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  • Bishop Rice named to head diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Edward M. Rice, whose most recent assignment was auxiliary bishop of St. Louis, as head of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The appointment was announced April 26 in Washington by Msgr. Walter Erbi, charge d'affairs at the papal nunciature in the United States.

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  • The insidious danger behind 'family balancing'

    Washington D.C., Apr 25, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- For years, expectant parents have relied on ultrasounds to find out the sex of their unborn baby.   But now, technology allows them to pick the sex of their child before he or she even enters the womb – a development that ethicists warn could have grave moral consequences.

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  • Catholic University, Seton Hall receive huge business school grants

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here is a roundup of news related to Catholic universities: Catholic University received $47 million for business school, academic programs With gifts totaling $47 million, including $15 million from the Busch Family Foundation, The Catholic University of America, Washington, said it marks the largest financial commitment the university has ever received.

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  • Ohio seminary approves changes to strengthen admissions process

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNS) -- Three initiatives designed to strengthen the admissions process at the Pontifical College Josephinum have been approved by the school's board of trustees. The initiatives include a formal recommendation to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to establish a national database listing all applications to each seminary and houses of formation in the United States; hiring a qualified private investigative agency to assist in verifying the integrity of all applicants, including a review of their social media postings; and interviews for all applicants with a representative of the seminary's admissions committee and the seminary's director of psychological evaluation and counseling.

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  • No matter how court rules in immigration case, questions remain

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- People who closely follow the Supreme Court know it's a waiting game. There's the wait to see if a case makes it to the court, the wait for a seat in the courtroom if it does, and then the wait -- in this day and age of instant answers -- for a court decision, which for major cases is typically at the end of the court's term in late June.

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  • Inquiry into Dorothy Day's life next step in sainthood cause

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- A canonical inquiry into the life of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, will begin soon and extend to the end of the year, according to the Archdiocese of New York, which is sponsoring her sainthood cause and is where Day oversaw Catholic Worker houses.

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  • Groups ask Congress to pass conscience protection for health care workers

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- For decades, Congress and U.S. presidents -- both Republican and Democrat -- have approved federal laws "protecting conscientious objection to abortion," but it is increasingly clear current laws "offer far less protection in practice than in theory," said a group of faith-based, health care and pro-life organizations.

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  • Supreme Court hears arguments on Obama's deferred deportation programs

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- All eyes are once again on what seems to be an evenly divided Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments April 18 in a major case impacting a U.S. immigration policy. After the 90 minutes of oral arguments in United States v. Texas, the eight Supreme Court justices must now determine if the U.S. president can temporarily protect undocumented parents of American citizens from deportation and give them temporary work permits.

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  • Mississippi becomes fourth state to ban dismemberment abortions

    JACKSON, Miss. (CNS) -- A new law in Mississippi will prohibit dismemberment abortions, effective July 1. "This law has the power to change how the public views the gruesome reality of abortion in the United States," Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said in a statement.

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  • Panelists discuss today's 'throwaway culture' in event at Georgetown

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The scheduled April 20 appearance at Georgetown University by Cecile Richards, head of the Planned Parenthood Federation, has spawned a series of protests. Richards was invited by the student-run Lecture Fund, which is calling her appearance a "conversation." Her afternoon talk will be closed to the public.

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  • Pew survey tracks effect of faith on Americans' everyday lives

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A new Pew Research Center study of Americans across the religious spectrum finds that faith plays a measurable role in how people live their everyday lives. "People who are highly religious are more engaged with their extended families, more likely to volunteer, more involved in their communities and generally happier with the way things are going in their lives," said the introduction to the study, "Religion in Everyday Life," which was issued April 12.

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  • Pope appoints new Vatican ambassador to the U.S.

    Vatican City, Apr 12, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis has appointed French-born Archbishop Christophe Pierre as the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., replacing Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Holy See press office announced Tuesday.

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  • Villanova basketball team's strength is its humility, chaplain says

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- More than 70,000 people attended the NCAA men's basketball championship game at Houston's NRG Stadium April 4, but no one had a seat quite like Augustinian Father Rob Hagan. Father Hagan, associate athletics director at Villanova University, had a front-row seat to the historic game on the Villanova Wildcats' bench.

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  • NCEA convention offers more interactive sessions, hands-on training

    SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- Megan Gonzalez connected brightly colored K'Nex plastic pieces into a triangle, part of a lesson exploring angles. She was one of several dozen middle school teachers participating in a hands-on workshop on how to make math and science concepts engaging to middle school students.

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  • 'We just fought,' says Villanova player of winning game

    PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- Brush fires were purposely set along pockets of Philadelphia April 4 after Villanova won the NCAA men's basketball championship. They flamed and flickered high enough to be easily seen by helicopter, but they remained safe and contained until the police demanded they be extinguished.

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  • Catholic institutions join amicus brief supporting Clean Power Plan

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Citing a moral obligation to care for the natural world and all inhabitants of the earth, 30 Catholic and faith-based institutions filed an amicus brief with a federal appeals court in support of the Clean Power Plan.

    The brief argues that the Environmental Protection Agency has the duty to protect human health from harmful pollution in ways outlined in the plan, which establishes federal limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

    The brief said evidence of the human cause of climate change is "undeniable."

    "We face a moral imperative to protect the earth and all its inhabitants from a climate crisis of our own making," the brief said.

    The document called the rule "a compromise position" and said the EPA could have demanded "greater and earlier reductions."

    The filers "support EPA's diligent effort and agree that the rule is an essential part of fulfilling our collective obligation to curtail climate change," the brief said. "It is an important step, but it is hardly the radical leap that petitioners portray. In fact, the court should recognize that there is a valid argument to be made that the urgency of the problem demands more aggressive action."

    The filing came April 1 in the case of West Virginia, et al., v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for June 2 in front of a three-judge panel.

    The regulation gives states broad authority in determining how to reduce power plant greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

    The emission reduction plan has been challenged in court by 27 states and the coal and power industry, all of whom argue that the EPA plan goes beyond the authority granted in the Clean Air Act.

    Lonnie Ellis, associate director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, the lead filer of the brief, told Catholic News Service that the EPA plan is a vital step to slowing climate change.

    "After 'Laudato Si'' and after the papal visit to the White House, where Pope Francis praised this specific effort to address climate change, we felt we needed to speak up," Ellis said.

    "This is such a large and urgent problem that we absolutely need to start taking action. We have a moral obligation to the people around the world."

    Ellis pointed to the efforts already underway in states supporting and opposing the plan to implement regulations that would limit greenhouse gas emissions, which point to the importance of the EPA rule.

    "This is an incremental step," he explained. "It is not a huge move to do these actions. States are already moving in this direction. The energy sector is already moving in this direction. This is really incremental."

    Joining the brief were Catholic Rural Life, nine orders of women religious and the dioceses of Des Moines, Iowa, Davenport, Iowa, and Stockton, California, where church leaders have taken action to reduce fossil fuel usage and promoted the installation of alternative energy systems at parish facilities. Other institutions in the effort include Fordham University, University of San Francisco, University of San Diego, College of the Holy Cross, National Council of Churches USA, Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and National Baptist Convention of America.

    Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the plan when it was introduced in August. He called it "an important step forward to protect the health of all people, especially children, the elderly and poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution and the impacts of climate change."

    While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a member of the Catholic Climate Covenant, it is not among the filers of the brief because it limits its legal involvement to U.S. Supreme Court cases.

    In addition, 18 state attorneys general, the District of Columbia, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, more than 50 local governments, 200 current and former members of Congress and tech companies Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft are among the entities that have filed amicus briefs in support of the rules.

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  • Pro-life advocates oppose new FDA guidelines for RU-486 use

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pro-life advocates expressed dismay with new Food and Drug Administration guidelines that effectively expand how pregnant women can use RU-486, a drug that induces abortion. The new rules, announced March 30, allow a woman to use RU-486 -- known generically as mifepristone and by its brand name Mifeprex -- later into pregnancy and with fewer visits to a doctor.

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  • The story of a loving father who was killed for resisting the Nazis

    Denver, Colo., Mar 31, 2016 Denver Catholic.- One theme unifies the stories of all the saints: Christians are never alone. Even in the most isolated circumstances, saints have a profound union with God. This principle is demonstrated by the martyrdom of Franz Jagerstatter, a father and martyr during the Nazi occupation of Austria.

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