Human rights include religious freedom, commission says

Washington D.C., Apr 23, 2013 / 05:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has asked Secretary of State John Kerry to focus on religious liberty as a key human right during an upcoming U.N. Human Rights Council review.Commission chair Katrina Lantos Swett told Kerry in an April 12 letter that the U.N. council’s upcoming Universal Periodic Review forum “provides a unique opportunity to shine a light on the violations of religious freedom in … [Read more...]

Gloria Estefan says Christ’s teachings are key to peace

Vatican City, Apr 23, 2013 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- Visiting the Vatican to participate in the recent TEDx conference on religious freedom, Cuban singer Gloria Estefan said that the teachings of Jesus Christ are central to ensuring peace in the world.In an interview with CNA, Estefan said she believes it is important that “the basic teachings of Jesus Christ” be passed on to young people.“It’s about treating other human beings like you want to be treated, and if we did … [Read more...]

Debate, protests mark legalization of gay marriage in France

Paris, France, Apr 23, 2013 / 12:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After months of debate and massive protests, the National Assembly in France passed President Francois Hollande's “marriage for all” bill in to law on April 23. With 331 votes in favor to the 225 votes against, the lower house approved President Hollande’s draft law which now legalizes “gay marriage,” allows gay couples to receive medical treatment for artificial procreation and to adopt … [Read more...]

Jesus not found outside the Church, Pope preaches

Vatican City, Apr 23, 2013 / 07:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said that people cannot be fully united to Jesus outside of the Church during a Mass to commemorate Saint George, the saint he is named after. “You cannot find Jesus outside the Church,” he said April 23 in the Apostolic Palace’s Pauline Chapel. “It is the Mother Church who gives us Jesus, who gives us the identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging,” he declared in his homily. The … [Read more...]

Pope responds to bishops’ kidnapping with ‘intense prayer’

Vatican City, Apr 23, 2013 / 05:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis is responding to the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops in Syria with “intense prayer” for their health and release. The Pope “was informed of this serious new act, which adds to the growing violence in recent days and a humanitarian emergency of vast proportions,” Vatican press office director Father Federico Lombardi said in an April 23 statement. He is following the events “closely and … [Read more...]

Newly translated book shows Pope, rabbi in dialogue

Colorado Springs, Colo., Apr 23, 2013 / 04:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The first book by Pope Francis to be translated into English was co-authored by an Argentine rabbi and illustrates the Pope's commitment to inter-religious dialogue, according to the book’s translator. “It shows his understanding that inter-religious dialogue is based on two cornerstones: a very strong sense of each person’s religious identity and genuine personal respect and charity,” said … [Read more...]

Florist faces second lawsuit over gay wedding refusal

Seattle, Wash., Apr 23, 2013 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A florist in Washington is being sued for a second time after choosing not to provide flower arrangements for a gay customer's upcoming wedding.   Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene's Flowers in Richland now faces two lawsuits, one from the Washington state Attorney General and another from the American Civil Liberties Union, for turning away business for a same-sex couple’s wedding. When frequent customer Curt Freed … [Read more...]