Home   »   News   »   News – U.S.
New survey shows millennials’ attitudes about contraception, abortion

Young people attend a youth rally and Mass at Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Chicago in early March 2011. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World)

By Carol Zimmermann
Catholic News Service 

WASHINGTON — U.S. millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, don’t want to be pigeonholed into categories.

They are predominantly religiously unaffiliated and not identified by any political party. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than the general population.

This group of 18- to 35-year-olds doesn’t like to be labeled as “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” They mostly approve of the use of contraception and they support policies to make contraception more widely available and affordable. They also have a predominantly positive view of marriage, not viewing it as old-fashioned or out of date. Continue reading

Pope Francis to visit White House Sept. 23

U.S. President Barack Obama walks with Pope Francis during a private audience at the Vatican March 27. (CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani, pool) (March 27, 2014)


U.S. officials has confirmed that Pope Francis will make a stop at the White House to meet with President Barack Obama on Sept. 23, during his trip to the United States for the World Meeting of Families.

“The President and the First Lady will welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to the White House on Wednesday, September 23,” said a March 26 statement from the White House press secretary.

“During the visit, the President and the Pope will continue the dialogue, which they began during the President’s visit to the Vatican in March 2014, on their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues, including caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.” Continue reading

Despite low Catholic marriage numbers, some see trend turning around

A groom and bride hold hands on their wedding day. Catholic marriages in the United States are at their lowest point since 1965. (CNS file photo/Jon L. Hendricks)

By Nate Madden
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The number of Catholic marriages in the United States is at its lowest point since 1965.

Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate keeps records of Catholic Church statistics going back to 1965, tracking such things as the total number of priests, the Catholic population of the United States, and the number of baptisms and marriages per year.

The statistics show that while there were over 420,000 Catholic marriages in 1970, that number has dwindled to just over 154,000 for the year 2014.

“There’s no definitive answer” for this trend, according to Mark Gray, a senior research associate and poll director at the center. He cited some of the leading hypotheses about the decrease.

“We’re seeing an increase in cohabitation,” he said, which can “create a hurdle to receiving the sacrament of marriage, depending on the parish or diocese’s policies,” Gray said in an interview with Catholic News Service. “There’s also the notion of a destination wedding trumping the traditional notion of getting married within the church.” Continue reading

Archbishop urges youth at congress to do deeds of love, mercy every day


People pray March 15 during the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. This year's gathering March 12-15 at the convention center in Anaheim, Calif., drew close to 40,000 people. (CNS photo/Victor Aleman, Vida Nueva)

By Catholic News Service

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez advised young Catholics to do three things: talk to Jesus, read the Gospels, and do deeds of love and mercy every day.

“The work of Jesus’ words continues through you and though me,” the archbishop said in a March 12 homily. “So in the same way, just be normal. Have fun, enjoy life. … Because Jesus wants to be your friend.”

Archbishop Gomez was the main celebrant and homilist at Mass with more than 15,000 young Catholics in attendance on Youth Day, the first day of the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

This year’s gathering March 12-15 at the Anaheim Convention Center drew close to 40,000 people.

The annual event, which began in 1968, draws Catholics from across the United States and other countries. This year, attendees hailed from 49 different states and 21 different countries, with 13 coming from Pakistan. Continue reading

Put aside that extra bracket and tackle Church teaching, bishop urges

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, gives his address Nov. 10, 2014 the first day of the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

By Matt Hadro

Many challenges to families need addressing today, including perhaps too much attention given to college basketball’s “March Madness,” and not enough to studying Church teaching.

So said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the head of the U.S. bishops conference, at a Mar. 16 discussion at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“If we took the same studied approach to what the Church is saying as we do, let’s say, to sports, we’d be experts,” he reflected. Continue reading

Wyoming college says declining federal funds protects Catholic identity

A portion of Wyoming Catholic College's campus in Lander as seen in this undated photo. The university announced in late February that to protect its Catholic identity, it will not participate in federal Title IV student loan and grant programs. (CNS photo/courtesy Wyoming Catholic College)

By Nate Madden
Catholic News Service 

WASHINGTON — Wyoming Catholic College, a Catholic university founded in 2005 in Lander, announced in late February that it “shall not participate in federal student loan programs.”

The decision came after months of analysis and deliberations by the college and its board of directors.

“While the financial benefits are undeniable,” said a news release, “the increasingly burdensome regulatory requirements are clearly troubling for faith-based institutions.” Continue reading

Father Hesburgh: A transformative figure in U.S. higher education

In this file photo, Italian Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini of Milan, the future Pope Paul VI, and Holy Cross Father Theodore Hesburgh, then president of the University of Notre Dame, shake hands in South Bend, Ind., in 1960. Father Hesburgh died Feb. 26 at age 97 in the Holy Cross House adjacent to the university. (CNS photo)

By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — When the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to be its 2009 commencement speaker, it unleashed a firestorm of criticism on one of the country’s most recognized U.S. Catholic institutions of higher education.

Holy Cross Father Theodore M. Hesburgh, who retired as president of the university 22 years earlier, staunchly defended the school leadership’s decision to invite the first black U.S. president to speak at the university and receive an honorary degree.

But Obama’s support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research, both strongly opposed by the Catholic Church, led about 80 U.S. bishops as well as university donors, alumni and others to decry the invitation.

And it reignited a heated debate about maintaining the Catholic identity of U.S. Catholic colleges and universities.

Father Hesburgh, who died Feb. 26 at age 97, came in for his share of criticism, too, for supporting the school’s choice of Obama. He firmly stated that no speaker who had ever come to Notre Dame had changed the Indiana university, but that often a speaker had been changed by his or her experience on campus.

Father Ted — as the longest-serving president of Notre Dame was affectionately known — will be remembered by many as a transformative figure in higher education in the nation.

One of the most influential marks he left on Catholic higher education happened in 1967 when he assembled several of the country’s leading university presidents at the Congregation of Holy Cross retreat center at Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin. Continue reading

San Jose auxiliary named Spokane bishop; Franciscan named to Lexington

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON  — Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Thomas A. Daly of San Jose, California, to head the Diocese of Spokane, Washington, and Conventual Franciscan Father John Stowe to be bishop of Lexington, Kentucky.

Bishop Daly, 54, has been an auxiliary of the San Jose Diocese since 2011. Bishop-designate Stowe is a vicar provincial for his community and rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio.

The appointments were announced March 12 in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Daly will be installed in Spokane May 20. The date and time of Bishop-designate Stowe’s episcopal ordination and installation in Lexington has not been announced. Continue reading

After his two years as pope, ‘Francis effect’ has taken hold

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Within two years of becoming pope, Pope Francis now has an effect named after him.

This “Francis effect” provides both comfort and challenges to Catholics, according to a panel of U.S. Catholic leaders speaking during a March 10 teleconference organized by Faith in Public Life.

“One of the most significant things about Pope Francis is the way in which he is reimagining how the church presents itself to the world,” said Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter newspaper.

“If we think back three years ago, and you asked people in the street … ‘What’s the pope concerned about? What’ s the church concerned about?’ you’d get a very different response than what you’d get today,” Father Reese added. “In a sense, he has rebranded the Catholic Church.” Continue reading

Cardinal Egan’s ‘pearl of great price’ described as his faith in Jesus

Retired Bishop James M. Moynihan of Syracuse, N.Y., looks at the casket of Cardinal Edward M. Egan prior to the cardinal's funeral Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City March 10. Cardinal Egan, who was New York's archbishop from 2000 until his retirement in 2009, was 82. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

By Beth Griffin
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — At his funeral Mass March 10 in New York’s splendid St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cardinal Edward M. Egan was remembered as a churchman whose faith in Jesus Christ outshone even his considerable temporal qualities.

Cardinal Egan died March 5 at age 82. He was the archbishop of New York from 2000 to 2009 and was the first to retire from the position.

“His ‘pearl of great price’ was not his erudition, his love of music and art, his renown in canon law, his administrative acumen or distinctive preaching, his bishop’s ring or cardinal’s hat, but his faith in Jesus Christ,” New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan told the 2,500 people gathered to mourn his predecessor.

Cardinal Egan loved the church, the place where he met, learned, served and was united to Jesus, Cardinal Dolan said. “I call him a churchman, a term that cannot be reduced to describing a man who prefers brick-and-mortar, ledgers, and an aloof institution, but a man who sees in the church Jesus Christ, his lord and savior, alive in teaching, serving and sanctifying,” the cardinal said.

The immense bronze doors of St. Patrick’s swung open to begin a processional that included Cardinal Dolan, seven other cardinals and more than 30 bishops, 250 priests, 24 deacons and 100 seminarians. They were met by an honor guard of New York City police and firefighters and members of the Knights of Malta, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and Knights of Columbus. Continue reading