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(Vatican Radio) Here in Mexico city the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas  is everywhere. It’s plastered on taxis, in shops, in homes and in the most unlikely places.No surprise as in the past even Mexican revolutionaries carried her image into battle. She’s ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe’, Patroness of the Americas. She represents the spiritual heart of the nation. Her image is that of a ‘mestizo’, symbolic of that blend of Spanish Catholicism and American religious traditions.Click below to hear the report from Vatican Radio's special envoy in Mexico, Veronica Scarisbrick The same cannot be said for images of Pope Francis around town, they are far and few between. Most of those I saw were related to publicity. But two bumper billboards were significant. They related to two of the three areas of Mexico Pope Francis will be visiting. They are Chiapas along the border with Guatemala home to a large indigenous, population ...
Princeton, N.J., Feb 11, 2016 / 06:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On a day marked by flowers, chocolate and romantic greeting cards, the Love and Fidelity Network is trying to bring back authentic relationships, especially to college campuses where dating seems to be a thing of the past.“We’ve heard from students so many times over the years that most people on campus – those engaged in the hookup culture and those who have already chosen to forgo it – simply don’t know how to go on a date,” Caitlin La Ruffa, Love and Fidelity Network executive director, told CNA Feb. 9.“Instead,” she explained, “romantic relationships on campus tend to take two forms – anonymous hookups where attachment, communication, or care are against the ‘rules’ or co-dependent serially monogamous pairings where ‘the relationship’ is defined long before suitability of the partnership has been assessed.”“Going on casual dat...
(Vatican Radio)  Our correspondent covering the papal visit to Mexico is Veronica Scarisbrick who looks at the main political, social and economic problems afflicting the Latin America nation. Listen to Veronica Scarisbrick’s report:   Mexico is a land of contrasts, of deep religiosity and helpless violence.Where the people who are 80% mestizo are part of their colonial past but represent both conquerors and conquered.Where in popular spirituality there’s a blend of Spanish Catholicism and native American religious traditions somehow united in the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.Where despite signs of improvement at an economic level, with an emerging middle class tied to its northern neighbour the United States, most people live in what the nation’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has admitted is “backwardness and poverty”  while a happy few prosper.Pope Francis comes as ‘a messenger of peace’ during this Jubilee Y...
(Vatican Radio)  Veronica Scarisbrick, our correspondent covering the papal visit to Mexico looks at the long-standing devotion by the Mexican faithful to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose shrine will be visited by Pope Francis on Saturday. She retraces the bitter persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico during a large part of the 19th century when anti-clericalism was enshrined in the nation’s constitution for many decades.Listen to this report by Veronica Scarisbrick, Vatican Radio’s correspondent covering the papal visit to Mexico:  “Like many of the pilgrims I met at the Shrine of the Basilica of ‘Santa Maria de Guadalupe’ Pablo and Maria were clutching in their arms a rather large and very colourful statue of Our Lady. Surrounded by their children and grandchildren, their weather beaten faces bore the marks of simple people, the expression in their eyes was one of longtime suffering.They told me they’d come here all the way from Pu...
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...
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Twitter is tweaking the way that tweets appear in its users' timelines in its latest attempt to broaden the appeal of its messaging service....
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis rubbed ashes on the bowed heads of prelates, nuns and ordinary Catholics Wednesday, and had them smudged on his own head, too, to usher in the Lenten season of prayer and sacrifice he said must be done out of authentic love, not to satisfy one's conscience....
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis marked the beginningof the church's Lenten journey by sending off several hundred religious anddiocesan priests on their own special path as "missionaries of mercy"in local parishes. "Look upon your servants, Lord, that we are sendingas messengers of mercy, salvation and peace. Guide their steps" andsustain them with "the power of your grace," the pope said during aspecial Ash Wednesday liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica Feb. 10."May Christ's voice resound in their words and Christ'sheart in their gestures," he said.More than 700 of the 1,142 missionaries speciallyappointed by the pope attended the Mass. Dressed in white vestments and purplestoles, the men received the pope's mandate to preach about God's mercy and specialauthority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.Their mission was echoed in the day's second reading fromSt. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, in which he proclaims, "Weare amb...
Vatican City, Feb 10, 2016 / 10:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said that Lent is the perfect time to let go of selfish and indifferent attitudes, returning to God with the help of prayer, penance and acts of charity.“Lent is a beneficial time of pruning from falsity, from worldliness, from indifference: to not think that everything is ok if I am ok; to understand that what counts is not approval, the pursuit of success or consensus, but purity of heart and life,” the Pope said Feb. 10.It’s a time to rediscover one’s Christian identity, “which is love that serves, not selfishness that uses,” he said.Pope Francis celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica alongside the Missionaries of Mercy, who concelebrated with the Pope and received their official mandate from him during the ceremony.A novelty of the Pope's Jubilee of Mercy, the priests will be sent out to dioceses around the world as specia...
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