National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Politics

Practices questioned

 | 

American Life League, a major Catholic pro-life organization, has been flagged by several nonprofit watchdogs for questionable financial practices, including compensating board members and doing hundreds of thousands of dollars in business with a firm owned by the spouse of the organization’s leader.

The league has also been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, according to forms filed annually with the tax agency.

Priests for Life in financial trouble

 | 

A leading Catholic anti-abortion group whose leader is under scrutiny for failing to disclose financial details reported a $1.4 million deficit in 2010 despite collecting tens of millions of dollars in donations during recent years.

The budget shortfall at Priests For Life and a bishop's recent decision to sharply curtail its national director's activities raise serious questions about the group's long-term viability.

SCOTUS starts with church school employment

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The constitutionally thorny question of where the line lies between a church school's religious autonomy and the legal rights of its teachers comes before the Supreme Court Oct. 5, two days after the term starts.

Other cases on the court's docket this fall include consideration of standards of indecency on network television and at least two cases over what activities warrant deporting immigrants.

Within the court's first weeks, the justices also will decide whether to hear a challenge to Arizona's immigration enforcement law. They also will consider whether to hear several other appeals of how immigration and asylum laws are applied and yet another in a series of challenges to the display of crosses in public places.

The church school case could have broad implications for other religious groups.

Bishop: Catholic Church's serves 'all who come our way'

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Catholic Church serves "all who come our way because we are Catholic," Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth told participants at Catholic Charities USA's first Poverty Summit and National Gathering.

"We repeatedly emphasize that our mission to serve all in need comes from the fact that we are Catholic," Bishop Vann said, "and that since one of the marks of the church is "universal,' that applies to our call to ministry and mission here. We are who we are."

He made the remarks in his homily at the Sept. 18 Mass opening the two-day summit.

That universal group served by Catholic Charities and its partner agencies is growing.

Carol Quasula is dealing with a new kind of poverty. She's accustomed to helping the generational poor -- children of parents with no resources or money who grow up to live in poverty themselves. But the families now walking through her door at Catholic Charities in rural Cottonwood, Ariz., about 35 miles outside Flagstaff, are used to having jobs, a paycheck and a modest lifestyle.

Bishops urge governor to veto vaccination bill

 | 

Vaccines against sexually transmitted diseases sure are getting a lot of attention these days.

California's bishops are asking Catholics in their state to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to veto a bill allowing children ages 12 and older to be vaccinated against sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent or knowledge. AB 499 was sent to the governor's desk, Sept. 7, the final day of the legislative session.

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is one of six groups officially opposing AB 499 because it denies parents their fundamental right to be responsible for their children's physical and spiritual well-being.

Setback to church in adoption fight

 | 

The Catholic church has no “recognized legal right” to a contract with the state, a judge said in ruling that Illinois officials can legally cancel contracts with Catholic Charities over the church agency’s refusal to place adoptive children with same-sex couples.

A lawyer for the church, however, said he will seek a stay of the ruling, arguing that Circuit Judge John Schmidt, in his Aug. 18 ruling, did not address the heart of the church’s argument that Catholic Charities comes under exercise of religion protections.

American politics more religious than American voters

Has America gotten more religious, or just American politics?

The country has grown less religious since the 1970s, while frequent churchgoers are now much more likely to vote Republican or support the Tea Party, according to recent studies.

As a result, faith-filled rhetoric and campaign stops make Americans appear more Christian than they really are, according Mark Chaves, a Duke University professor of sociology and religion.

The rise of megachurches, with their memberships in the thousands, also fuels the misperception that most Americans attend services weekly, when only one in four Americans actually do, he added.

Pages

Christmas-Feature-Flag-275x60.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

November 21-December 5, 2014

11-21-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.