Pastoral plan in Diocese of Sioux City aims to sustain vibrant parishes

February 27, 2016 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) — A pastoral planning process — Ministry 2025 — has begun in the Diocese of Sioux City with the hope of using limited priestly resources as wisely as possible while creating and sustaining vibrant parishes. According to Father Brent Lingle, diocesan director of pastoral planning, the diocese recently…

Canadian report recommends widening access to physician-assisted suicide

February 27, 2016 OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — The mentally ill and consenting minors should be allowed to choose physician-assisted suicide, a federal parliamentary committee recommended. The committee’s 70-page report was introduced in the House of Commons Feb. 25. A Supreme Court of Canada decision — known as the Carter case — unanimously struck down the…

Socially responsible investors press companies to do the right thing

February 26, 2016 WASHINGTON (CNS) — If it’s spring, it must be corporate annual general meeting season. For investors concerned about corporate accountability and transparency, it’s one of the busiest times of the year. The annual general meetings give shareholders the chance to publicly engage corporate leadership on hot-button issues such as human rights, climate…

Knights of Columbus, In Defense of Christians mount genocide petition

February 24, 2016 WASHINGTON (CNS) — As a mid-March deadline approached for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to make a decision on whether to make a declaration of genocide in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus, based in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Washington-based group In Defense of Christians have mounted a petition…

On climate issue, Catholics urged to ‘feel pain of the planet, the poor’

February 24, 2016 MIAMI (CNS) — Pope Francis’ right-hand man on the environment and climate change issues urged Catholics attending a local academic conference to let Christian spirituality guide their thinking and actions toward preserving the full range of God’s creation. Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, spoke Feb….

Death-row experience interweaves lives of priest, man he helped free

February 24, 2016 NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (CNS) — When Father Neil Kookoothe first met Joseph D’Ambrosio on Ohio’s death row in December 1998, he intended to describe the funeral of the condemned man’s mother. D’Ambrosio would not listen, however. Another inmate had told him the priest had been a lawyer before ordination. Now, D’Ambrosio pleaded…

Catholic archbishop, Orthodox leader see significance in Havana meeting

February 23, 2016 INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — The U.S. archbishop who is co-chair of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation and an archdeacon who helps lead Orthodox ecumenical efforts in the United States watched with interest as Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill met in Cuba Feb. 12. Both of them — Catholic Archbishop Joseph…

Plan to close detention center leaves unanswered questions for advocates

February 23, 2016 WASHINGTON (CNS) — As President Barack Obama offered a long-awaited plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, organizations advocating for the closure welcomed the news and called for an end of the policy of holding remaining detainees without charges. Keeping the detention center open and holding some detainees without…

The deeper his faith, the better public servant Scalia was, says son

February 22, 2016 WASHINGTON (CNS) — Just as many pilgrims are passing through the Holy Door at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in this Year of Mercy, the casket bearing the body of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia entered through the door Feb. 20. Father Paul Scalia, the…