Nation and World News

Catholics view border-crossing situation

Five boys and two girls, none of whom looked older than perhaps 15, followed the Border Patrol agents

Latin Mass indult concerns French prelates

The possibility of a papal indult expanding permission to use the Tridentine Mass and the recent establishment of a traditionalist religious community in France threatens the unity of the Church, said a statement from 10 French bishops.

Pope says military chaplains must help troops focus on peacemaking

While the ideal that modern armies exist only for defense, security and freedom is not yet a reality, Catholic military chaplains must help members of the armed forces focus on peacemaking, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Catholic giving rides crest of strong wave

The concept of

World and National News Briefs

N.J. bishops will protest court ruling

TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) — New Jersey’s bishops have pledged to work with state lawmakers in drafting same-sex union legislation that protects the concept of marriage "as the union of one man and one woman" and promotes "child well-being in our state." The pledge came after New Jersey’s highest court ruled Oct. 25 that same-sex couples are due the same rights and benefits as married couples under the state constitution’s equal protection clause. But the State Supreme Court in its 4-3 decision said that the state Legislature must decide whether to grant this equality through marriage or another form of civil partnership. It gave the Legislature 180 days to modify current laws or draft a new one. The bishops’ Oct. 25 statement, signed by Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, conference president, said the Legislature is where the discussion of marriage "rightly belongs."

Chinese priests arrested after pilgrimage

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As the midterm elections near, some Catholic bishops are not finding any pressing moral issues to comment on in their dioceses, while others are jumping into the fray — especially about the moral content of referendum issues facing voters in 37 states. But there is one constant in all their pre-election messages: Catholics have a moral obligation to vote. "Catholics, like all other citizens, are bound by duty and responsibility to cast their vote," said Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland, Maine, in a recent letter. "Voting is a right and responsibility we cannot forgo, even when confronted with moral dilemmas." Most Catholic leaders are taking a great interest in the more than 200 ballot questions facing voters.

Catholics protest, school quotas dropped

LONDON (CNS) — The British government has abandoned plans to impose quotas of nonCatholic students in publicly funded church schools after fierce opposition from the Catholic Church. Alan Johnson, secretary of state for education, said in a statement Oct. 26 that he no longer intended to amend the Education and Inspections Bill to force new faith schools to take up to 25 percent of students from families of a different faith or no faith at all. He said that after exchanging correspondence with Catholic leaders he did not feel that "the legislative route is necessary or appropriate." "I have listened carefully to colleagues on this issue and recognize that we all share the same goal for a more cohesive society where faith schools play an important part in building understanding and tolerance of other faiths and communities," Johnson said. The move was welcomed by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, England, who had met Johnson Oct. 25 to discuss the proposals. Archbishop Nichols, chairman of the Catholic Education Service, an agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said he was grateful for the attention Johnson gave to the Church’s concerns.

U.S. bishops face issues at upcoming fall meet

When the U.S. bishops meet in two weeks, they will debate and vote on statements about Catholic teaching on marriage and family planning, who is worthy to receive Communion and the pastoral care of those who are homosexually oriented.

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