Austin diocese responds to Texas plant explosion

Austin, Texas, Apr 18, 2013 / 05:19 pm (CNA).- As the state reacts to a massive fertilizer plant explosion, Pope Francis and Bishop Joseph S. Vasquez of Austin have asked for prayers for the people of West, Texas and all those affected. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone sent a message to Bishop Vasquez, saying Pope Francis was “saddened” by the news of the destruction and sent his “heartfelt condolences” to the civil authorities and the affected … [Read more...]

Prayer vigils offer solidarity after Boston attack

Boston, Mass., Apr 18, 2013 / 04:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, people of diverse faith backgrounds are uniting in prayer for the victims and offering support to all those affected.“Even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn't even know we had, and we carry on; we finish the race,” said U.S. President Barack Obama at an interfaith prayer service in Boston on April 18.“Scripture tells us to run with … [Read more...]

Bishop laments ‘gay marriage’ approval in New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand, Apr 18, 2013 / 04:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop John Dew of Wellington, president of the Bishops’ Conference of New Zealand, has expressed profound sadness over the authorization of ‘gay marriage’ by the country’s Parliament on April 17.“We find it bizarre that what has been discarded is an understanding of marriage that has its origin in human nature and is common to every culture,” said Archbishop John Dew, according to … [Read more...]

Pope phones Argentine shoemaker for shoe repairs

Vatican City, Apr 18, 2013 / 01:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis, who has quickly become known for his austere style, will continue using his simple black shoes and has called his shoemaker from his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina to repair them.For 40 years, 81 year-old Carlos Samaria has provided shoes from his store on the outskirts of the Argentine capital for Pope Francis, who was known before his election to the papacy as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.“Hello Samaria, … [Read more...]

Pope uses Twitter to mobilize prayers for Texas victims

Vatican City, Apr 18, 2013 / 10:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis tweeted a prayer request for the victims of a fertilizer plant explosion in Texas.   “Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families," he said on the English channel of his Twitter account, which uses the handle @Pontifex.   Between five and 15 people are believed to be dead and 160 injured in the explosion that took place Wednesday night near Waco, … [Read more...]

Pope Francis appoints new bishop to Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, Mich., Apr 18, 2013 / 10:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Father David J. Walkowiak, a priest of the Cleveland diocese, was appointed Bishop of Grand Rapids, Mich., on April 18 by Pope Francis.“I am grateful to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this apostolic office as bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids,” said Bishop-designate Walkowiak.“In accepting this appointment I renew my trust in the Lord who asks me to set out again on a new mission. I thank God for … [Read more...]

Without evangelization Church becomes babysitter, Pope warns

Vatican City, Apr 18, 2013 / 09:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- If Catholics do not proclaim Jesus with their lives, then the Church becomes “not the mother, but the babysitter,” Pope Francis cautioned in a homily and a separate letter to his brother bishops in Argentina. When believers share their faith, “the Church becomes a mother church that produces children (and more) children, because we, the children of the Church, we carry that. But when we do not, the Church is not the … [Read more...]