National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Washington

Kentucky bishop named to Harrisburg; auxiliary named for Sacramento

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Bishop Ronald Gainer of Lexington, Ky., has been named to head the diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., and the vicar general of the diocese of Fresno, Calif., has been named auxiliary bishop of Sacramento, Calif.

Pope Francis made the appointments Friday. They were announced in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Later in the day, the new bishops were introduced at news conferences in the two state capitals.

'Pope's maestro' to conduct Washington concert to mark canonizations

American conductor Sir Gilbert Levine will conduct an orchestra and two choirs in a May 5 concert in Washington to celebrate the canonizations of two popes, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II.

Levine is often called "the pope's maestro" because of his nearly two-decade friendship with Blessed John Paul.

Titled "Peace through Music 'In Our Age,' " the concert at Constitution Hall will be presented on PBS and televised throughout the world. It will be offered a week after Pope Francis canonizes the former popes during an April 27 Mass at the Vatican.

Pope Francis appoints Texas priest to head Pueblo diocese in Colorado

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Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Stephen Berg, a priest of the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, to head the diocese of Pueblo, Colo.

Berg, who is 62, succeeds Bishop Fernando Isern, who resigned in June for health reasons.

The appointment was announced Wednesday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican's nuncio to the United States.

The Texas priest is currently serving as diocesan administrator in Fort Worth and will continue in the post until Bishop-designate Michael Olson is ordained a bishop and installed to head that diocese Jan. 29.

Bill would require feds to respect state laws on traditional marriage

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The U.S. House should pass a bipartisan bill that would require the federal government to respect state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, a U.S. archbishop said Friday.

Titled the State Marriage Defense Act, the bill "is a necessary piece of legislation that will prevent the federal government from unjustly disregarding, in certain instances, state marriage laws concerning the definition of marriage," said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Nine days of prayer part of Roe v. Wade anniversary events for 2014

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For the second year in a row, the U.S. Catholic bishops are sponsoring "Nine Days for Life: Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage," planned for Jan. 18-26, as part of several events marking the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U.S.

"Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children's lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss -- often in silence," says a posting on www.9daysforlife.com.

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