America to accept a large donation from the foundation of Charles Koch, a billionaire industrialist who is an influential supporter of libertarian-style policies that critics say run counter to church teaching and to explicit declarations by Pope Francis.
(RNS) After repeatedly drawing a line in the sand over the White House’s birth control coverage mandate, a growing number of bishops have begun to push back, arguing that such hard-line rhetoric has put them in an untenable position.
(RNS) Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, making him the public face of the American hierarchy. But in quieter ways, four other churchmen may wield more influence where it counts: with Pope Francis.
BALTIMORE (RNS) Archbishop Joseph Kurtz’ wide-angle lens directly reflects Francis’ own approach.
“One of the major challenges is what, really, our Holy Father has said over and over again: How can we warm hearts and heal wounds?”
BALTIMORE (RNS) The real debates were expected to go on behind closed doors in sessions that will last through Thursday as the bishops are expected to have frank talks about contentious issues like their stance against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate.
BALTIMORE (RNS) As they began their annual fall meeting on Monday, the U.S. Catholic bishops heard a pointed challenge from Pope Francis’ personal representative to be pastors and not ideologues — the first step in what could be a laborious process to reshape the hierarchy to meet the pope’s dramatic shift in priorities.
(RNS) On issues from the U.S. bishops’ campaign against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate to high-profile battles against gay marriage, Pope Francis’ new marching orders have scrambled what had been a fairly predictable routine.
(RNS) Pope Francis wants to know what rank-and-file Catholics think about gay marriage, divorce and birth control, but it’s unclear whether U.S. bishops will poll their flocks or simply report their own thoughts.
(RNS) “The point that (Bernardin’s) consistent ethic makes is exactly the same point that Pope Francis is making – let’s look at the whole picture and not just focus almost exclusively on three or so issues,” said Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, N.M.
(RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops have publicly rebuked conservative critics of Catholic Relief Services, flatly denying charges that the group has wavered in its commitment to church teachings on contraception and abortion.