State leaders welcome latest ruling in Hobby Lobby case against HHS mandate

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

Proponents of religious liberty were cheered this month when Christian companies Hobby Lobby and Mardel received a partial victory in federal courts.  After a lower court had ruled that Hobby Lobby and Mardel, as corporations, had no claims to the First Amendment right of religious freedom, the Tenth Circuit Court ruled that the companies do have these rights.

Emily Hardman, communications director for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who is representing Hobby Lobby, said, “We got this tremendous victory from the tenth circuit, clearly stating that Hobby Lobby and the Green family don’t give up their religious rights just because they are a company.  Beautiful opinion.”


“Light of Faith” in the Year of Faith

One letter from two popes

By Pedro A. Moreno, O.P.

If anyone was praying for some good reflection material for the upcoming end of the Year of Faith, I have good news for you! Your prayers have been answered! Abundantly!


Of the fight for marriage rightly understood

By George Weigel

Responses from right-minded marriage proponents to the Supreme Court’s June 26 decisions in two cases involving the (re)definition of marriage seemed to come in three waves.

The immediate reaction, influenced no doubt by a partisan press, was that the friends of marriage had suffered a severe, and perhaps lethal, blow when the Court first struck down the key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and then denied standing to those challenging the judicial overturn of California’s “Proposition 8,” an initiative that restored the classic meaning of marriage to California law. 


Pope clears the way for the canonizations of John Paul II, John XXIII

By Cindy Wooden // Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and has decided also to ask the world's cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, even in the absence of a miracle.

After Pope Francis met July 5 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Vatican published a list of decrees the pope approved related to Blessed John Paul's canonization and 11 other sainthood causes.


Encyclical illustrates continuity of two papacies, officials say

By Cindy Wooden // Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Presenting Pope Francis' new encyclical and acknowledging how much of it was prepared by retired Pope Benedict XVI, top Vatican officials hailed it as a unique expression of the development of papal teaching and unity in faith.

"It is a fortunate coincidence that this text was written, so to speak, by the hands of two popes," said Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at a news conference July 5 marking the release of "Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith").


U.S. Supreme Court to review Oklahoma abortion law

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

Late last month, on June 27, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the decision of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma in a case to determine the constitutionality of a law to regulate unsafe chemical abortions.

Oklahoma H.B. 1970 requires that abortion-inducing drugs, including RU-486, be administered according to the protocol described on the drugs’ FDA-approved labels.


U.S. bishops to educate Catholics through Natural Family Planning Awareness Week

By Sarah Cooper

This year, the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated July 21 to July 27 as Natural Family Planning Awareness week. The theme – “Pro-Woman, Pro-Man, Pro-Child, Natural Family Planning” – reaffirms the idea that natural family planning upholds the dignity of life and God’s vision for human sexuality.

“Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit?”

Because of the ongoing, divisive debate on healthcare coverage in the United States, the Church’s opposition to contraception has been more in the news recently. The U.S. bishops have been forced to speak out against the Health and Human Services mandate to employers to provide employees with health insurance that covers contraceptives and abortifacients.


St. Gregory’s Abbey hosts Kateri Tekawithwa Honor Powwow

By J.E. Helm // Exclusively for

Today, Sunday, July 14, 2013, St. Gregory’s Abbey hosts a celebration of the canonization of the first Native American, Saint Kateri Tekawitha.  The event begins with Mass in the Abbey at 3:00 p.m. celebrated by Archbishop Paul Coakley.  From there, attendees will make a pilgrimage procession at 4:00 p.m. to the Abbey’s statue of Saint Kateri where prayers will include the recitation of  a novena to the Saint (begun July 6) written by Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen of Saint Gregory’s. 

Brother Isidore Harden, OSB, event coordinator, points out that the statue was originally at the entrance to Saint Gregory’s and was recently moved to a plaza on the west side of Benedictine Hall where it will be rededicated and given a new place of honor. 


Pope Francis' first encyclical emphasizes life-changing faith

WASHINGTON (July 5, 2013) —"Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith"), the first encyclical of Pope Francis, says that faith is like a light illuminating all of human existence. (To read the encyclical in English, please click here. Para leer la enciclica en español, haga clic aquí.)

The encyclical, begun by Pope Benedict XVI, his successor Pope Francis said, was released by the Vatican July 5.


Archbishop Coakley at Fortnight for Freedom Mass: Time to rally our people

By Brianna Osborne

“We as a Church and a nation begin what is, unfortunately, becoming an annual observance,” said Archbishop Paul Coakley at the Mass opening the Fortnight for Freedom in the archdiocese, on Friday, June 21, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

“Unfortunately, I say, because conditions since the first Fortnight have not improved. Indeed, they have deteriorated,” the archbishop continued.

In his homily, the archbishop listed the threats to religious liberty that have developed over the past year. This month, the Supreme Court is expected to announce its rulings regarding the constitutionality of two laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman. As this issue goes to press, the Supreme Court justices have not yet announced their decisions.