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NEW YORK (AP) -- In a new project with National Geographic, Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to project himself into virtual reality - in this case, a 360-degree representation of Yosemite National Park....
BERLIN (AP) -- The European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe has captured images of a bright burst of light on the comet it is orbiting, apparently caused by a landslide....
By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI said in an interview that hefelt a "duty" to resign from the papacy because of his declininghealth and the rigorous demands of papal travel.While his heart was set on completing the Year of Faith, theretired pope told Italian journalist Elio Guerriero that after his visit toMexico and Cuba in March 2012, he felt he was "incapable offulfilling" the demands of another international trip, especially withWorld Youth Day 2013 scheduled for Brazil. "With the program set out by John Paul II for these(World Youth) days, the physical presence of the pope was indispensable," he toldGuerriero in an interview, which is included in the journalist's upcomingbiography of Pope Benedict. "This, too, was a circumstance which made myresignation a duty," the pope said.An excerpt of Guerriero's book, "Servant of God and Humanity: The Biography of BenedictXVI," was published Aug. 24 in the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. Pope Bened...
By Cindy WoodenROME (CNS) -- When it comes to the Christian life, too manyseminaries teach students a rigid list of rules that make it difficult orimpossible for them as priests to respond to the real-life situation of thosewho come to them seeking guidance, Pope Francis said."Some priestly formation programs run the risk ofeducating in the light of overly clear and distinct ideas, and therefore to actwithin limits and criteria that are rigidly defined a priori, and that setaside concrete situations," the pope said during a meeting with 28 PolishJesuits in Krakow during World Youth Day.The Vatican did not publish details of the pope's meetingJuly 30 with the Jesuits, but -- with Pope Francis' explicit approval -- atranscript of his remarks to the group was published in late August by CiviltaCattolica, a Jesuit journal reviewed at the Vatican prior to publication. According to the transcript, the pope asked the Jesuits tobegin an outreach to diocesan seminaries and diocesan priests,...
Washington D.C., Aug 25, 2016 / 09:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With so many saying they have abandoned their childhood faith because of science, the Church in the United States has an urgent mission to engage the culture, said one expert.“The new evangelization is as needed as ever,” Dr. Matthew Bunson, EWTN Senior Contributor, concluded from a Pew Research study on “Choosing a New Church.”“As Catholics we need to be very much aware of the immense dangers that are emerging, culturally, when we lose a sense of God,” he added, saying that “dialogue with culture is absolutely essential now.”The Pew study, released Tuesday, shows that among the “nones” – those currently not a member of any religion – around eight-in-ten were once raised in a particular religion. About half of those explained their departure from their childhood faith by saying they simply didn’t believe anymore, and some mentioned “science&r...
Vatican City, Aug 25, 2016 / 07:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis appointed Mexico native Fr. Jorge Rodriguez, former professor and Vice-Rector of St. John Vianney seminary, as a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver.“Father Rodriguez is a passionate pastor and teacher of the faith, and he will serve this archdiocese well in the role of auxiliary bishop,” Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila said in an Aug. 25 press release announcing the priest’s appointment.Fr. Rodriguez, 61, has been pastor at Holy Cross Parish in Thornton, Colo. since 2014, as well as an adjunct professor at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. The announcement of his appointment as auxiliary bishop came in an Aug. 25 communique from the Vatican.Asked about his first-hand experience with the growing Hispanic Catholic community in Denver, Fr. Rodriguez told “Denver Catholic,” the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver, that it is not about numbers s...
(Vatican Radio) The Catholic development Agency CAFOD welcomed the peace deal between the Colombian government and the nation’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC, calling it “an historic moment.” At the same time, CAFOD warns that there are still a number of obstacles lying ahead on the road to lasting peace.The agency paid tribute to the key role of the Catholic Church in Colombia: both as a mediator between the two sides during the negotiations and in a new role of helping people understand the implications of this peace accord and promoting reconciliation. As head of the Latin America Desk for CAFOD, Clare Dixon has visited Colombia many times and closely followed the peace process. She spoke to Susy Hodges about her reaction to the peace accord.Listen to the interview of Clare Dixon of CAFOD:  Describing the peace accord as an “historic moment” Dixon said the people in Colombia are now “living with great hopes” but warns tha...
(Vatican Radio) Rescue teams from all over Italy are working around the clock in the hopes that more survivors will be found under the rubble following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the Lazio, Abruzzo and Marche regions on Wednesday morning.One crew that has been sent to Amatrice, one of the worst affected areas, is the Italian Relief Corps of  the Sovereign Order of Malta.An assessment team made up of five volunteers, including a doctor and a nurse has joined the staff of Italy’s Civil Protection in the rescue effort and is providing medical care to survivors.One of those volunteers is Giorgio Minguzzi who spoke to Vatican Radio about the Order’s relief activities and the devastation he witnessed.Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Giorgio Minguzzi “Now we have 64 volunteers, managing the local sports hall where we host 230 persons during the night”, Giorgio said. “In the sports hall we are also managing all the stocking of...
(Vatican Radio)  Bishop Giovanni D'Ercole of Ascoli Piceno, one of two Italian dioceses worst hit by a 6.2-magnitude earthquake Wednesday morning, was present in Pescara del Tronto and Ascoli to comfort his flock and dig through the rubble for survivors.In an interview with Vatican Radio's Debora Donnini on Thursday morning, Bishop D'Ercole said: "The word which keeps returning most often is this: 'Don't abandon us, because we now have nothing left.'" The bishop said he remained among his people in Pescara del Tronto until midnight Wednesday before returning to Ascoli where people were sleeping outside for fear of further aftershocks.Bishop D'Ercole added he dug through the rubble of the ruined church of Pescara del Tronto for an unexpected surprise. "I was able to recover a Crucifix from the rubble with my own hands, and I found that the only image left intact in the church of Pescara del Tronto is that of O...
Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata, soon to be a saint,  is such a world figure, she needs no introduction.   Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu‎ of Albanian parents on ‎August 26, 1910, in Skopje, in what ‎is ‎Macedonia today, Mother Teresa came to eastern India’s Kolkata city, formerly Calcutta, in 1929, as a missionary nun. Affectionately known as the "saint of the gutter" for her unconditional ‎love ‎for the poor and the abandoned, she founded her Missionaries of Charity congregation in 1950.   She earned numerous national as well as international honours for her works of mercy, including ‎the ‎Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.   She died on September 5, ‎‎1997 at the age of 87 and ‎St. ‎John ‎Paul II declared her Blessed in the Vatican, on October 19, 2003.  ‎ And now Pope Francis will declare her a saint on Sept. 4  at a ceremony here in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square.&...
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