Opinion: Pope Francis has pointed the way toward a better balance on political topics. Will the U.S. bishops follow his lead?
New Jersey's governor withdrew his appeal of a state judge's ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry, saying through a spokesman that he "strongly disagrees" with the court "substituting its judgment for the constitutional process ... or a vote of the people," but acknowledged such marriages are now "the law."
Republican Gov. Chris Christie's decision Monday came hours after same-sex couples across New Jersey exchanged vows at midnight.
Religious leaders welcomed the congressional deal of Wednesday that reopened the federal government after a 16-day shutdown, but some cast wary glances at the unfinished business of Congress as well as the circumstances that brought about the shutdown in the first place.
"The shutdown has had a widespread impact on many people, especially the poor, who suffered for lack of basic services during the period," said a statement Thursday by Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
Jesus was the "divine immigrant" who lived his life "traveling from place to place," Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton told the congregation at a midday "Justice for Immigrants" Mass Oct. 11 at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral.
"Sacred Scripture tell us where he was from and what his ancestral lineage was," the bishop said in his homily. "But nowhere in the Bible do we find his permanent address, the location of his house, where he lived after beginning his public ministry.
"He lived and worked as an immigrant, an itinerant preacher, on many levels," the bishop added.
"It was unfair to the vast majority of victims and unfair to all private and nonprofit organizations," said Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson of Los Angeles.
Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson of Los Angeles said new California laws "dramatically increase the availability of abortion" in the state
Could the death penalty be dying? Have we had enough of the five methods of state-sanctioned killing: hanging, shooting, gassing, drugging and electrocuting? Are we finally agreeing with Harry Blackmun, who, before retiring from the Supreme Court in 1994, said that the death penalty should be unconstitutional in all cases?
After two blockbuster terms in which it saved President Barack Obama's health care law and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court appears poised to tack to the right in its upcoming term on a range of social issues, from abortion and contraception to race and prayer.
Colorado's Catholic bishops said the nation needs to reform immigration laws "across the board" but said "establishing the specifics of those new regulations is the job of lawmakers, not pastors."
Anticipating the worst, religious leaders gathered the day before the federal government shut down to denounce what they called "political brinkmanship."