Alligator OK to eat on Lenten Fridays, archbishop clarifies

New Orleans, La., Feb 15, 2013 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Alligator is permissible to eat on Fridays of Lent, the archbishop of New Orleans assured a conscientious parishioner, and his approval has been backed by the national bishops' conference.“Concerning the question if alligator is acceptable to eat during the Lenten season...yes, the alligator is considered in the fish family,” Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond wrote in a 2010 letter provided to CNA by the New Orleans … [Read more...]

Couples vow life-long fidelity before tomb of St. Valentine

Terni, Italy, Feb 15, 2013 / 12:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 120 soon-to-be-married couples promised to be faithful to one another in a special Feb. 10 ceremony at the tomb of St. Valentine in the Italian city of Terni.Engaged couples from across Italy endured freezing temperatures to participate in the ceremony at St. Valentine Basilica, led by the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.St. Valentine, the third century bishop and martyr, helped … [Read more...]

Vatican Bank gets new president as papal coverage continues

Vatican City, Feb 15, 2013 / 09:47 am (CNA).- The drama surrounding the Pope's resignation did not prevent the Vatican from moving ahead with filling the top post at its main financial institution. The Institute for the Works of Religion, frequently called the Vatican Bank, announced Feb. 15 that Ernst von Freyberg will be the new president of the institute’s supervisory board. “This decision is the result of extensive evaluation and a series of interviews that the … [Read more...]

Rome priests react with sadness to Pope’s resignation

Vatican City, Feb 15, 2013 / 08:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After meeting with Pope Benedict on Thursday, priests from the Rome diocese said they are sad he is retiring and that he was a great gift to the Church. ““We’re sad because a Pope is not only a theoretical leader, he’s the man to whom you give your allegiance and your vows, so there’s a direct link and a sadness in that,” said Father Robert, after the Pope met Feb. 14 with the clergy of his diocese at … [Read more...]

EWTN mourns passing of Deacon Steltemeier, founding president

Irondale, Ala., Feb 15, 2013 / 06:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Deacon R. William Steltemeier, Jr., founding CEO of the Eternal World Television Network, died in Hanceville, Ala. on Feb. 15 at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness. Michael P. Warsaw, current network president and CEO, called Deacon Steltemeier “a man of incredible faithfulness,” noting that only EWTN founder Mother Angelica was more closely associated with the network. “As a husband, a father, an attorney and in his vocation as a per … [Read more...]

Lawyer says ACLU wrongly limits religious liberty

Denver, Colo., Feb 15, 2013 / 04:03 am (CNA).- A lawyer involved in prominent religious liberty cases says the American Civil Liberties Union's opposition to religious exemptions will ultimately discriminate against believers. Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said the ACLU supports restrictions that “would relegate many religious citizens into second-class status.” This is shown by efforts aimed at “disqualifying them … [Read more...]

Engaging modern society central to Benedict’s papacy

Huntington, Ind., Feb 15, 2013 / 02:03 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict has used his pontificate to advance the new evangelization and to speak to the modern world, said the president of a leading Catholic publication. “During his eight-year pontificate, he used the Chair of Peter as a pulpit from which to address the challenges and the hopes of modern society,” Greg Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, said Feb. 11. “His three encyclicals...all spoke to his … [Read more...]