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MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- A suicide car bomber rammed the gates of a restaurant near a beach in Somalia's capital before gunmen fought their way into the building in an attack claimed by an Islamic extremist group that killed at least three people on Thursday, a police official said....
NEW YORK (AP) -- Will Smith says he will not attend the Academy Awards next month, joining his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and others in protest against two straight years of all-white acting nominees....
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has changed church regulations to explicitly allow women and girls to participate in the Easter Week foot-washing ritual, after having shocked many Catholics by performing the rite on women and Muslims just weeks after he was elected....
IMAGE: CNS photo/Victor Aleman, Vida NuevaBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Following arequest by Pope Francis, the Vatican issued a decree specifying that the HolyThursday foot-washing ritual can include "all members of the people ofGod," including women -- a practice already observed by the pope and manypriests around the world.In a letter dated December 2014and addressed to Cardinal Robert Sarah, the head of the Congregation for DivineWorship and the Sacraments, the pope said the rubric of the Roman Missal, whichmentions only men as participants in the foot-washing rite, should be changedso that priests can choose from all members of the church.The pope said the change would helpexpress the full meaning of Jesus' gesture at the Last Supper, his "givinghimself 'to the end' for the salvation of the world" and his endlesscharity. However, the pope insisted those chosen be given "an adequateexplanation of the meaning of the rite itself." The pope's letter and thecongregat...
Vatican City, Jan 21, 2016 / 10:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis observed the feast of St. Agnes on Thursday with the time-honored custom of the blessing of lambs, whose wool will be used to make palliums, a vestment worn by metropolitan archbishops which signify their unity with the Church of Rome. A video posted by Catholic News Agency (@catholicnewsagency) on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:28am PSTThe two small lambs, traditionally less than a year old, were placed in baskets and carried to the Urban VIII Chapel in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace Jan. 21, where they received the Holy Father’s blessing.St. Agnes, whose name means “lamb” in Latin, was a young girl when she consecrated her virginity to God. Although stories of her martyrdom vary, tradition holds that the beautiful young girl was pursued by various men, whom she refused because of her promise to God.Feeling slighted, these men then turned her over to Roman authorities, outing her as a Christian. She was...
Vatican City, Jan 21, 2016 / 10:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has changed the rules for the Church’s traditional foot-washing ceremony on Holy Thursday, issuing a decree allowing women to participate in what has until now been a ritual officially open only to men.In a letter addressed to Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pope said that from now on the 12 persons chosen to participate in the ritual of the washing of the feet will be selected “from among all members of the People of God.”“For some time I have been reflecting on the rite of the washing of the feet, which forms part of the Liturgy of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, with the intention of improving the ways in which it is put into practice, so that we fully express the meaning of the gesture made by Jesus in the Upper Room, his gift of self until the end for the salvation of the world, his boundless charity.&r...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has issued a decree that changes the way that the Holy Thursday Rite of the Washing of the Feet is celebratedThe decree, that says the rite should  include all members of God’s people, was published on Thursday by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and signed by the prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah.Pope Francis also wrote a letter to Cardinal Sarah in which he says that “after careful consideration” he has decided to make the change to the Roman Missal.Specifically he says the part that must be modified is the rubric which limits the Holy Thursday rite only to men.So, according to the decree, the rubric will now read “Those chosen from among the People of God” instead of “The men who have been chosen”."Pastors - the modified decree reads - may choose a group of faithful representing the variety and unity of every part of the People of God. This group may consist of ...
NEW YORK-On the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Orthodox and Catholic Christians will join in prayer and public gathering to express their long-standing belief that all life is sacred. An official delegation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States will participate in choir in the Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Roman Catholic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 21. The following day, January 22, Catholic and Orthodox bishops will jointly offer prayer to begin the March for Life at 12 noon on the National Mall.As he reflected upon the importance of this year's sanctity of life events, His Eminence Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said: "While we lament the tragedy of abortion in our land, our Lord continues to show us how good can come f...
 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) -- The forecast for a historic blizzard has been there for days, looming over the nation's capital like the UFO from "Independence Day." Projected snowfall totals have ticked steadily upward, to the point where the National Weather Service - known for its conservative predictions - says more than 2 feet of snow could land on Washington....
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