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 WASHINGTON-National Marriage Week USA and World Marriage Day are opportunities "to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage," said the chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  "Marriage, both as a natural institution and as a Christian sacrament, is an irreplaceable good for society and all people," wrote Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, in a letter to his brother bishops. "Our Committee remains ever grateful for the ongoing efforts in dioceses and parishes to promote, strengthen and defend marriage, and to accompany married couples in their joys and trials."National Marriage Week USA is celebrated February 7-14, and World Marriage Day is celebrated February 14.The USCCB provides numerous resources that can be of assistance to bishops, priests and lay leaders in promoting, strengthening and defending the gift of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman, including the webs...
 WASHINGTON-Rev. Msgr. Jeffrey D. Burrill, S.T.L. was appointed Associate General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), February 3, where he will serve as administrator of the USCCB's pastoral offices and a member of the executive staff. He is a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he is pastor of St. Bronislava Church. The appointment takes effect March 1."Msgr. Burrill brings a unique combination of pastoral skills and leadership experience to complement and strengthen our service to each bishop and to the Conference as a whole," said USCCB General Secretary Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, who made the appointment.Serving as pastor at St. Bronislava since 2013, Msgr. Burrill served at the Pontifical North American College in Rome from 2009-2013, first as director of apostolic formation and then as the Carl J. Peter chair of homiletics, formation advisor and director of media relations. He was pastor of the tri-parishes of St. Mary's, Dur...
WASHINGTON-The Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, February 1, on behalf of USCCB, the Texas Catholic Conference and several Christian partners in support of a Texas law mandating health and safety standards protecting women who undergo abortions. Other groups joining the brief include the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The case is Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court."There is ample evidence in this case that hospital admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements protect women's lives and health," said the brief. "When such requirements are not enforced, abuses detrimental to women's lives and health arise."The brief noted that some abortion clinics have decla...
 WASHINGTON-Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York called on everyone "concerned about the tragedy of abortion" to recommit to a "vision of life and love, a vision that excludes no one" on January 14. His statement marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Cardinal Dolan chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops."Most Americans oppose a policy allowing legal abortion for virtually any reason - though many still do not realize that this is what the Supreme Court gave us," wrote Cardinal Dolan. "Most want to protect unborn children at later stages of pregnancy, to regulate or limit the practice of abortion, and to stop the use of taxpayer dollars for the destruction of unborn children. Yet many who support important goals of the pro-life movement do not identify as 'pro-life,' a fact which should lead us to examine how we present our pro-life vision to others.""Even as Americans rema...
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (AP) -- Hillary Clinton has been here before, watching a political rival generate youthful enthusiasm with lofty proposals she believes are going unchallenged....
LONDON (AP) -- A United Nations human rights panel has sided with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his long-running battle with Swedish and British authorities, saying he should be freed immediately and compensated for the years he has lost....
MIAMI (AP) -- Florida's history of fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks puts the state in perhaps better position than most when it comes to the Zika virus....
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Syrian military and allied fighters, backed by Russian airstrikes, on Friday pushed ahead with a major offensive in the north of the country, capturing another village and moving a step closer to encircling contested Aleppo, Syria's largest city....
MILTON, Fla. (AP) -- The search for a Missouri couple suspected in a series of robberies and abductions in Alabama and Georgia ended in the Florida Panhandle early Friday with authorities there saying the man is dead and the woman taken into custody....
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a historic step to heal the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West, both churches announced Friday....
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