Nation and World News

Taking ‘vital coverage’ from those in need ‘unacceptable,’ says bishop

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate must reject any health care reform bill that will "fundamentally alter the social safety net for millions of people," said the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

"Removing vital coverage for those most in need is not the answer to our nation's health care problems, and doing so will not help us build toward the common good," Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., stated in a letter.

Pope tells new cardinals to serve people, tackle sins

New cardinals prayed as Pope Francis led a consistory June 28 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Pictured are Cardinals Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali; Juan Jose Omella of Barcelona, Spain; Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden; Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun of Pakse, Laos; and Gregorio Rosa Chavez of San Salvador, El Salvador.

VATICAN CITY — Cardinals are not called to be "princes" of the Church, but to serve the people of God and tackle the sins of the world, Pope Francis told five new cardinals.

Jesus "calls you to serve like Him and with Him, to serve the father and your brothers and sisters," the pope said as he created five new cardinals from five nations June 28.

Conversation, listening essential for synod on youth

INDIANAPOLIS — At a time when an estimated 50 percent of Catholics 30 and younger no longer identify with their religion, the U.S. bishops June 14 discussed the need to reverse that trend and why the consultation process for the October 2018 Synod of Bishops on youth and vocations is crucial to that effort.

Listening to young people is essential to the conversation, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J.

Vatican releases online questionnaire for youth

VATICAN CITY — To involve young people in preparations for the Synod of Bishops on youth in 2018, the Vatican has released an online questionnaire to better understand the lives, attitudes and concerns of 16- to 29-year-olds around the world.

The questionnaire — available in English, Spanish, French and Italian — can be found on the synod's official site at www.stlouisreview.com/bJB and is open to any young person, regardless of faith or religious belief.

Pope makes major donation to struggling South Sudan

A mother and her children ate a meal at a camp for internally displaced people on the grounds of St. Mary Catholic Cathedral April 24 in Wau, South Sudan. Drought and armed conflict have pushed tens of thousands of Wau-area residents out of their homes, away from their farms and unable to adequately feed themselves.

VATICAN CITY — With a trip to South Sudan postponed indefinitely, Pope Francis is sending close to a half-million dollars to help two Church-run hospitals, a teacher training center and farming projects for families as a way to show the people there his solidarity and support.

Bishops address religious liberty, health care, worship

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind., left, and Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., prayed June 14 during the opening session of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual spring assembly in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS — Reflecting their concern that religious liberty at home and abroad remains a top priority, the U.S. bishops during their spring general assembly in Indianapolis voted to make permanent their Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Voting 132-53 with five abstentions June 15, the second day of the assembly, the bishops' action came less than a week before the start of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' fifth annual Fortnight for Freedom June 21-July 4. The observance is a two-week period of prayer, advocacy and education on religious freedom.

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