Catholic News Service

Pope pleas on behalf of civilians in Aleppo as bombing intensifies

Medics inspect the damage outside a field hospital Sept. 27 after an airstrike in the rebel-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. More than 200 airstrikes bombarded the city since Sept. 24, leaving more than100 civilians dead, with hundreds more injured, according to the head of the Syria Civil Defense group, a volunteer emergency medical service. (CNS photo/Abdalrhman Ismail, Reuters)

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY – As a brief cease-fire agreement failed and Syrian government forces returned to bombing Aleppo and fighting rebels in the city streets, Pope Francis made a forceful appeal for assistance for the thousands of innocent civilians trapped in the besieged city. “I appeal to the consciences of those…

Scholars reaffirm Catholic teaching against artificial birth control

Attendees listen to Catholic scholars release a statement reaffirming Blessed Paul VI's 1968 "Humanae Vitae" encyclical on human sexuality at The Catholic University of America in Washington Sept. 20. The scholars rejected new calls for the church to lift its ban on artificial contraception. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

WASHINGTON — A group of Catholic scholars Sept. 20 reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s teaching on “the gift of sexuality” and its long-standing prohibition on artificial birth control as outlined in “Humanae Vitae,” Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical. In a statement released in Washington, they rejected calls for the church to change its teaching by another…

High stakes for religious freedom, free speech seen in U.S. election

Participants recite the rosary during a religious freedom rally June 27 at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, N.Y. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — With every passing U.S. election cycle, First Amendment and religious freedom-minded voters and watchdogs might be tempted to think, “This is the election that will most matter in our lifetimes.” But as recent years have brought a wave of religious liberty court battles and the federal contraceptive mandate infringing on…