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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says Donald Trump is waging a White House campaign based on "simplistic solutions and scapegoating."...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is promising a nontraditional address for President Barack Obama's final State of the Union. But, no, don't look for him to slow-jam Tuesday's speech or rap it....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Florida's unique system for sentencing people to death is unconstitutional because it gives too much power to judges - and not enough to juries - to decide capital sentences....
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- The latest on Tonya Couch, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck (all times local):...
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Arms flailing, the exuberant andperhaps hyperactive Italian actor and comedian Roberto Benigni described PopeFrancis as a masterful minister of God's mercy, which is always active andalways on the move.Benigni brought the house down Jan. 12 during thepresentation of the new book-length interview with Pope Francis, "The Nameof God Is Mercy." The actor read excerpts of the book, but also offeredhis own reflections on mercy and bubbled over with praise for Pope Francis.When he received the call asking him to participate in thebook launch, Benigni said, he was told, "'His Holiness would like' and Isaid, 'Yes!' without letting them finish. I'd do anything -- be a Swiss Guard, drivethe popemobile -- absolutely anything for this pope.""Mercy," Benigni said, "is not a virtuethat's seated in an easy chair. It's an active virtue, one that moves. Justlook at the pope, he's never still. It moves not just the heart, but the arms,legs, h...
Vatican City, Jan 12, 2016 / 07:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his new book on mercy Pope Francis offers extensive reflections on the topic that has shaped much of his pontificate, getting personal about his own experiences of mercy, what it means for him, and why humanity is in such desperate need of it.“This is a time for mercy. The Church is showing her maternal side, her motherly face, to a humanity that is wounded,” the Pope said in his new book “The Name of God is Mercy,” released Jan. 12.“She does not wait for the wounded to knock on her doors, she looks for them on the streets, she gathers them in, she embraces them, she takes care of them, she makes them feel loved…I am ever more convinced of it, this is a kairós, our era is a kairós of mercy, an opportune time.”Francis’ comments are part of a book-length interview with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli. The book is meant to “reveal the heart of Francis and ...
(Vatican Radio) Bishops of the Holy Land Coordination are continuing their visit to the Holy Land this week.  Church leaders from North America, Europe, and South Africa make an annual pilgrimage of solidarity to the region.On Tuesday, the group visited Immaculate Heart Parish in Fuheis, Jordan, located just outside of the capital, Amman.There they celebrated Mass with bishops and priests of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.“The Patriarchate covers four states: Cyprus Israel Palestine and Jordan,” explained the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal.Listen to the Vatican Radio interview with Patriarch Twal:  “Each country is different from the other. We have different challenges,” he continued.“In Cyprus we are a minority. The big number is workers from the Philippines, and some English people coming to spend their last life in Cyprus,” Patriarch Twal told Vatican Radio. “In Israel, the big problem is the occupation…w...
(Vatican Radio)  Fr. Paul Lansu from Pax Christi International is a participant in the Holy Land Coordination pilgrimage taking place in Palestine this week.The pilgrimage is an opportunity for Catholic Church leaders from Europe, North America, and South Africa to visit parishes, schools, and development organizations in Israel and Jordan to show the support of the worldwide Christian community and gain insights into the complex political and religious problems underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Fr. Lansu is the Senior Policy Advisor on disarmament, human rights, peace spirituality, and theology for Pax Christi, a global Catholic peace movement and network that works to help establish Peace, Respect for Human Rights, Justice and Reconciliation in areas of the world that are torn by conflict. The organization was founded in Europe in 1945 as a reconciliation movement bringing together French and Germans after World War II.Christopher Wells is on the Holy Land Coordin...
After setting a policy against soliciting or accepting payments for sacraments, a Catholic archbishop in the Philippines this time wants his parishes to stop charging fixed rates for issuing certificates.  Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said the move is still part of the ongoing archdiocesan reform, as he reminded the clergy not to “commercialize” church services.  “This is in consonance with our collective vision to cleanse the church of any semblance of commercialism in the rendering of Church services,” Archbishop Villegas told his priests in a circular issued on Jan. 11.  The new “obligatory policy” was also agreed upon by the majority of priests and religious men of the archdiocese during their regular meeting on Friday.  According to the policy baptismal certificates, confirmation certificates, marriage certificates, wedding banns, and similar documents will be issued to requesting parishioners “...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says prayer works miracles and prevents the hardening of the heart.His words came on Tuesday morning during morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. “It’s the prayer of the faithful – the Pope said – that brings change to the Church; it’s not us popes, bishops or priests who carry the Church forward, but the Saints”.Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:   Pope Francis took his cue from the Bible reading of the day which tells the story of Hannah, a woman whom, deeply distressed by her infertility, desperately prays to the Lord to give her a child, and of Eli, a priest, who looks on vaguely from afar and superficially judges the woman as a drunkard as he can see her babbling but cannot hear her words.“Hannah was praying silently, her lips moved but her voice was not heard. Hers is the courage of a woman of faith who is weeping and grieving and asks the Lord for his grace. There are many good women in the...
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