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Catholic News Service WASHINGTON  — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Nov. 26 to take up two cases that challenge provisions of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide contraceptive coverage on behalf of for-profit companies whose owners object to the mandate for religious reasons. Probably in March, the court

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, with a focus on society’s poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and unborn.

USCCB Release WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a “Special Message” at the conclusion of their fall General Assembly, November 13, in Baltimore. USCCB regulations regarding statements and publications define a Special Message as a statement, only issued at general meetings, that the general membership considers appropriate in

By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service BALTIMORE — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., was elected as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops by a wide margin. The archbishop, the current USCCB vice president, received 125 votes during the first round of balloting during the fall general

By Catholic News Service WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Henry Mansell, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, and named Bishop Leonard Blair, 64, of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, to succeed him. The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, October 29,

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Amid rising expectations that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican’s highest doctrinal official reaffirmed church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental

By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service WASHINGTON — Most U.S. Catholics are not looking for spirituality online, in fact, half of them are unaware the church even has an online presence, according to researchers at Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The most widely used communication tool

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis thanked the Knights of Columbus for being in solidarity with him, something he said is seen not only in the money they give for his charities, but also in their prayers, sacrifices and charitable activities.

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — The predicament of divorced and remarried Catholics will be a major topic of discussion when bishops from around the world meet at the Vatican in October 2014. The Vatican announced Oct. 8 that an extraordinary session of the Synod of

Press Release Human rights advocates concerned about an increase in labor trafficking in Brazil as it hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games are joining forces to help stamp out the problem. University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran and Catholic Relief Services Vice President for Government