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Baltimore archdiocese wins appeal on pregnancy centers, free speech

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BALTIMORE — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down a Baltimore ordinance that would have forced pro-life pregnancy centers in the city to post signs stating they do not provide or refer for abortions or contraceptives.

The 3-0 decision Jan. 5 upholds a lower federal court’s ruling.

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Sisters of Mercy focus on solidarity with immigrants

January 6th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags: ,

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WASHINGTON — In a strongly worded message prior to National Migration Week Jan.7-13, the president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas expressed solidarity with migrants and called on others to stop “blaming migrants and fanning anti-immigrant sentiment that divides our nation.”

“We renew our call for an immediate end to the unjust and immoral treatment of migrants and refugees, recognizing that decades of failed U.S. political and economic policies have contributed to the reasons people have fled homelands,” said the Jan. 3 statement by Mercy Sister Patricia McDermott from the sisters’ headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Churches no longer exempt from FEMA disaster aid

January 6th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags:

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is revising its policies to no longer exclude houses of worship from applying for federal aid to recover from damages caused by natural disasters.

The policy change was outlined in the agency’s revised 217-page manual: “Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide” issued Jan. 2.

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Net neutrality matters in freedom of speech, other rights

January 5th, 2018 Posted in National News

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — After new Federal Communications Committee chair Ajit Pai announced his intentions in April to redo federal policy on net neutrality, the Dec. 14 vote to rewrite the rules should have seemed anticlimactic.

That was far from the case, though, both before, during and after the 3-2 FCC vote along party lines to change the rules. Hundreds of protesters turned out in front of the Washington office building that houses the FCC the day of the meeting to condemn the impending vote.

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Weather challenges charitable agencies to keep people warm

January 4th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags: ,

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WASHINGTON — The brutally cold weather covering the eastern two-thirds of the country at the start of 2018 kept Catholic agencies scurrying to find ways to make sure no one was left without warm shelter and hot meals.

From Montana to Florida and Texas to Maine, homeless shelters opened additional hours and home checks were commonplace as gusty winds carried teeth-chattering Arctic air southward.

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Grant helps translate religious life blog into Spanish

January 4th, 2018 Posted in National News

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MILWAUKEE — A recent stint translating blogs from Spanish to English on Alverno College’s SisterStory website gave graduate Sarai Melendez a lesson in religious life.

Funded under a Conrad Hilton Foundation grant, Melendez’s work also helped bring the story of contemporary religious life to a new audience of Latina women.

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Sister Courtney, inspiration for ‘Trouble with Angels,’ dies at 95

January 4th, 2018 Posted in Entertainment, National News Tags:

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SINSINAWA, Wis. — A funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 2 for Dominican Sister John Eudes Courtney, who spent 68 years in religious life. Sister Courtney died Dec. 22 at age 95 at the Sinsinawa Dominicans’ motherhouse in Sinsinawa.

She served as inspiration for the character of Mary Clancy in the book “Life With Mother Superior” by Jane Trahey, which was turned into the movie “The Trouble With Angels,” starring Hayley Mills as Mary Clancy and Rosalind Russell as the mother superior. Trahey was best friends with young Mary Courtney when both were students at Providence High School in Chicago.

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Bishop Curlin remembered for friendship, champion of sick, poor

January 3rd, 2018 Posted in National News Tags:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bishop William G. Curlin, retired bishop of Charlotte who died Dec. 23, was remembered during his funeral Mass for his joy, generosity of spirit, the attention he gave to people in need and for having a pastor’s heart.

More than 600 friends, family and fellow priests filled St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte while dozens more gathered in the adjacent school, the overflow site, to honor his memory Jan. 2.

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Minnesota bankruptcy case continues in mediation

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said a bankruptcy judge’s decision that the archdiocese should return to mediation with the other involved parties “bolsters our resolve to move forward in the bankruptcy process.”

“We look to engage with all participants in mediation as directed by the judge to bring a prompt and fair resolution,” Tom Abood, chairman of the archdiocese’s Reorganization Task Force, said in a statement.

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U.S. bishop offers prayers for peace, Coptic Christians

January 2nd, 2018 Posted in National News, Vatican News Tags: ,

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WASHINGTON — In the wake of a gunman’s attack on a Coptic Orthodox church and a Christian-owned shop near Cairo Dec. 29, killing at least nine people, a U.S. bishop urged Catholics to “pray for peace in Egypt and the Middle East and for all victims of religious and political hatred.”

“I especially ask Catholics to renew their support, love and prayers for our Coptic brethren who are enduring martyrdom for the sake of Christ,” said Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

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