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LONDON (AP) -- British actor Alan Rickman, whose career ranged from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the "Harry Potter" films, has died. He was 69....
Washington D.C., Jan 14, 2016 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Church workers have to lead people toward Catholic teaching in their public lives, not away from it, the Archbishop of Washington has said. His comments follow the firing of a part-time church cantor after his D.C.-area parish learned he was in a same-sex marriage.“When a person involved in ministerial activity offers a counter-witness to Catholic teaching by words or public conduct, however earnest they may be, experience shows that it can lead people away from the truth and otherwise have an adverse effect on our mission,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl said in a Dec. 31 blog post. “The Church not only must be free to then take corrective steps, it has an obligation in charity and truth to do so.”He added: “no one can claim a right simultaneously to work for the Church and to work against her belief.”“The Catholic faithful, and the other people that our ministries serve, have a right to the...
Vatican City, Jan 14, 2016 / 05:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has sent a special message to the youth who will participate in the Jubilee of Boys and Girls in April, telling them the Holy Year is an opportunity to grow in holiness and mercy, so that they become Christians capable of making courageous decisions.“Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide,” the Pope said in his message to youth, published Jan. 14.Francis told the youth to “pay attention,” because while going against the current is good for the heart, “we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage!”With Jesus “we can do great things,” he said, and encouraged the youth to commit themselves to great and important ideals.“We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stak...
Washington D.C., Jan 14, 2016 / 03:25 am (CNA).- A prominent proposal by GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump would ban Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S. and would monitor mosques in the country. The idea has garnered no shortage of publicity – or controversy. But religious freedom advocates say such measures could endanger the religious freedom of all faiths. “Our nation was founded by religious dissenters who fled statist persecution in Europe and ratified a First Amendment that guarantees the free exercise and free speech rights of all persons of faith – including Muslims,” Matthew Kacsmaryk, deputy general counsel at the Liberty Institute, told CNA. “An indiscriminate ban on all Muslims violates the very ‘first freedom’ principles that inspired dissident Puritans, Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics to seek refuge in the new world,” he said. “Having once felt the sting of rel...
(Vatican Radio) Faith always wins, because it turns even defeat into victory, but it is not something “magical” – it is a personal relationship with God that cannot be learned in books, and is in fact a gift from God, a gift that is our for the asking: this was the essence of Pope Francis’ reflections following the Readings of the Day at Mass on Thursday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.Click below to hear our report Taken from the Book of Samuel, the First Reading told of the defeat of the People of God at the hands of the Philistines. “the slaughter was very great,” and the people lost everything, “[even] their dignity.” The Holy Father asked, “What led to this defeat?” and answered that the people, “slowly walked away from the Lord, lived in a worldly fashion, and even kept with idols.” The people went out to the Sanctuary of Shiloh, but, “as if it were a mere cultural habi...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged young people living in situations of “war, extreme poverty, daily troubles and loneliness” to not lose hope and not be taken in “by the messages of hatred or terror all around us.”His words came in his Message for the Jubilee of Mercy for Young Boys and Girls, which was released on Thursday.“You are preparing to be Christians capable of making courageous choices and decisions, in order to build daily, even through little things, a world of peace,” Pope Francis said.“With [Jesus] we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses,” – the Pope continued  – “Commit yourselves to great ideals, to the most important things.”The Jubilee for Young Boys and Girls (ages 13-16) will take place in St. Peter’s Square on April 24, 2016, the Fourth Sunday of Easter.    The full text of the Message is below POPE FRANCISMe...
(Vatican Radio) Two refugee families are now being hosted by the two parishes of the Vatican, in response to the September 6, 2015, Angelus appeal of Pope Francis for every parish in Europe to welcome a family of refugees.The parish of Sant’Anna has provided a nearby apartment for a Christian Syrian family, consisting of the parents and two children.The parish of St. Peter's Basilica has provided an apartment for an Eritrean family consisting of a mother and her five children: Three of whom are already in Italy, and two others who are still in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, although they are expected to be reunited in the coming weeks. Another woman and her child also live in the apartment.The parishes were assisted in the process by the Almoner of His Holiness, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, and the Sant’Egidio Community.Pope Francis met briefly with the Syrian family shortly after they moved into their apartment in September.
(Vatican Radio) The Office of the Papal Almoner has announced a unique charity event scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Rome: a circus for the poor.The homeless, refugees, prisoners, and those most in need, were invited to the entertainment, offered free of charge at the Rony Roller Circus, which made all 2000 seats under its big top available for the event.Listen to Vatican Radio's report: A press release with details of the spectacle highlights the show’s opening number: a song composed by a Spanish singer-songwriter, who was also homeless at one time, dedicated to Pope Francis and written to serve as an opening prayer and expression of gratitude to the Holy Father for his closeness to the guests.In a January audience last year Pope Francis said that those who create circus shows create beauty which is good for the soul. “How much we need beauty,” he said. He applauded circus artists who with perseverance and sacrifice give beauty to others.The Almoner&rsq...
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation presented by Msgr. Joseph Rayappu, from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Mannar, in Sri Lanka, in accordance with canon 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law and has appointed Msgr. Joseph Kingsley Swampillai retired bishop of Trincopmalee, as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Mannar, Sri Lanka. Msgr. Joseph Swampillai was born on 9 Dec 1936 and ordained a priest on 20 Dec 1961.  On 17 March 1983 he was appointed the Bishop of Trincomalee- Batticaloa diocese.   July 3, 2012 he was appointed the bishop of Trincomalee when the new diocese of Batticaloa was formed.  June 3, 2015 at the age of 78 his resignation was accepted from the pastoral care of the diocese of Trincomalee.  He was a bishop for 32 years. The Diocese of Mannar was erected in 1981 which covers an area of 3,998 sq. kilometers.  It has 34 parishes.   
(Vatican Radio) The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy is well underway with initiatives taking place both in Rome, the Vatican and around the world. In a series of interviews for the Pope’s new book entitled, “The name of God is Mercy”, the Holy Father said that “the Pope is a man who needs the mercy of God”.So if Pope Francis himself feels the need of God’s mercy, what about the rest of the world? How much do people need this grace today?Denis Nulty is Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in Ireland. Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Lydia O’Kane, he said that people and especially those in his own country, “need it in bucketfuls.” He added, that people in the world and in the western world in particular, “have been caught up in the commercialism of life”, and he went on to say that, “we need forgiveness for so much in life…”Listen to the full interview Pope Francis has spoken at length about th...
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