U.S. church leaders said they were surprised by the news of the pope's retirement but admired the pontiff's courage for making the decision.
Pope Benedict XVI's announcement that he planned to resign Feb. 28 stunned and shocked religious leaders around the world.
The New Jersey Death with Dignity Act was approved Thursday by a 7-2 vote. It now moves to the full state Assembly.
Events that ended with the suffix "-in" were a staple of the late 1960s and early '70s. But organizers think the time is right for a "preach-in" on the effects of climate change and global warming.
Interfaith Power & Light, which is sponsoring the nationwide event Feb. 9-10, has already lined up one Catholic parish and one convent as early signers-on to the preach-in.
President Barack Obama wasn't the only African-American president sworn in this month: Lorenzo Herman became president of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association.
Three Catholic prelates joined more than two dozen other Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders in urging the United States to embark on a new initiative to secure peace between the Palestinian National Authority and Israel.
The leaders called upon U.S. diplomats to seek a two-state agreement "before it is too late" in a statement from the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East.
Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland, Ore., and named as his successor Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Mich.
Vlazny, who has headed the Oregon archdiocese since 1997, is 75, the age at which bishops are required by canon law to submit their resignation to the pope. Sample, 52, has been Marquette's bishop for eight years.
The changes were announced Tuesday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, papal nuncio to the U.S.
The Mass of installation for Sample is scheduled for April 2.
In "amicus" briefs in two Supreme Court cases that weigh the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, the USCCB argues that redefining marriage is not required under the Constitution.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the federal contraceptive mandate by the Washington archdiocese and its co-plaintiffs, saying the case is premature in light of the government's "promises to amend the mandate."
"Importantly, this ruling was not based on the merits of our case," said a statement issued by the archdiocese.
Participants at the annual March for Life on Friday demonstrated just how determined they are by continuing a 40-year tradition of protesting the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion.