Many states still execute inmates with severe mental illnesses

Washington D.C., Dec 10, 2016 / 04:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 10 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in two separate cases that the death penalty is unconstitutional when applied to juveniles or the intellectually disabled.But today, over a decade later, many states still execute inmates with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.And Catholic advocates say the rules need to change.“As Catholics we are called to … [Read more...]

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Bishop Conley reassures clergy over ‘Amoris laetitia’

Lincoln, Neb., Dec 9, 2016 / 05:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Clarity and renewal can be the fruit of disputes and disagreements, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln said to his priests on Monday, reassuring them in the face of confusion regarding Amoris laetitia.“Amoris Laetitia will continue to be discussed among the Church's bishops and the Holy Father, in order to bring clarity and understanding to difficult questions,” Bishop Conley wrote in a Dec. 5 letter to the priests and … [Read more...]

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Franciscan Friars of the Renewal granted pontifical recognition

Vatican City, Dec 9, 2016 / 04:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has officially recognized the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal as a religious institute of pontifical right, the order has announced.Institutions of pontifical right depend immediately and exclusively on the Vatican in the matters of internal governance and discipline. It is the highest form of recognition for a religious community, and is granted to institutes that show steady growth over a period of approximately 20-25 … [Read more...]

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Texas law will make it easier to retrieve miscarried babies for burial

Austin, Texas, Dec 9, 2016 / 11:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A regulation in Texas going into effect this month gives mothers and families the right to know about their child’s burial, and gives unborn babies who die the opportunity for a respectful burial – regardless of the circumstances of their death.Kristi Hamrick, spokesperson for Americans United for Life, who helped create the model legislation for the new Texas regulations, told CNA the legislation both prevents unborn infants … [Read more...]

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As Vatican lights Christmas tree, Pope reflects on Nativity scene

Vatican City, Dec 9, 2016 / 11:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Christmas approaches, the Nativity scenes found in churches and homes around the world bid us to make room for Jesus both in our lives and in society, Pope Francis said shortly before the lighting of the Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square Friday.On Dec. 9, a massive 82-foot tree from the Dolomites was lit in St. Peter’s Square, next to the nearly life-size Nativity scene, donated to the Vatican by the Archdiocese of Malta … [Read more...]

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South Africa says assisted suicide will remain illegal

Pretoria, South Africa, Dec 9, 2016 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- While countries around the world such as Canada, Germany and Japan have passed legislation to legalize physician assisted suicide, one has ruled to reject it: South Africa.The country's Supreme Court of Appeals overturned a high court ruling on Tuesday that would have allowed Robin Stransham-Ford, a 65-year-old retiree who had prostate cancer, to kill himself with the help of a doctor.“A court addressing these issues … [Read more...]

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New Rockville Center bishop was baptized by Fulton Sheen

Vatican City, Dec 9, 2016 / 05:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday the Vatican announced that Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown – who was baptized by the famed and saintly Archbishop Fulton Sheen – will be taking the helm in the Diocese of Rockville Center.“I must…thank the priests and the entire people of God of the Diocese of Allentown, where I have had the great blessing of serving as bishop for the last seven-and-a-half years,” Bishop Barres said in a Dec. 9 … [Read more...]

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