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Vatican City, Apr 29, 2016 / 09:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden went to the Vatican for a summit on regenerative medicine, where he offered praise to Pope Francis and advocated for a global push to cure cancer.Biden opened his speech by recalling how while visiting the U.S. last September, Pope Francis had comforted him for the loss of his eldest son Beau, who passed away last summer at the age of 46 from brain cancer.“I wish every grieving parent, brother, sister, mother, father, would have the benefit of his words, his prayers, his presence. He provided us with more comfort that even he, I think, will understand,” Biden said, and voiced his gratitude to the Pope for his time and generosity.What his family experienced through their tragedy is how faith “can turn loss into hope, and hope into action,” the Vice President said, noting that Pope Francis “has given hope to so many people in every part of the world with his strong ...
Vatican City, Apr 29, 2016 / 07:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday Pope Francis told participants in a Vatican stem cell summit that a renewed sense of empathy ought to fuel their work and research, ensuring that no person goes without access to proper care.“It is fundamentally important that we promote greater empathy in society, and not remain indifferent to our neighbor’s cry for help, including when he or she is suffering from a rare disease,” the Pope said April 29.While it’s not always possible to find a fast cure to complex diseases, it is possible to be prompt in caring for the people that suffer from them, who often feel “abandoned and ignored,” Francis said.He stressed the need to attentive to all, regardless of their culture, social standing or religious beliefs, and expressed his hope that individuals in developing countries would also have access to the care they need.Pointing to his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,&rdqu...
Washington D.C., Apr 29, 2016 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Obama administration’s new rule for faith-based partnerships has drawn various reactions: one observer warned they could cause problems for partnering religious groups, while another said the action also strengthens these groups’ protections against government abuse.H. James Towey, the president of Ave Maria University, was a strong critic of the new rules.“They will seek to secularize all faith-based providers that want to play ball with the government,” he told CNA.Towey directed the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2002 to 2006, under President George W. Bush. He said the rules would have a “chilling effect” on organizations that “really care about the souls of the people they serve.”Melissa Rogers, special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships, summarized the new federal...
(Vatican Radio) Anyone who has visited the Vatican Museums will have inevitably walked through the Gallery of Maps which so happens to lead towards the Sistine Chapel. This long corridor is, however, a jewel in itself and has now been lovingly restored in a project that has lasted four years.The frescos are a geographical feast for the eye which represent Italian regions and papal properties.The gallery was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII in 1581. It then underwent changes under Pope Urban VIII between 1632 and 1637. There are 40 maps in all which were illustrated by artists of the day including Ignazio Danti, Matthijs and Paul Bril and Cesare Nebbia.So what prompted this restoration project? The Deputy Director of the Vatican Museums, Professor Arnold Nesselrath explains. “It badly needed work because with 6 million people going through this long corridor in the course of the year causing the vibration, the plaster gets loose on the walls, there is a risk of it falling do...
Escalating violence across Syria, which has seen a fragile truce agreement unravel and peace talks collapse, could release new levels of horror, the United Nations human rights chief warned on Friday, saying all parties have shown a "monstrous disregard" for civilian lives.  "The cessation of hostilities and the Geneva talks were the only game in town, and if they are abandoned now, I dread to think how much more horror we will see in Syria," U.N. ‎High ‎Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement, urging all sides to step back from a return to all-out war.  "The violence is soaring back to the levels we saw prior to the cessation of hostilities. There are deeply disturbing reports of military build-ups indicating preparations for a lethal escalation," Zeid said.  Peace talks in Geneva aimed to end a war that has created the world's worst refugee crisis, allowed for the rise of Islamic S...
BEIJING (AP) -- China passed a law Thursday tightening controls over foreign non-governmental organizations by subjecting them to close police supervision, a move officials say will help the groups but critics charge is the latest attempt by authorities to clamp down on perceived threats to the ruling Communist Party's control....
NEW YORK (AP) -- Comcast is buying DreamWorks Animation, the film company behind the Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda franchises, for approximately $3.55 billion, strengthening its presence in the important and growing business of children's entertainment....
NEW YORK (AP) -- Caitlyn Jenner has taken up Donald Trump's offer and used the women's restroom at one of his luxury buildings....
IMAGE: CNS photo/Rick ReinhardBy Nancy O'BrienWASHINGTON(CNS) -- Many paths led RichardDoerflinger into pro-life work.Andnow his path is taking him into retirement as associate director of the U.S.bishops' Secretariat ofPro-Life Activities and eventually across the country to Washingtonstate.Doerflinger,a 63-year-old native of the New York borough of Queens, served for 36 years aslegislative assistant, assistant director, associate director for policydevelopment and, since 2008, as overall associate director of the secretariat.His retirement was to begin April 29.Althoughhe did not know it at the time, his first pro-life influence came when he was14. His older brother Eugene was involved in a car accident and was left inwhat is now called a persistent vegetative state for several months.Doctorstold Doerflinger's parents that Eugene's "life was over" and urged them to lethim die, the younger Doerflinger said. Instead, they took him home and caredfor him there until Eugene "became ful...
Nearly a year after Pope Francis released his encyclical on the environment, dioceses and church agencies across India have launched several projects implementing the spirit of the papal document.Awareness campaigns and drives for tree plantation drives, organic farming, solar panels for green energy and eco-friendly methods in day-to-day life are some of the ways church people are doing their bit to save the environment."When the pope says something, people see it as a mandate and want to implement it in letter and spirit," said Frederick D'Souza, executive director of Caritas India, the church's social service arm.Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato si', released June 19, expressed concern of human habits leading to a fast degradation of the environment.Father D'Souza said awareness drives in dioceses and parishes about saving the environment have increased after the encyclical came out. Almost every diocesan social service wing has some projects that...
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