Religious freedom caucuses planned for every state legislature

Washington D.C., May 24, 2012 / 04:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Advocates of religious liberty have announced plans to launch religious freedom caucuses in all 50 state legislatures in order to fight against the erosion of religious liberty at the local level. The caucuses will be “a focal point for those who are working on religious freedom in the states to direct and generate their efforts,” said Brian Walsh, executive director of the American Religious Freedom Program at the Ethics and Public Pol … [Read more...]

Bolivian bishops urge against passage of gay union law

La Paz, Bolivia, May 24, 2012 / 04:05 pm (CNA).- The bishops of Bolivia told the country's lawmakers that the State has the duty to protect marriage between a man and a woman, urging them to not adopt a that a bill allowing same-sex unions. In a statement issued May 23, the bishops warned that the bill is “a grave threat to the family” as it has been understood throughout Bolivian history and society. The proposed bill is currently in committee and no date has been set for it vote before the ful … [Read more...]

Pope says personal conversion is first step of New Evangelization

Vatican City, May 24, 2012 / 03:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI told the bishops of Italy today that personal holiness is an indispensable first step to reconverting their country and the Western world to Christianity. "The fundamental condition in order to be able to speak about God is to speak with God, increasingly to become men of God, nourished by an intense life of prayer and molded by his grace,” the Pope said on May 24. He encouraged his fellow bishops to allow themselves “to be … [Read more...]

Pope blesses world-traveling cross honoring Christ’s resurrection

Vatican City, May 24, 2012 / 12:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Before his Wednesday General Audience this week, Pope Benedict blessed a large wooden cross that will travel to the capitals of the world marking the 2000th anniversary of Christ’s Resurrection in 2033. The cross measures 13 feet tall and serves as a “sign of gratitude to God,” Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano reported on May 23. The cross has already visited the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden … [Read more...]

Vatican publishes guidelines on apparitions, private revelations

Vatican City, May 24, 2012 / 12:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has published guidelines to help the Church worldwide handle claims of private revelations and apparitions. In his preface to the new publication, prefect Cardinal William J. Levada voiced his “firm hope” that the norms will aid Church leaders “in their difficult task” of discerning apparitions, revelations and “extraordinary phenomena of presumed supernatural origin.” The norms were … [Read more...]

New organization mobilizes lay Catholics for public square

Washington D.C., May 24, 2012 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As concerns over threats to religious liberty continue to mount, a growing Catholic organization aims to help lay men and women take action to protect conscience rights and religious freedom. Maureen Ferguson, senior policy adviser for the newly launched Catholic Association, said the group serves as both “a voice for Catholics in the public square” and a way to educate Catholics on important issues. Ferguson told CNA on May 23 that the a … [Read more...]

New cloister for Benedictine monks dedicated in Holy Land

Nazareth, Israel, May 24, 2012 / 02:23 am (CNA).- High-ranking Catholic churchmen dedicated a new cloister on May 17 at a Benedictine monastery built at the site where Jesus miraculously multiplied loaves and fishes.At the dedication, the retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah said the monastery is "a new witness of the presence of God in the life of this land, a new spiritual actor in the life of this land, a new spiritual companion of all the inhabitants of this land, Jews, … [Read more...]