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Vatican City, Feb 9, 2016 / 03:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with 650 of the 1,000 priests who've been chosen as Missionaries of Mercy, telling them to show the tenderness of God’s love to those who confess to them during the Jubliee.“Let us not forget: before us there is not sin, but the repentant sinner. A person who feels the desire of being welcomed and forgiven,” and who no longer desires to be far from God, the Pope said Feb. 9.He called to mind the biblical passage in which Noah, after the flood, got drunk from the wine he made in his vineyard, and was found lying naked inside his tent. While his son Ham laughed at him, Noah’s other sons, Shem and Japheth, covered him with a blanket.When speaking with those who come to the confessional, as priests and as missionaries “we are not called to judge with a sense of superiority, as if we were immune to sin,” Francis said, but are instead asked to take on the attitude of Shem and Ja...
Vatican City, Feb 9, 2016 / 02:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis' ongoing process of reform continues to move forward, his council of advisers have finished their proposals for two new Vatican departments, which would merge several others together.Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told journalists Feb. 9 that in their most recent meeting, the Pope’s Council of Cardinals gave a “final reading” of the proposals for two new Vatican departments, which are also referred to as “dicasteries.”While proposals for the new dicasteries, which would be dedicated to “Laity, family and life,” and “Justice, peace and migration,” has been on the table for some time, in this round of meetings “the proposals were finalized and given to the Pope for his decision,” Fr. Lombardi said.The cardinals met in Rome for just a day and half Feb. 8-9 – a shorter period than their usual, three-day round of meetings. A...
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...
The playground is a place where friendships are made and broken. I remember a Sharks vs Jets-style battle in about 5th grade where half the class was...
SALEM, N.H. (AP) -- Eyeing their first wins in a capricious campaign, Republican Donald Trump lashed out at his opponents Monday while Democrat Bernie Sanders sought to play it safe on the eve of the nation's initial primary. GOP contenders vying for second and third saw fresh hopes for survival after New Hampshire as both parties settled in for a drawn-out slog to the nomination....
A day after the Super Bowl, people are still parsing over each frame from Beyonce's halftime performance, trying to glean the messages, both subtle and overt, that made for a stunning display of unapologetic blackness and political activism during one of the most-watched events of the year....
MADISON, Conn. (AP) -- A charter bus driving through a snowstorm to a casino flipped onto its side Monday, injuring more than 30 people and closing the northbound side of Interstate 95 in Connecticut....
IMAGE: CNS photo/Alexandre Meneghini, ReutersBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Ukrainian Catholic leaders gave a verycautious welcome to news that Pope Francis would meet in Cuba with RussianOrthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow."I do not expect that the meeting of Pope Francis withPatriarch Kirill, planned for Feb. 12, will bring any particular changes.Although it is good that the meeting will take place," said UkrainianArchbishop Sviatoslav Shevchukof Kiev-Halych, the major archbishop of the church."I am pleased," the archbishop said, that "weare no longer considered an obstacle and aren't being used to justify one'sunwillingness to engage in such dialogue."Although both St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVIexpressed hopes for a meeting with the Moscow patriarch, the Russian Orthodoxinsisted the activity of the Ukrainian Catholics and of Latin-rite Catholics inRussia amounted to "proselytism" and was an obstacle to such ameeting.Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokol...
Indianapolis, Ind., Feb 8, 2016 / 03:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An Indiana anti-discrimination bill failed in the state senate because it would have proved disastrous for religious freedom, one legal expert has said.Indiana’s Senate Bill 344 died “because it was a threat to freedom of religion and conscience,” said Roger Severino, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Society at the Heritage Foundation.“Because when you elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to the same status as race, mainstream religious beliefs about sexual identity are then labeled as bigoted,” he said.The broad anti-discrimination bill, introduced in the state senate in January, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or active duty military service in areas like housing, employment and education. Republicans in the state senate killed the bill last week, citing strong disapproval from citizens on both sides of the debate.According to Severino, the...
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