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WASHINGTON-The annual Collection to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe will be held in most parishes February 10, Ash Wednesday. The collection supports pastoral, educational and construction projects in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.In 2015, the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe awarded over $7.7 million through more than 250 grants. Projects supported by the collection assist a broad range of needs focused on providing pastoral care and developing resources in countries of the former Soviet Union and who have struggled to rebuild faith communities in a post-communist society. Among projects recently supported are the construction of a daycare center facility for children with disabilities in Armenia and conflict resolution and peer mediation training for faculty members of a Catholic school in Russia. "What a great way to begin our celebration of Lent during this Jubilee of Mercy. This annual collection on behalf of our brother...
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...
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- The pilot of a passenger plane that was damaged in an explosion and fire over Somalia described on Wednesday how the crew jumped into action to fly the plane back to Mogadishu airport and keep the passengers calm even as smoke enveloped the passenger cabin and wind rushed through a hole blown through the fuselage....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The mosquito behind the Zika virus seems to operate like a heat-driven missile of disease. The hotter it gets, the better the mosquito that carries Zika virus is at transmitting its buffet of dangerous illnesses, scientists say....
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia Tech student who was initially accused of helping dispose of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell's body is now believed by authorities to have played a bigger role in the girl's stabbing death....
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- International aid to the victims of Syria's five-year war, including millions forced to flee their homes, has persistently fallen short, but organizers of Thursday's annual Syria pledging conference hope for greater generosity this time around, despite a record request of close to $9 billion for 2016....
Vatican City, Feb 3, 2016 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When God is described in the Bible as being both merciful and just it can seem like an identity crisis, however Pope Francis said it’s the opposite: rather contradicting each other, the two actually go hand in hand.“Sacred Scripture presents us with God as infinite mercy, but also as perfect justice. How are these two things reconciled? How can the reality of mercy be articulated with the need for justice?” the Pope said Feb. 3.While these two characteristics can seem like opposites, “in reality it's not like this, because it's precisely the mercy of God that brings the fulfillment of true justice,” Francis affirmed.The Pope made his comments to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience. He recently began a new series of catechesis on the topic of mercy as it is understood in scripture, in honor of the Jubilee of Mercy.He said that when we think of justice...
Washington D.C., Feb 3, 2016 / 03:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A current proposal by a federal agency has raised concerns that doctors may be punished for believing that there are only two genders, rooted in biological sex.The proposed rule, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says that it is aimed at banning discrimination against transgender individuals under the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act cites decades-old federal laws that prohibit any individual from being denied benefits or discriminated against in any health program or federally funded activity on the basis of race, color, nationality, sex, disability and age. However, the Office of Civil Rights is now interpreting “sex” to include “gender identity” and “sex stereotypes.”The consequences of this change could be wide-reaching. The proposed regulation defines “sex stereotypes,” in part...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday met with a group of soldiers serving as United Nations peacekeepers from Paraguay and Argentina. The group was attending the weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.UN peacekeepers are identified by their blue helmets or berets, and  to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace. UN Peacekeepers from Latin America have been serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Haiti, and other countries.During their meeting with Pope Francis, they offered him a maté which is popular in both Paraguay and the Pope’s native Argentina.
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