Catholic News


  • Pro-life advocates and lawmakers react to news of Mark Houck’s acquittal
    by Catholic News Agency on January 30, 2023

    Mark Houck talks to reporters outside the U.S. District courthouse in Philadelphia with his lawyers, Peter Breen (left), Brian McMonagle (right), and Andrew Bath (background) following his acquittal on two charges of violating the FACE Act, Jan. 30, 2023. / Joe Bukuras/CNA Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 30, 2023 / 16:09 pm (CNA). Pro-life lawmakers and activists are celebrating after a jury acquitted pro-life activist Mark Houck Monday on federal charges stemming from an altercation with a volunteer escort outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Philadelphia.  Although Houck, a Catholic father of seven, acknowledged he shoved the volunteer twice, he said he only did so because the person […]

  • UPDATE: Mark Houck cleared of FACE Act charges in rebuke to Justice Department’s aggressive prosecution
    by Catholic News Agency on January 30, 2023

    After being acquitted of federal charges by a jury in Philadelphia on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, Mark Houck embraces and kisses his wife, Ryan-Marie Houck. Also with Houck are his son Mark Houck Jr., 14, and his daughter, Ava Houck, 12. / Joe Bukuras/CNA Philadelphia, Pa., Jan 30, 2023 / 15:20 pm (CNA). Pro-life activist Mark Houck was found not guilty Monday on federal assault charges stemming from a shoving incident outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic. Supporters of the Catholic father of seven cried and hugged one another after the verdict was read in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. Following his acquittal, Houck told reporters outside the courthouse that “it’s a relief,” […]

  • U.S. bishops urge Congress to pass No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
    by Catholic News Agency on January 30, 2023

    Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall plenary assembly in Baltimore, Nov. 16, 2022. / Katie Yoder/CNA Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 30, 2023 / 12:50 pm (CNA). The U.S. bishops are urging Congress to permanently ban the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion through the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virgina, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee, issued a letter Friday to House and Senate leaders supporting the legislation to permanently ban taxpayer funding of abortion. In his letter, Burbidge said that […]

  • Mark Houck trial update: Alternate chosen to replace juror
    by Catholic News Agency on January 30, 2023

    Mark Houck and his wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, prior to entering the federal court house in Philadelphia on Jan. 25, 2023. / Credit: Thomas More Society/Vimeo Philadelphia, Pa., Jan 30, 2023 / 12:20 pm (CNA). One of the 12 jurors deciding the fate of the pro-life father of seven Mark Houck in Philadelphia federal court has been replaced by an alternate. The alternate took the place of the original juror at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday, when deliberations began again. Defense lawyers for Houck could not comment on the reason for the replacement. The jury began deliberations on the case on Friday but said they were “deadlocked” and would not come to a decision that night. Many of Houck’s […]

  • Pope Francis entrusts trip to Congo and South Sudan to Blessed Virgin Mary
    by Catholic News Agency on January 30, 2023

    Pope Francis visits the Basilica of St. Mary Major on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, to entrust his upcoming trip to Africa to the Blessed Virgin Mary. / Vatican Media Rome Newsroom, Jan 30, 2023 / 12:00 pm (CNA). The pope departs Rome on Tuesday morning for the capital city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country home to more than 52 million Catholics.

  • Catholic College Synodal Gathering at Neumann University
    by Catholic Philly (Catholic Philly) on January 30, 2023

    See scenes from the Jan. 24 Catholic College Synodal Gathering at Neumann University where Archbishop Nelson joined young adults for an evening of faith-sharing and fellowship.

  • Photo Feature: 10th annual John Cardinal Foley Lecture
    by Catholic Philly (Catholic Philly) on January 30, 2023

    See scenes from the 10th annual John Cardinal Foley Lecture Jan. 23 at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary featuring Lino Rulli, host of SiriusXM’s radio show "The Catholic Guy."

  • Synod organizers tell Continental Assemblies not to ‘impose an agenda’ on discussions
    by Catholic News Agency on January 30, 2023

    Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg, (left) and Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops / Daniel Ibáñez/CNA Rome Newsroom, Jan 30, 2023 / 09:18 am (CNA). Cardinal Mario Grech and Cardinal Jean Claude Hollerich stressed that the Synod of Bishops is not meant “to address all the issues being debated in the Church.”

  • Pope Francis accepts Ouellet’s resignation, appoints American to lead Dicastery for Bishops
    by Catholic News Agency on January 30, 2023

    Bishop Robert Francis Prevost was named prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Bishops on Jan. 30, 2023. / Credit: Frayjhonattan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Rome Newsroom, Jan 30, 2023 / 07:27 am (CNA). Bishop Robert Francis Prevost will lead the Vatican office responsible for evaluating new members of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy.

  • Pope Francis expresses sorrow over ‘spiral of death’ in the Holy Land
    by Catholic News Agency on January 29, 2023

    Pope Francis prayed for peace in the Holy Land at the end of his Angelus address on Jan. 29, 2023. / Vatican Media Vatican City, Jan 29, 2023 / 08:10 am (CNA). In his Sunday Angelus address, the pope expressed “great sorrow” for the death of Palestinians killed in an Israeli military raid and seven Israelis killed in a shooting.

  • Letter from Benedict XVI reveals the ‘central motive’ for his resignation, biographer says
    by Catholic News Agency on January 29, 2023

    Pope Benedict XVI revealed in a letter to his biographer that insomnia was the "central reason" why resigned in 2013. / Paul Badde/CNA CNA Newsroom, Jan 29, 2023 / 07:15 am (CNA). Benedict XVI said he had suffered from chronic insomnia since the early days of his pontificate, according to a letter he wrote to his biographer.

  • Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia elevated to basilica  
    by Catholic News Agency on January 29, 2023

    The Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia was elevated by the Vatican to the status of basilica this week. / Miraculous Medal Shrine Washington D.C., Jan 29, 2023 / 06:30 am (CNA). The Vatican recognized the Miraculous Medal Shrine, located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, as the city’s second basilica, elevating its status to a minor basilica this week.   The shrine, created by the Vincentians in 1927 under the leadership of Father Joseph Skelly, is now known as the Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. The Marian title is based on apparitions to St. Catherine Labouré in Paris in 1830. The medal includes a depiction of Mary, the Mother of God, with the […]

  • Pope Francis decries culture that ‘throws away’ unborn children, elderly, poor
    by Catholic News Agency on January 29, 2023

    Pope Francis greets the crowd at his Sunday Angelus address on Jan. 29, 2023. / Vatican Media Vatican City, Jan 29, 2023 / 05:55 am (CNA). In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis decried a culture that “throws away” unborn children, the elderly, and the poor if they are not useful.

  • Catholic speaker Leah Darrow combines life on the farm with cultivating one’s faith
    by Catholic News Agency on January 28, 2023

    A behind-the-scenes photo of the Darrows filming “The Cultivation of Purpose with Leah Darrow: Faith, Farming and Vocation” on their Missouri farm. / UST MAX Studios Denver, Colo., Jan 28, 2023 / 07:00 am (CNA). Nestled within the countryside of Fordland, Missouri, a town of 800 people, is an 80-acre farm filled with chickens, cattle, vegetable gardens, pumpkins, and a whole lot of faith called the Big Family Farm. This is where Catholic speaker, mother of six, and former model Leah Darrow and her family reside. In a new video series called “The Cultivation of Purpose with Leah Darrow: Faith, Farming and Vocation,” created by University of St. Thomas Houston’s MAX Studios, Darrow […]

  • How the ‘satanic’ New York City courthouse statue is all about abortion
    by Catholic News Agency on January 28, 2023

    The golden-horned female statue titled “NOW” was made by Pakistani-born artist Shahzia Sikander. / Credit: Ben Shapiro/YouTube Washington D.C., Jan 28, 2023 / 06:00 am (CNA). An unusual new 8-foot-tall golden statue standing on top of a New York City courthouse has sparked controversy, with many across the country reacting to its unveiling with shock and disgust. One media outlet even called it a “satanic golden medusa.”  According to the artist who created the statue, it’s a symbol of women’s empowerment and an expression of support for abortion. The “satanic” imagery so many have pointed out closely resembles that employed by a pro-abortion group dedicated to banning […]

  • Pope Francis clarifies comments on sin and homosexuality
    by Catholic News Agency on January 28, 2023

    Pope Francis speaks at his general audience in Paul VI Hall on Jan. 18, 2023. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA Rome Newsroom, Jan 28, 2023 / 05:00 am (CNA). “I should have said ‘It is a sin, as is any sexual act outside of marriage,’” the pope wrote.

  • Mark Houck trial: Jury deadlocked, will resume deliberations Jan. 30
    by Catholic News Agency on January 28, 2023

    Mark Houck gives a speech at the Men's March in Boston on Oct. 15, 2022. / Credit: Screenshot of Facebook Livestream "My Mother Mary" Philadelphia, Pa., Jan 27, 2023 / 17:48 pm (CNA). The jury deciding the fate of pro-life activist Mark Houck could not come to a decision Friday on whether the Catholic father of seven broke a federal law in a shoving incident outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic in 2021. U.S. District Judge Gerald Pappert entered the courtroom around 5 p.m., almost two and a half hours after he sent the jury out for deliberation, and said that he received a note from the foreman that said, “Your honor at this point we are deadlocked. How long should we continue to […]

  • A ‘hate crime’ at Montana Catholic churches? Some think so
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    Statues of Joseph and Mary were stolen from a Nativity scene at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral in Billings, Montana, after vandals destroyed the statues the night of Jan. 16, 2023. The statues were found Jan. 26, 2023. / Credit: Montana Television Network News/Screenshot CNA Newsroom, Jan 27, 2023 / 15:56 pm (CNA). Wise men were decapitated, animals scattered, and Mary, Jesus, and Joseph were missing from a Nativity scene at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral in Billings, Montana, after vandals destroyed the statues the night of Jan. 16. The incident was similar to another that occurred at Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church on the city’s south side that same night. Three statues and some […]

  • New Iowa ‘school choice’ program a boon for Catholic schools, bishop says
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    A summer day with a row of school buses stands out in the green farmlands. / Shutterstock Denver, Colo., Jan 27, 2023 / 15:35 pm (CNA). Students who attend Iowa Catholic schools will soon get a financial boost of nearly $7,600 per year after the Iowa governor signed into law “school choice” legislation that allows parents to receive state funds to help pay for private schools. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the Students First Act into law on Jan. 24. “It’s a great day for education in Iowa, both for private and public schools,” Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City said Tuesday. “We look forward to serving more families in the Diocese of Sioux City who want to enroll their child in […]

  • Virginia Democrats block three bills restricting abortion 
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    null / Shutterstock. Washington D.C., Jan 27, 2023 / 14:40 pm (CNA). A Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate committee voted down three bills that would have put more restrictions on abortion in the commonwealth, but similar bills are still being considered in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.   The three bills would have taken very different approaches because each of them added abortion restrictions at different stages of pregnancy. Senate Bill 1284 would have banned nearly all abortions, Senate Bill 1385 would have banned abortions after the 15th gestational week, and Senate Bill 1483 would have banned abortions by the time of viability.  Virginia has some of the most […]

  • Cathedral Basilica to hold Memorial Mass marking the one month anniversary of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
    by Catholic Philly (Catholic Philly) on January 27, 2023

    Reverend G. Dennis Gill, Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of the Saints Peter and Paul, will be the celebrant and homilist for the Memorial Mass marking the one month anniversary of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:00 p.m.

  • Humility is a hallmark of the Kingdom of God
    by Catholic Philly (Catholic Philly) on January 27, 2023

    Read Msgr. Joseph Prior’s reflection on the readings of the Holy Mass for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

  • Catholic students present award-winning solutions to real-world problems at STEM competition
    by Catholic Philly (Catholic Philly) on January 27, 2023

    Archdiocesan elementary students interested in the STEM profession recently showcased their hard work and solutions to real-world issues on a broad scale Jan. 21. in Delaware County.

  • Pope Francis: Marriage is a lifelong union between a man and woman
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    Pope Francis greets a married couple at a Wednesday General Audience. / Daniel Ibáñez Rome Newsroom, Jan 27, 2023 / 11:40 am (CNA). Pope Francis on Friday reiterated the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage as a lifelong union between a man and a woman.

  • Japanese government to investigate forced sterilization of intellectually disabled people
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    null / Shutterstock St. Louis, Mo., Jan 27, 2023 / 11:10 am (CNA). Japan’s health minister announced Jan. 20 that the government is launching an investigation into reports that a Japanese social service agency has been recommending sterilization to disabled people for years. According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, at least eight couples have undergone sterilization at the behest of Asunaro Social Welfare Service Corp., which runs a group care facility on the island of Hokkaido for people with intellectual disabilities.  Local authorities uncovered this week that the social welfare corporation had been recommending that couples living on its premises who hoped to live together or marry […]

  • Woman arrested at Fargo cathedral for smashing ‘Christ in Death’ statue
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    The statue, called “Christ in Death,” portrays Jesus’ corpse laying on a burial shroud with a crown of thorns laid alongside his lower legs. / Paul Braun/Diocese of Fargo Denver, Colo., Jan 27, 2023 / 08:08 am (CNA). A woman was arrested after allegedly causing serious damage to a statue of Jesus at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo, North Dakota, on Monday evening, possibly while she was under the influence of drugs. “We were saddened to see the damage done to a very old statue at our cathedral, and we hope the person responsible gets the help they need,” Paul Braun, communications director for the Diocese of Fargo, told CNA Jan. 26. “We are praying for that person as well.” […]

  • Religious Freedom Institute honors Tom Farr, champion of those persecuted for their faith
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    The Religious Freedom Institute honored outgoing president Tom Farr, who will be succeeded by Eric Patterson, on Jan. 24, 2023. / Religious Freedom Institute Washington D.C., Jan 27, 2023 / 07:00 am (CNA). The Religious Freedom Institute (RFI), one of the world’s leading religious liberty organizations, announced on Tuesday the retirement of Tom Farr as president and the appointment of his successor, Eric Patterson. As one of RFI’s founding members, Farr has served as president since 2016. Patterson has served as RFI’s executive vice president since 2019.  Other leaders in the religious freedom world responded to the announcement with praise for Farr’s work and enthusiasm for […]

  • Here’s what American Catholics in the pews have done to help relief efforts in Ukraine
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    Archbishop Broglio blesses Sashko Lenevych, a lieutenant in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. / Ukraine Catholic University Washington D.C., Jan 27, 2023 / 06:00 am (CNA). This year’s Ash Wednesday collection, which will be taken at Masses across the U.S. on Feb. 22, will send aid to the Church in war-torn Ukraine and Eastern Europe, where they have helped support Catholics since the fall of communism. In 2022, the bishops found themselves in the unusual position of having to minister to a Church heavily impacted by a major war in Ukraine. Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE), […]

  • Prosecution rests case in Mark Houck trial, defense motions to dismiss the case
    by Catholic News Agency on January 27, 2023

    The Houck family / Photo credit: Thomas More Society Philadelphia, Pa., Jan 26, 2023 / 17:45 pm (CNA). On the second day of witness testimony in the trial of Mark Houck, a pro-life father of seven charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, defense lawyers argued that the federal case against their client be dismissed. Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Gerald Pappert himself raised that possibility, asking the prosecution at one point whether the federal law didn’t “seem to be stretched a little thin here?”  Before the court adjourned to consider dismissal, arguments from the prosecution and defense focused on two questions.  First, did Houck, […]

  • Christian baker loses appeal over transgender birthday cake case
    by Catholic News Agency on January 26, 2023

    Cake artist Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. / Alliance Defending Freedom. Denver, Colo., Jan 26, 2023 / 15:45 pm (CNA). A Colorado appellate court has ruled against a baker who appeared in court once again for declining to make a cake that contradicts his religious beliefs.  While Jack Phillips’ successful U.S. Supreme Court case concerned his refusal to make a same-sex wedding cake, he now faces a civil lawsuit for declining to make a cake celebrating a purported gender transition of a transgender-identifying attorney. In a Thursday decision, a Colorado Court of Appeals three-judge panel sided with Autumn Scardina, a man who identifies as a […]