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High court upholds church school’s exception to federal law

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court Jan. 11 upheld the idea that a “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws means the church can’t be sued for firing an employee who the church classified as a minister.

For the first time, the court held that such an exception to federal employment laws exists. The unanimous opinion reversed a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Phila. closing 45 parish grade schools, four high schools

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PHILADELPHIA — Jan. 6, traditionally celebrated as Epiphany, represented a true epiphany for thousands of Catholic school parents and students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

On that day, the Blue Ribbon Commission formed by Cardinal Justin Rigali a year earlier, formally presented its final report to his successor, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. While the scope of its recommendations were not unexpected, it was nevertheless stunning.

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Clergy, laity praise new American cardinals

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Catholic News Service

Clergy and laity alike praised the naming of two new American cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI.

“This is an honor for these outstanding church leaders as well as an honor for the church in the United States,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., in a Jan. 6 statement. “As men of prayer, wisdom and dedication, they will bring many talents and graces to their new roles as advisers to the Holy Father,” said the archbishop, who is vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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New cardinal: N.Y. archbishop a vigorous booster of the faith

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Catholic News Service

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who was appointed Jan. 6 to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI, has used his pulpit, be it in New York or Milwaukee, to promote and defend the Catholic faith.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1976, Cardinal-designate Dolan was secretary to the apostolic nunciature in Washington for five years before serving as rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. In 2001, then-Msgr. Dolan was ordained to the episcopate when he was appointed auxiliary bishop in his native St. Louis. One year and five days later, he was appointed archbishop of Milwaukee.

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March for Life will mark another year under Roe v. Wade

January 5th, 2012 Posted in Featured, National News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — One thing that always stands out in the annual marches and rallies in Washington and across the country marking the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion is the crowd.

“People are always surprised by the number of pro-lifers that show up in Washington and in their own state capitals,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee.

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L.A. auxiliary bishop resigns after saying he’s father of two

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala has resigned after disclosing to superiors that he is the father of two children.

The Vatican announced the bishop’s resignation Jan. 4 in a one-line statement that cited church law on resignation for illness or other serious reasons.

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Former Episcopal bishop to head new Catholic ‘diocese’

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI has established a U.S. ordinariate for former Anglicans who wish to become Catholics and named a married former Episcopal bishop to head it.

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter — functionally equivalent to a diocese, but national in scope — will be based at a parish in Houston. It will be led by Father Jeffrey N. Steenson, the former Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grande who was ordained a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., in February 2009.

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Maryland priest feels touched by the miraculous

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Catholic News Service

EPHRATA, Pa. — When Redemptorist Father John Murray bashed his head against a railing after tripping along a New Jersey boardwalk 15 months ago, the consequences were devastating.

The former pastor of St. Mary in Annapolis and St. Wenceslaus in Baltimore suffered a broken neck that left him instantly paralyzed from the chest down. Rushed to a hospital, he underwent emergency spinal cord surgery and later began rehabilitation at a prominent New Jersey institute.

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Society of St. Vincent de Paul announces national officers

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ST. LOUIS — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has announced four new national officers.

Benjamin Vaissade, a retired retail executive in the San Francisco Bay area, has been named vice president of the national council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. His duties include coordinating the efforts of the organization’s eight regional vice presidents throughout the United States.

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Nuns launch billboard campaign to welcome ‘strangers’

December 28th, 2011 Posted in Featured, National News

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DAVENPORT, Iowa — In anticipation of the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3, 10 communities of women religious in Iowa and nearby states bought billboards throughout Iowa to deliver a call for comprehensive immigration reform.

Quoting chapter 25, verse 35 of the Gospel of Matthew, the billboards read: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” and are signed “Jesus.” But the words “a stranger” are crossed out and replaced with “an immigrant.”

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