National Catholic Reporter

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Faith & Parish

Debate over gays in St. Patrick's parades roils Irish on big day

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St. Patrick's Day is associated as much with Roman Catholicism as it is with Irish-Americans, but this year, some of the faithful aren't happy with the inclusion of gays and lesbians marching under their own banner for the first time in parades in Boston and New York.

The Knights of Columbus of Massachusetts and a local Catholic school declined to take part in the Boston parade on Sunday after two LGBT groups -- the military veterans service group OutVets and Boston Pride -- were invited following decades of lobbying and court battles.

Wyoming college says declining federal funds protects Catholic identity

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Wyoming Catholic College, a Catholic university founded in 2005 in Lander, announced in late February that it "shall not participate in federal student loan programs."

The decision came after months of analysis and deliberations by the college and its board of directors.

"While the financial benefits are undeniable," said a news release, "the increasingly burdensome regulatory requirements are clearly troubling for faith-based institutions."

7.5 million Americans lost their religion since 2012

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A new survey shows in stark relief that what some are calling the Great Decline of religion in America continues: Since 2012, the U.S. has about 7.5 million more Americans who are no longer active in religion.

Last week, the 2014 General Social Survey was released. The GSS is the gold standard for sociological surveys. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this multimillion-dollar study gives us the most accurate data on American society -- including religion.

San Jose auxiliary named Spokane bishop; Franciscan named to Lexington

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Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Daly of San Jose, Calif., to head the diocese of Spokane, Wash., and Conventual Franciscan Fr. John Stowe to be bishop of Lexington, Ky.

Daly, 54, has been an auxiliary of the San Jose diocese since 2011. Stowe is a vicar provincial for his community and rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio.

The appointments were announced Thursday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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