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Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2017 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A reported drop in the United States abortion rate by the Guttmacher Institute is good news to pro-life leaders, who nevertheless acknowledge that optimism should be tempered.“The news that there may be fewer abortions taking place in the United States is a great start to the New Year, though we have to take the abortion industry’s claims with a grain of salt,” the acting president of Americans United for Life, Clarke Forsythe, stated.The accuracy of the numbers could have been affected by the lack of a “national reporting requirement” for clinics, he said.Charles Camosy, a theology professor at Fordham University, echoed that claim, saying the numbers were “good news” but cautioning that “a confluence of factors” was behind them.Abortion rates in the U.S. fell to their lowest recorded level since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the Guttmacher Institute, whic...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday urged the faithful to open their hearts to the Good News of the Saviour’s birth.The Pope was addressing the pilgrims gathered in the Vatican Paul VI Hall for the weekly General Audience.His catechesis on Christian hope focused on these last days of Advent and on how we prepare to receive the message embodied in the nativity.Reflecting on the fact that a catechesis focusing on Christian hope is more than appropriate during the time of Advent, Pope Francis recalled the words of the prophet Isaiah, “the Lord himself will give you a sign: the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel” and also “a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.”He said that the sense of Christmas transpires in both of these verses: “God fulfills his promise by coming in the flesh, (…) and He gives his people a new hope for humanity: eternal life”.&n...
Vatican City, Dec 17, 2016 / 08:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- There’s a Christmas reason to speak always about the poor and about mercy, Pope Francis told a benefit concert Saturday.“At times someone says to me ‘But Father, you always speak about the poor and about mercy.’ Yes, I say. But this is not a malady. It’s simply the way that God had revealed himself,” the Pope said in a Dec. 17 video message.“The fact that Christmas is almost upon us reminds us of the way in which God entered the world: born of the Virgin Mary like all children, wrapped in swaddling clothes, picked up, nursed. Not only him, but his mother and Joseph have had to contend with the fact that there was no room for them in the inn,” the Pope continued.“The good news, the announcement of this birth, is not delivered to the king and princes, but to shepherds…  This is our God: not the wholly other, but totally the neighbor.”His video message was del...
Phoenix, Ariz., Dec 16, 2016 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Courage International will team with the Phoenix diocese in the new year to host an event addressing same-sex attraction and other sexual identity issues on the forefront of Church discussion today.“The work of Courage International, helping those with same-sex attraction to build friendships and virtue, and helping the Church to share the Good News of Christ in a challenging area, is essential to our time,” said Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix, Arizona.“I encourage all who have pastoral responsibilities to join us at the conference in January in Phoenix. It will help you to grow in knowledge and friendship,” the bishop said.This year, the “Truth and Love” conference will center around the theme of “Welcoming and accompanying our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction or confusion regarding sexual identity.”The event, now in its third year, will offer presentations and ...
Vatican City, Dec 14, 2016 / 04:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis Wednesday spoke about the hope that the Child Jesus brings at Christmastime, saying it is our duty to be the messengers that bring his message to the world – a world that is thirsting for goodness.“The message of the Good News entrusted to us is urgent,” he said Dec. 14. “We must also run like the messenger of the mountains, because the world cannot wait, humanity is hungry and thirsty for justice, for truth and for peace.”The Pope spoke during his general audience for the third week of Advent, continuing the series of catechesis he began last week on Christian hope.Focusing on a passage from Book of Isaiah recounting how the messenger was “announcing peace” and “bringing good news,” the Pope said that we are also urged “to wake up, like Jerusalem.”“We are called to become men and women of hope, collaborating in the coming of this kingdom made ...
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the theme of 'Christian hope' at his Wednesday General Audience, saying the Kingdom brought by Jesus at his birth calls us to be joyful heralds in a world that “yearns for justice, truth, and peace”.Listen to Devin Watkins' report: Pope Francis focused his reflection on the words of the prophet Isaiah: "How beautiful upon the mountains, are the feet of the one bringing good news" (Is 52:7,9-10).He said these words help us prepare for the coming feast of Christmas by opening ourselves to the hope of salvation.The prophet calls God’s people to rejoice, for the Lord is near, bringing freedom from exile and the promise of renewal and redemption for the faithful “remnant” who continued to hope in his word. Pope Francis noted how the prophet speaks “not of the messenger but of the messenger’s feet”.Comparing this to the spouse in the Song of Songs (Sg...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the theme of 'Christian hope' at his Wednesday General Audience. His reflection centered on the words of the prophet Isaiah: "How beautiful upon the mountains, are the feet of the one bringing good news" (Is 52:7).Here is the full text of the English summary of Pope Francis’ catechesis for the General Audience of 14 December 2016:Dear Brothers and Sisters:  The words we have heard this morning from the prophet Isaiah help us prepare for the coming feast of Christmas.  The prophet calls God’s people to rejoice, for the Lord is near, bringing freedom from exile and the promise of renewal and redemption for the faithful “remnant” who continued to hope in his word.  “How beautiful on the mountains”, he says, “are the feet of the messenger” who brings glad tidings of peace and salvation, proclaiming: “Your God reigns” (Is 52:7).  Thi...
Vatican City, Dec 13, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Every day in the remote villages of Northeast India courageous priests and nuns are braving the elements of the wild – including tiger attacks and elephant stampedes – to bring the Good News to people who have yet to hear the name of Jesus.People in these “unreached” areas “are very attracted to a sense of relating in a very human way to a God who loves them and is present with them,” Msgr. John Kozar told CNA Dec. 7.Part of what makes this “missionary outreach” so important is the fact that the priests and sisters serving in the areas “heroically live in very crude conditions right with the people, in huts made of mud and cow dung, no plumbing and very little privacy.”“Even their meals are taken with the entire village outside in a common setting on the ground,” Msgr. Kozar said, explaining that the ministry carried out in these areas is primarily one &ldq...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday invited the faithful to rejoice of a joy that is not ‘superficial’ or purely ‘emotional,’ of a joy that is not that of ‘worldliness’ or ‘consumerism’, but an authentic joy that touches us deeply as we await the coming of Jesus.The Pope’s catechesis on the third Sunday of Advent, which is also called ‘Gaudete Sunday,’ focused on the invitation of St. Paul to “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.”Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope said the announcement of Salvation changes everything: “the desert blooms, consolation and joy pervade our hearts.”And quoting from the Gospel of Matthew: “the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them,” Francis said “th...
(Vatican Radio) In this week's edition of There's More in the Gospel Than Meets the Eye, Jill Bevilacqua and Seàn-Patrick Lovett bring us readings and reflections for the Third Sunday of Advent. Listen: GOSPEL        Mt 11:2-11When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,“Are you the one who is to come,or should we look for another?”Jesus said to them in reply,“Go and tell John what you hear and see:the blind regain their sight,the lame walk,lepers are cleansed,the deaf hear,the dead are raised,and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”As they were going off,Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,“What did you go out to the desert to see?A reed swayed by the wind?Then what did you go out to see?Someone dressed in fine clothing?Those who wear fine clothing are in royal...
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