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U.S. stocks plunged again, completing the worst two-week start to a year ever....
By Cindy WoodenROME (CNS) -- As part of his personal observance of the Yearof Mercy, Pope Francis made an unannounced, "private" visit to aretirement home and to a group home for people in a persistent vegetativestate, the Vatican said.The visits to the 33 residents of the Bruno BuozziRetirement Home and the six residents of Casa Iride Jan. 15 were announced withthe hashtag #MercyFriday by the pontifical commission organizing the Year ofMercy.The Vatican previously announced that one Friday each monthduring the Holy Year, Pope Francis would personally and privately perform a workof mercy. The series ended up beginning very publicly Dec. 18 when he visitedand celebrated Mass at a shelter run by the Rome diocesan Caritas.For the January visit, journalists were not invited or eveninformed. Even the residents of the two facilities were not told in advance,said a statement issued by the Vatican press office once the pope had returnedto the Vatican.Pope Francis was accompanied by Archbis...
IMAGE: CNS photo/Toby Melville, ReutersBy Simon CaldwellMANCHESTER,England (CNS) -- Because of the U.S. Episcopal Church's moves to unilaterallychange canon law to allow same-sex marriage, Anglican leaders voted to suspendEpiscopalians from positions representing the Anglican Communion and fromparticipating in some Anglican bodies.Primatesmeeting in Canterbury, England, said that for three years, members of theEpiscopal Church will be barred sitting on Anglican bodies making decisions ondoctrine and polity and from representing the Communion on ecumenical andinterfaith bodies.Themove comes in response to a policy allowing gay marriages, adopted last year bythe General Convention, or governing body, of the Episcopal Church, theAnglican Church in the United States.Thechange in canon law in the U.S. has been strongly opposed by many of thetheologically conservative African churches, some of whose leaders hadthreatened to walk out of the five-day primate meeting if the Episcopal Churchw...
Vatican City, Jan 15, 2016 / 01:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- True to form, the pope of the surprise papal visit dropped by two different nursing homes in Rome unannounced on Friday. The visits kicked off the Pope’s monthly works of mercy, which he plans to do on Fridays during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.The Pope’s first visit on Friday, Jan. 15 was to the Bruno Buozzi Retirement Home on Via di Torre Spaccata, on the outskirts of Rome, which houses 33 elderly people.Pope Francis was able to speak briefly with each person during his visit. He was accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.Before returning to the Vatican, the pope made a second surprise stop at the “Casa Irde,” a home where six persons in a vegetative state live with their families and are provided assistance.According to a Vatican statement, with these visits, Pope Francis wanted to emphasize the great importance of elder...
(Vatican Radio) In a surprise move on Friday afternoon Pope Francis continued with his program of putting mercy into practice during this Jubilee Year by visiting two homes for elderly and disabled people on the outskirts of Rome.A statement from the press office said there was great surprise and joy among the 33 residents of the Bruno Buozzi home for the elderly as the Pope spent talking to each one of them. He was accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Vatican’s Council for New Evangelisation and one of the principle organisers of activities during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.Pope Francis has repeatedly emphasized the great value of the elderly and particularly the important role of grandparents in the Church and in society.Before returning to the Vatican, Pope Francis also visited the nearby Casa Iride where six severely disabled patients in a vegetative state are cared for by their families and by a team of medical staff.Today’s visits were part of t...
(Vatican Radio) In our collective imagination we often connect King Solomon to wisdom. But why is this and anyway who  exactly was this son of King David who lived off the land his father had won?Scripture scholar. Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Benedict Coleridge shares with us some thoughts about this character from our family tree of faith who all those centruies ago  had the great Temple in Jerusalem built.Listen to Scripture Scholar Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge in a programme produced by Veronica Scarisbrick for the series 'Blood,Sweat and Tears in the Bible':   
 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-From Mayan communities in Guatemala breaking language barriers that bring them closer to the Catholic faith, to at-risk youth and young adults in poverty stricken communities in Colombia and Peru becoming faith leaders in their neighborhoods, these outcomes are possible because of the faithful in the United States who contribute to the Collection for the Church in Latin America (CLA). The next collection will be taken in most parishes the weekend of January 23-24.In 2015, the Collection allocated over $6.8 million through more than 425 grants distributed to 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Collection supports a broad range of pastoral programs throughout the region aimed at deepening the faith. Programs include evangelization, family ministry, formation of laity, prison ministry, youth ministry, and catechesis. Pope Francis recently commended the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Collection for the Church in Latin America for its work throughout th...
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) -- Al-Qaida militants struck an upscale hotel and nearby cafe late Friday that are popular with Westerners in Burkina Faso's capital, taking an unknown number of hostages and forcing others to hide for their lives as gunfire and explosions rang out. Commandos used explosives to storm the building five hours later as other security forces tried to remove casualties....
PARIS (AP) -- One man was brain dead and three others faced possible permanent brain damage after volunteering to take part in a drug trial for a painkiller based on a natural brain compound similar to the active ingredient in marijuana, French authorities said Friday....
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