By Catholic News Service

cns-logoWASHINGTON (CNS) — To end the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, the United States must address the flow of illegal drugs and arms and the harmful economic policies forcing children and families to leave Central America for the U.S., said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.

Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, made the comments in a July 24 letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, following a trip he and other bishops and church leaders made to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Continue Reading »

By Catholic News Service

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, talks with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, during a meeting at the Vatican July 21. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, talks with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, during a meeting at the Vatican July 21. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

NEW YORK (CNS) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be an “extraordinary moment for our city and an extraordinary honor” if Pope Francis visited the Big Apple in September 2015, when the World Meeting of Families takes place in Philadelphia.

De Blasio went to the Vatican and met July 21 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, “to relate how important it would be for the people of New York City to have the pope visit,” the mayor said.

Organizers of the international family gathering have been hoping Pope Francis will come to the event. On July 24 Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, the host archdiocese, announced the pontiff had accepted his invitation to attend, even though the Philadelphia Archdiocese still has not received official confirmation from the Vatican.

Other U.S. church and civic leaders remain hopeful the pontiff might add a couple of other U.S. cities to his itinerary.

In Rome de Blasio held a news conference following his visit with Cardinal Parolin. U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Ken Hackett also attended that meeting and joined de Blasio at the news conference. A transcript of their remarks to the media was posted on the website of the mayor’s office. Continue Reading »

Richard Matthew Gros, 47, of Fred, died Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at Dogwood Trails, Woodville. He was born on March 5, 1967, in Beaumont, to Rose Mae LaPoint Gros and Robert Lewis Gros. Richard was a United States Army veteran and worked as a salesman and mechanic for Auto Zone.

Survivors include his father, Deacon Robert Gros of Kountze; siblings, Rory Gros of Beaumont; Rhonda Baldwin and her husband, Steve, of Kountze; and Roxane Leary and her husband, Mike, of San Leon; and numerous nieces and nephews. Mr. Gros’ arrangements are pending under the direction of Broussard’s, 530 West Monroe, Kountze.

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By Catholic News Service

cns-logoWASHINGTON (CNS) — The Obama administration has filed a brief with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver indicating it plans to develop an alternative for Catholic and other religious nonprofit employers to opt out of providing federally mandated contraceptives they object to including in their employee health care coverage.

Several media outlets, including AP, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, reported July 23 that the administration said it would come up with a “work-around” that would be different than the accommodation it currently has available to such employers. Continue Reading »

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