Peruvian priests lauded for work with gang members, poor

Lima, Peru, Dec 5, 2012 / 04:02 pm (CNA).- Radio Programas del Peru, the largest radio network in the country, has chosen two priests to receive its annual award for their work in “inspiring the country.” Father Jose Chuquillanqui Yamamoto and Father Jose Ignacio Mantecon were chosen for the honor for their initiatives with the poor and underprivileged in the capital city of Lima. Through sports and educational programs, Fr. Mantecon has helped more than 400 young people escape … [Read more...]

Catholic charity groups welcome Pope’s call for fidelity

Washington D.C., Dec 5, 2012 / 03:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Leaders of Catholic charities in the U.S. reaffirmed Pope Benedict's recent message on the need to remain firmly rooted in the Gospel and Catholic identity while reaching out to serve those in need. “The Church's charitable work is directly tied to our love of God,” said Don Clemmer, assistant director of media relations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Love of God and love of neighbor are intricately … [Read more...]

Pope makes second appeal for Congo as situation worsens

Vatican City, Dec 5, 2012 / 01:38 pm (CNA).- The Pope has repeated his plea for international humanitarian aid in the Democratic Republic of Congo just two months after his last appeal for the country."I renew my call for dialogue and ask the international community to work to provide for the needs of the population," he told the thousands of people at the Dec. 5 general audience.Pope Benedict XVI previously appealed for the country's peace during his Angelus on Sept. 30, … [Read more...]

Vatican office to launch Pope smartphone app

Vatican City, Dec 5, 2012 / 12:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, announced that his office is designing a new app on Pope Benedict for smartphones. Called “The Pope,” the new app for iPhones and iPads will be sent to Apple for approval next week, said Gustavo Entrala of the Spanish communications firm 101.   The app will allow users to follow the Pope's speeches and homilies live … [Read more...]

Pope: Advent is time to focus on God’s loving plan

Vatican City, Dec 5, 2012 / 10:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As the Church celebrates the season of Advent, Pope Benedict said that Catholics should remember “God is present” and recall his “plan of loving goodness.”"Advent invites us, in the midst of many difficulties, to renew the assurance that God is present," he told thousands in his general audience at the Vatican on Dec. 5.Pope Benedict XVI called Advent the time which prepares us for the coming of … [Read more...]

Judge blocks Calif. ‘gay therapy’ law over free speech concerns

Sacramento, Calif., Dec 5, 2012 / 04:02 am (CNA).- A federal judge has temporarily blocked a California law that bars therapy to change the behaviors or orientations of those with same-sex attractions under 18, ruling that a lawsuit against it will likely succeed on free speech grounds.Opponents of the law praised Monday’s ruling.Brad Dacus, President of the Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute, said Dec. 3 that the decision “sends a clear signal to all those who feel … [Read more...]

Duchess of Cambridge’s illness could save lives, author says

Denver, Colo., Dec 5, 2012 / 02:19 am (CNA).- The Duchess of Cambridge’s stay in the hospital for severe morning sickness could help other women avoid aborting their children, according to author Ashli McCall, who has experience with the condition.In a Dec. 3 announcement, a representative for the Royal Family confirmed the pregnancy of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but also said that Kate Middleton has been hospitalized with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.The illness, which is a severe … [Read more...]