Catholic presence at Gettysburg
Members of the Daughters of Charity, who served as nurses, pose in an undated photo with Civil War soldiers outside Satterlee Hospital, a military hospital in West Philadelphia. Although built for 4,500 beds, the hospital had to care for more than 6,000 wounded soldiers, many housed in tents, in the months following the Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863. Catholicism was still a minority religion in 19th-century America, but Catholics were there.
||Nuns pray during candlelight vigil
The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in the background as nuns and others pray during a candlelight vigil for the second annual Fortnight for Freedom observance outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 22. The campaign, initiated by the U.S. bishops in 2012, calls for a two-week period of prayer, education and action on preserving religious freedom in the U.S. The observance ended July 4.
Leslie E. Kossoff/cns
U.S. Catholic bishops said the U.S. Supreme Court's June 26 rulings on same-sex marriage were a "tragic day for marriage and our nation." The court, in separate 5-4 rulings struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defining marriage as between one man and one woman and also refused to rule on the merits of a challenge to California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative barring same-sex marriage. In the rulings, the court said DOMA was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and they sent back to lower courts a challenge to Prop 8, saying the individuals who defended the law in court lacked the legal standing to do so.
12-step 'model programs'
OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — In an epilogue to a comprehensive report the Detroit-based Capuchin Province of St. Joseph commissioned to examine how it has addressed allegations of sexual abuse of minors over the past several decades, Capuchin Father John Celichowski, provincial minister, noted how many people have achieved healing through 12-step recovery programs. Essential to those programs is "a searching and fearless moral inventory," admitting their wrongs to God, themselves and others, making amends where possible, taking an inventory on an ongoing basis, and trusting in God's guidance and grace.
JP II, John XXIII sainthood
VATICAN CITY — The cardinals and archbishops who are members of the Congregation for Saints' Causes met July 2 and, according to Italian news reports, took steps to advance the sainthood causes of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII. The Vatican press office confirmed the meeting, but said that all deliberations in sainthood causes are secret until the pope issues the relevant decrees.
Abuse documents released
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — In releasing between 6,000 and 7,000 pages of documentation related to clergy sexual abuse in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki hopes that a chapter in the church's history can be closed and that healing for abuse survivors, their families and the church can continue. He expressed that hope in "Love One Another," his June 25 email communique to priests and others involved in ministry in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, sent six days before the archdiocese posted the documents on its website: www.archmil.org.
Challenging buffer zone
WORCESTER, Mass. — Two Worcester sidewalk counselors are among seven plaintiffs in the "buffer zone" lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear during its next term. The court announced June 24 that it accepted the case, which challenges lower court rulings that the Massachusetts "buffer zone" law is constitutional. That law prohibits most people, including those offering alternatives to abortion, from going closer than 35 feet to entrances, exits and driveways of abortion facilities.
Bishop Folda ordained
FARGO, N.D. — Bishop John T. Folda was ordained and installed as the eighth bishop of the Fargo Diocese during Mass June 19 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis ordained the new bishop, whose episcopal motto is: "The Word became flesh." Bishop Folda had been seminary rector at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Neb., in the Diocese of Lincoln since 1999.
Court finds merit in case
DENVER — In a June 27 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver reversed a decision of the lower court in Hobby Lobby's challenge to a federal contraceptive mandate, saying that the chain of arts-and-crafts store will not have to pay fines while its lawsuit makes its way through the courts.
Jesus statue can stay
MISSOULA, Mont. — A federal district court judge ruled June 24 that the statue of Jesus erected on federal land at Big Mountain in Montana can stay where it is. "Leasing public land within a private ski resort to a private organization that maintains a statue of Jesus does not violate the Establishment Clause" of the Constitution, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled. "The statue does not convey to a reasonable informed observer that the government rather than a private party endorses Christianity over any other faith or the absence of faith."
Pilgrims react to flooding
WASHINGTON — The damage to the town and the sanctuaries at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes did not dampen the healing message of Lourdes for Americans who recently made a pilgrimage to the shrine in southern France. "We did all of the things that we would've done, just in a different way," said Marlene Watkins, who works with a North American organization of Lourdes volunteers. She was in Lourdes as recently as June 21 with 102 pilgrims.
Apostles' tombs popular
ROME — Ruins of housing for poor pilgrims, a thermal bath for dusty and weary visitors, and almost 2.5 miles of covered walkways and porticoes to protect throngs of pilgrims from the sun and rain — these are just some of the signs of ancient devotion to the "Apostle to the Gentiles" that archaeologists have recently uncovered next to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. The Vatican opened a new archaeological site, which reveals fresh details of the extensive and popular devotion to St. Paul throughout history and how the early church handled the deluge of visitors.
— Catholic News Service
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