Low confession numbers prompt new efforts

WASHINGTON
Statistics show decreasing numbers of Catholics going to confession, but rather than discouraging churches those numbers are only encouraging them to be more creative in their outreach.

Dominican sister vows to remain in Iraq

WASHINGTON -- Despite growing numbers of Iraqi Christians fleeing their country to escape the violence and persecution, an Iraqi Dominican nun says she will remain in her country.

"I am committed to staying in Iraq for those who remain: the poor, the vulnerable, the widows and their children," Sister Maria Hanna said in a meeting at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Hiring in federal faith-based program discussed

WASHINGTON -- A June 11 panel discussion about the government's partnership with faith-based organizations was meant to focus on President Barack Obama's plans for the future of the program, first established under the administration of former President George W. Bush.

The attention of the audience listening to the panel, however, gravitated toward the question of whether religious organizations hiring for positions funded with taxpayer money retain the right to base employment decisions on a person's faith.