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Bell stolen from San Francisco cathedral

October 26th, 2011 Posted in National News Tags: , , ,

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SAN FRANCISCO — A 5,330-pound church bell owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco since 1889 has been stolen from the grounds of St. Mary’s Cathedral, apparently for the scrap value of its copper.

The bell was reported missing at 11 a.m. Oct. 24. It has been on a concrete slab in a garden in front of the cathedral at Geary Boulevard and Gough Street since 1970.

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Survey finds Mass attendance down, but Catholics loyal to faith

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Although Mass attendance continues to decline among American Catholics, loyalty to Catholic identification remains strong, according to the results of a new survey commissioned by National Catholic Reporter newspaper.

Mass attendance by “pre-Vatican II” Catholics, born in 1940 or before, slipped to 54 percent, down 10 percentage points from the high recorded in the 1999 survey, but it still topped all age groups. The rate for “Vatican II” Catholics, those born 1941-60, is 31 percent; for “post-Vatican II” Catholics born 1961-78, 29 percent; and for “millennial” Catholics born since 1979, 23 percent.

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Cardinal Wuerl named to evangelization synod post

October 25th, 2011 Posted in National News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI named Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington as the relator, or recording secretary, of the 2012 Synod of Bishops on “new evangelization.”

As recording secretary, Cardinal Wuerl will be primarily responsible for preparing a thematic report for discussion at the opening of the synod and another report summarizing speeches given in the first phase of the synod’s general assemblies.

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Panel talks keeping the faith amid political spin

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Catholic News Service

NEW YORK — Catholic voters who seek objective facts, study issues carefully and consider the teachings of the church are well-equipped to weather the storms of negativity and partisan sniping associated with the upcoming elections, according to panelists at an Oct. 18 conference on “Keeping the Faith in a Season of Spin.”

Speakers at the program at Jesuit-run Fordham University offered observations on the role of faith and principles for both candidates and voters.

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Faith groups seek to end domestic violence

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — In desperation, women suffering from domestic violence often turn to faith communities for help.

These communities can offer vital support and connect women with services they need such as legal assistance and temporary housing. But the ability to do this well is not necessarily a given. Every leader of every faith community across the country will not automatically have the right response or the necessary information on hand to best help victims of domestic violence.

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D.A. rejects accusation against Pa. bishop

October 20th, 2011 Posted in National News Tags: , ,

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By Chuck Moody

Catholic News Service

PITTSBURGH — Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh said he found no basis “in law or fact” to sustain allegations made by a former student that Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik sexually assaulted him while he was vice principal of Quigley Catholic High School in Baden in the 1980s.

Berosh held a news conference Oct. 5, a few hours after Bishop Zubik at a news conference of his own denied the accusation made on a website that he had sexually assaulted the student.

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Father Pavone seeks mediation with Texas bishop

October 20th, 2011 Posted in National News Tags: , , ,

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By Dennis Sadowski

Catholic News Service

Saying that communication has broken down between Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, and himself, pro-life activist Father Frank Pavone is seeking mediation to resolve differences stemming from questions over the financial operations of Priests for Life.

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Nuns throw aid to poor along U.S. border fence

October 19th, 2011 Posted in National News Tags:

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By Joseph J. Kolb

Catholic News Service

SUNLAND PARK, N.M. — The compact car lifted a trail of dust as it traveled slowly along the 18-foot-tall chain-link fence, attracting the attention of the U.S. Border Patrol agent sitting in his green and white SUV.

When the vehicle stopped and two women got out, he was concerned contraband might be tossed over the fence into the United States to the waiting vehicle. Instead, the women began throwing items into Mexico.

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House passes Protect Life Act

October 18th, 2011 Posted in National News

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By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Oct. 13 passed the Protect Life Act, which applies long-standing federal policies on abortion funding and conscience rights to the health reform law.

The measure passed with a bipartisan vote of 251 to 172. Its chief sponsors were Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., who co-chairs the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. The bill also had 144 co-sponsors.

“The health care law made it clear that the current way we prevent taxpayer funding of abortion through annual riders is dangerously fragile,” Lipinski said in January when the measure was introduced. “We must take action to prevent federal funding for abortion under the health care law and throughout the government, without exception.” Read more »

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Ruling expected on Mass. church protest

October 18th, 2011 Posted in National News

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By Father Bill Pomerleau

Catholic News Service

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A Superior Court judge took under advisement a request by the Diocese of Springfield to evict protesters from a former Catholic church in Holyoke, but hinted that he had enough information to make a ruling soon.

“I have read all the materials submitted to me, including the reports by experts,” said Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder, who asked few questions during an hour-long hearing in a courtroom full of spectators.

“I do find that the danger is not so great that I need to rule now,” said Judge Kinder, who is considering whether to grant the diocese a preliminary injunction against a group of parishioners who have been occupying the church since its closure June 30. Read more »

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