John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux among WYD Rio patron saints

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 30, 2012 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- The Shrine of Our Lady of Pena in Rio de Janeiro has announced the patron saints and thirteen intercessors for World Youth Day 2013. “Each one, who allowed him or herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, is an example to follow for all people, especially young people,” said Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro, the president of the WYD 2012 organizing committee. “We place all the young people who will come to Rio de Janeiro in t … [Read more...]

Our ‘amen’ expresses trust in Christ, Pope teaches

Vatican City, May 30, 2012 / 12:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- When Christians say “amen,” they are expressing their trust in the loving promise of God manifested in Jesus Christ, Pope Benedict said during his General Audience on Wednesday. “The Spirit, poured forth into our hearts, leads us to the Father, constantly making present God’s 'Yes' to us in Christ and in turn enabling us to say our 'Yes' – Amen! – to God,” the Pope told tens of thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on May 30.  … [Read more...]

Young Catholic woman with rare syndrome speaks on true beauty

Austin, Texas, May 30, 2012 / 12:06 pm (CNA).- Due to a rare condition, Lizzie Velasquez is unable to gain weight and her appearance made her the target of mockery from her schoolmates who called her “the ugliest woman in the world” in a YouTube video.  The 23-year-old, however, is confident she has been greatly blessed by God, and has become an author and motivational speaker on true beauty. “God is the number one reason why I am here,” she told CNA. “He blessed me with the greatest blessi … [Read more...]

Pope is saddened by ‘Vatileaks’ case but trusts God

Vatican City, May 30, 2012 / 10:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a rare statement after today's general audience, Pope Benedict XVI said that while he is distressed by the “Vatileaks” case, the Church will not lack God's help for the trials it encounters. The series of events has included the arrest and prosecution of his butler for stealing and passing on to the press sensitive papal documents and the ongoing police hunt to find any accomplices. “The events which have occurred during these d … [Read more...]

Ontario could impose Gay-Straight Alliances on Catholic schools

Toronto, Canada, May 30, 2012 / 04:03 am (CNA).- The provincial government of Ontario is considering a proposal that would force Catholic schools to recognize Gay-Straight Alliances, causing Catholic leaders to say it risks threatening religious freedom and could allow clubs that undermine Church teaching.Marino Gazzola, president of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association, said that the Catholic schools are concerned that the government has proposed an amendment "aimed directly" at … [Read more...]

Religious liberty group launches massive HHS mandate site

Washington D.C., May 30, 2012 / 02:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A legal group that aims to defend religious freedom has launched a new website offering a wealth of resources on the contraception mandate, and the various lawsuits that have been filed against it. “There was a lot of misinformation out there on the mandate,” said Emily Hardman, attorney and communications director for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a D.C.-based organization. Hardman told CNA on May 29 that the Becket Fund “ … [Read more...]

Egyptian bishop hopes next president will protect Christians

Cairo, Egypt, May 30, 2012 / 12:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Egyptian elections are causing serious doubts among the country's Christians about whether the next president will protect their rights, with the Muslim Brotherhood's commitment being especially unclear, a senior Catholic bishop in Egypt has said."We have a situation with the elections and the constitution and the future of our country – whoever wants to be president needs to guarantee a good constitution, in which everyone will be … [Read more...]