Syrian Christians begin traditional fast amid continuing violence

Damascus, Syria, Aug 3, 2012 / 05:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church encouraged Syria's Eastern Catholics to offer prayers for peace during their church's traditional August 1–14 fasting period in honor of the Virgin Mary. During the run-up to the August 15 feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God (known in the West as the Assumption), Melkite Catholics will be “praying especially for the safety of all Syrians and for the cessation of … [Read more...]

Spanish Olympic athlete to enter seminary after London games

Madrid, Spain, Aug 3, 2012 / 04:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Carlos Ballve – known as “Litus” to his friends – plays defense on the Spanish field hockey team competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games.But as soon as the games end, he will head to a Belgium seminary to begin the process of becoming priest. According to the Spanish daily El Pais, even though he always considered himself a believer, it was only in 2005 that he became aware of the importance of God in his … [Read more...]

Pope finishes third volume on Jesus of Nazareth

Vatican City, Aug 3, 2012 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See's Press Office announced on Aug. 2 that Pope Benedict XVI has finished the third volume of his work on Jesus of Nazareth, which focuses on the infancy of Christ. Pope Benedict completed the text while on vacation at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. According to the press office, the original German version is now being translated into diverse languages, and publication of the book is expected to … [Read more...]

Kansas City diocese supports victims in wake of priest’s guilty plea

Kansas City, Mo., Aug 3, 2012 / 11:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph voiced deep sympathy for victims harmed by a diocesan priest who plead guilty in federal court Aug. 2 to child pornography charges. “The diocese expresses its profound concern for anyone who may have been harmed by Shawn Ratigan and urges prayer for all affected by his actions,” the diocese said in a statement Monday. Fr. Ratigan, who served as pastor of parishes throughout the … [Read more...]

Congressional leaders support Chinese pro-life activist

Washington D.C., Aug 3, 2012 / 04:07 am (CNA).- Bipartisan leaders of Congress came together in the nation’s capital on Aug. 1 to meet with and offer their support to Chinese pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that Chen’s example “reminds us why we cherish life and freedom so much, and why we work so hard to preserve and protect these fundamental values.”   Chen was welcomed on Capitol Hill to meet with Congressional … [Read more...]

Church postpones talk by Minn. official who rewrote marriage amendment

Minneapolis, Minn., Aug 3, 2012 / 01:03 am (CNA).- A Catholic church in Minneapolis has postponed a talk by Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who is facing criticism for rewriting the title of the state marriage amendment in a way that could undermine its success. Dennis Heaney, a spokesperson for St. Joan of Arc Church, said the talk had been postponed because the media attention meant that there “wouldn’t be an environment conducive towards the talk.” Ritchie … [Read more...]