Colombian archbishop offers prayers after bus accident deaths

Bogotá, Colombia, Dec 18, 2012 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- A Colombian archbishop offered his solidarity and condolences to the families and friends of the 27 victims who died in a bus accident nine days before Christmas. Noting the “tremendously tragic nature” of the accident, Archbishop Dario de Jesus Monsalve Mejia of Cali, Columbia acknowledged that “with irreparable losses like these, we are left speechless.” According to Columbian radio network Caracol Radio, a bus … [Read more...]

Irish government proposals would allow abortion

Dublin, Ireland, Dec 18, 2012 / 03:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Irish government has announced that it will introduce legislation on abortion that will legalize the procedure in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, drawing criticism pro-life advocates. Independent Irish Senator Ronan Mullen said in the Irish Senate that the move showed “no concern for unborn children” and was a contradictory act in the wake of condemnations of the massive school shooting at an elementary … [Read more...]

Religious women support teenagers grieving after shooting

Newtown, Conn., Dec 18, 2012 / 12:04 pm (CNA).- Consecrated women from a religious community in Connecticut are offering prayers, counseling and support to high school students following a mass shooting in their town. “Only God can give them the hope that they need to heal,” said Florencia Silva, director of youth ministry for the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. Silva told CNA that she was one of three consecrated lay women from the Marian Community of Reconciliation who was asked … [Read more...]

Archbishop Chaput: Advent’s message relevant in wake of tragedy

Philadelphia, Pa., Dec 18, 2012 / 11:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The message of Advent is applicable in today’s world, especially in light of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia said in his Dec. 17 column.“In these final days of Advent, the Church urges us to lift up our hearts and prepare to rejoice,” he said. “There’s nothing remotely naïve in this call to joy; the Church knows the harshness of the world far too … [Read more...]

Long-time Michigan roadside nativity resurrected

Warren, Mich., Dec 18, 2012 / 04:01 am (CNA).- A 67-year-old tradition of placing a nativity scene on a public median in Warren, Mich. has been re-established after a four-year legal battle involving the Freedom From Religion Foundation.“John Satawa was persistent enough to follow through,” CNA was told Dec. 17 by Richard Thompson, president of Thomas More Law Center, which represented Satawa, the crèche’s caretaker.Satawa is “an individual citizen who … [Read more...]

Man with sledgehammer attacks two La. Catholic churches

Lake Charles, La., Dec 18, 2012 / 02:12 am (CNA).- A vandal with a sledgehammer who attacked statues at two parishes in Sulphur, La. was discovered in the adoration chapel at one of the churches.Sulphur police chief Lewis Coats said the suspect told authorities, “God ordered him to destroy the statues.”Both Our Lady of Prompt Succor and Our Lady of LaSalette parishes lost about a dozen statues in the attack, which occurred overnight between Dec. 14 and 15. The Blessed Sacrament … [Read more...]

Amid struggle, Palestinian Christians look ahead to Christmas

Jerusalem, Israel, Dec 18, 2012 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Armed conflicts and a decline in tourists and pilgrims from overseas will cause difficulties for Palestinian Christians, but they will still celebrate Christmas. “There are good and bad feelings this Christmas but if we consider that Christmas is above all a spiritual feast, I believe it will be a very good celebration,” Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem told Aid to the Church in Need Dec. 17. “There … [Read more...]