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IMAGE: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout via EPABy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis made a surprise visitto the place where his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, created the world's firstNativity scene."He wanted to visit the sanctuary and places where St.Francis, on Christmas Eve in 1223, represented the first living Nativity inhistory," Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti told ANSA, the Italian newsagency.The pope had nothing listed on his official schedule, andso he used the free day to visit the Franciscan shrine in Greccio, a town 60miles northeast of Rome and 56 miles south of Assisi.The bishop said he and the shrine's prior were the only peopleinformed a few days ahead of time of the pope's plans to make the Jan. 4 visit.As the pope arrived in a blue Ford Focus accompanied bytwo plainclothes security guards, the shrine's guardian said he was caughtcompletely off guard. "I didn't even have my habit on and I quickly wentto the refectory to put it on. Then I open...
"Where else can we find God's light today?" asked Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, on January 3, during his first Sunday Mass of the year with Manila's urban poor in the slums of Tondo district.In his homily for the Feast of the Three Kings, Cardinal Tagle likened parents to the Star of Bethlehem, "the shining light of children." As guiding stars, parents should make sure their children tread the right path, to help them fulfill their dreams, and raise them as good Christians, the prelate said.Cardinal Tagle pointed to a "parol," a Filipino traditional Christmas lantern, and asked the congregation what it is. "Star," the children replied.One boy shouted in Tagalog, "A star without luster" — the title of a popular Filipino song that was adapted into a movie. Everybody laughed, including Cardinal Tagle who quipped "A shining star." He explained to the child that the "parol" symbolizes the star that guide...
IMAGE: CNS photo/Margarito Perez, ReutersBy David AgrenMEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Theassassination of a Mexican mayor the day after she assumed office was a messagefrom organized crime and evidence of its influence in the area around the cityof Cuernavaca, said the bishop who celebrated her funeral Mass. "How is it possible thatall of a region of the state is in the hands of organized crime, that peopleare paying protection money," said Bishop Ramon Castro Castro ofCuernavaca, in comments published by the newspaper Reforma."This is evidence of our reality,"Bishop Castro said Jan. 3 outside the home of slain Mayor Gisela Mota inTemixco, about 50 miles south of Mexico City in Morelos state. "I've beensaying it for some time and pleading, and no one has been able to do anything."He said Mota's murder sends themessage, "If you don't cooperate with organized crime, look at what'sgoing to happen to you." "This crime is a signatureact that characterizes the failed public security system in the s...
Stockholm, Sweden, Jan 4, 2016 / 04:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- For years, Ellinor Grimmark had dreamed of being a midwife in her Swedish hometown of Skarstad. But those dreams were shattered when a Swedish court told her that if she wished to help bring new life into the world, she must also be willing to end those new lives before birth.On Nov. 12, the district court of Jonkoping County Council in Sweden ruled that midwives must be willing to perform abortions because “the region has an obligation to ensure that women have effective access to abortion” and because their employers require them to do so.“To become a midwife has been a dream of mine for many years,” Grimmark told CNA. “It is, without a doubt, the best job in the whole world. It has to be – to be right there when a child takes its first breath. It’s indescribable.”“I believe it’s important that people have the right to listen to their conscience and avoid ce...
Remember being a kid and getting that sinking feeling in your stomach when you did something wrong. I remember coming home from school one day and seeing both my parents car in the driveway. I was a 'latchkey" kid so my parents were never home when I got off the school bus...
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Three people, including a minor, were being held Sunday in the slaying of a newly inaugurated mayor just hours into her term in a gang-troubled central Mexican city....
PATHANKOT, India (AP) -- After saying all the gunmen who attacked an Indian air base near the Pakistan border were dead, Indian officials said at least two attackers remained and vowed to kill them Monday to end a more than 48-hour siege....
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Saudi Arabia has severed diplomatic ties with regional rival Iran following attacks on the kingdom's embassy and consulate in the Islamic Republic over the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric....
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- The latest developments after Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with Iran following the execution of a prominent opposition Shiite cleric and attacks on its diplomatic posts in the Islamic Republic. (All times local.)...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cpl. Aaron C. Masa became fast friends with a fellow Marine during field training in North Carolina. But behind his buddy's back, Masa was sexually abusing his friend's 3-year-old stepdaughter. He also took sexually explicit photos of the girl and the Marine's infant daughter....
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