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(Vatican Radio)  Father Kirill Gorbunov, Press Secretary for the Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, said on Friday that he believes the upcoming meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, will help take relations “to a new level” between the two Churches. He spoke to Susy Hodges shortly after the announcement that this historic meeting between the two spiritual leaders will take place in Cuba on February 12th.Listen to the interview with Father Kirill Gorbunov, Spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow:  Father Gorbunov says besides being an historic first, the meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill is hugely significant because around two thirds of the world’s Orthodox Christians belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. Although there has never been a meeting before between the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, Father...
The Holy Father, Pope Francis has met Zambia’s Republican President, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu Friday morning in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. The Zambian President, Mr. Lungu arrived shortly after 10.30 hours. He was accompanied to the Vatican by his wife, Esther. Also, with the President was Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Harry Kalaba, Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr. Muyeba Chikonde  who is also accredited to the Holy See. Others were Zambian government officials and state house aides. Upon arrival in the Vatican, Mr. Lungu was welcomed by Archbishop Georg Gänswein who is the Prefect of the Papal Household and the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Archbishop Gänswein then led President Lungu to Pope Francis’ private library. In the library, Pope Francis held a closed-door meeting with Mr. Lungu that lasted almost 25 minutes. Later the Vatican Press Office released a statement...
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has pledged the commitment and closeness of the Catholic Church of India to the Christians of the eastern state of Odisha who continue to suffer after facing untold violence over 7 years ago.    Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, Archbishop Trivandrum, the president of the CBCI, the apex body of the Catholic Church in India, expressed this in a message to Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar whose jurisdiction covers Kandhamal district, which in 2008  witnessed perhaps the worst anti-Christian violence in the history of India.  “I join in praying and thanking God for the blessings showered upon the Kandhamal Christian community. I want to assure my commitment and the unwavering support of the CBCI to the suffering brethren in Kandhamal,” Cardinal Cleemis wrote in his letter. Meanwhile, CBCI has accepted a suggestion from Archbishop Barwa to discuss the anti-Christian persecution of 200...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with the President of Zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on Friday morning. A communiqué from the Press Office of the Holy See informs that the Pope and the President held cordial discussions on a range of topics, including the contribution of the Catholic Church to the upbuilding of Zambian society, the promotion of peaceful co-existence through a culture of dialogue and encounter, migration, climate change and the protection of the environment. The Holy Father and the President also discussed international issues, with special focus on the conflicts that affect various areas of Africa and the commitment of the country to regional peace. Below, please find the full text of the official Communiqué, in English**********************************************************On the morning of Friday 5 February 2016, the Holy Father Francis received in audience, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the president of the Republi...
(Vatican Radio) On Vatican Weekend for February 7, 2016 we bring you this week's edition of 'There's More in the Sunday Gospel than Meets the Eye' presented by Jill Bevilacqua and a couple of interviews relating to the forthcoming Apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Mexico from the 12th to the 17th of February. The first highlights for us how Mexico is a land of contrasts: overwhelmingly Catholic yet historically anticlerical. And the second  the importance of the visit of Pope Francis to Ciudad Juarez on the border with El Paso,Texas.A programme presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick:     
(Vatican Weekend)  Vatican Weekend for February 6, 2016  features interviews looking ahead to the forthcoming Apostolic journey of Pope Francis to Mexico from the 12th to the 17th of February. The first is  with Mexican  born Dominican Father  Alejandro Crosthwaite and the second with a parish priest in El Paso Texas, Monsignor Arturo Bañuelas.The programme ends with a musical meditation focusing on Ash Wednesday with Monsignor Philip Whitmore.A programme presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick:  
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...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Twitter is now using spam-fighting technology to seek out accounts that might be promoting terrorist activity and is examining other accounts related to those flagged for possible removal, the company announced Friday....
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- In a sign of mounting global concern over the Zika virus, health officials on Friday warned pregnant women to think twice about the lips they kiss and called on men to use condoms with pregnant partners if they have visited countries where the virus is present....
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