International religious freedom report notes persecution

Washington D.C., May 20, 2013 / 05:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Secretary of State John Kerry released on May 20 the annual International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, which documents violence and persecution towards global religious minorities. “Whether it be a single deity, or multiple deities, or no deities at all, freedom to believe – including the freedom not to believe – is a universal human right,” the reports said of the freedom of religion. “The … [Read more...]

Pope tells Catholics to shout ‘Jesus’ instead of ‘Francis’

Vatican City, May 20, 2013 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis asked those gathered for the Pentecost Vigil Mass at the Vatican to chant Christ's name instead of his own, highlighting his role as Christ's vicar on earth. “From now on no more 'Francis,' only 'Jesus,' alright?” he asked rhetorically during the Pentecost Vigil Mass said May 18 at Saint Peter's Square.   “All of you in the square shouted out 'Francis, Francis, Pope … [Read more...]

Venezuelan Church to start year-long campaign against abortion

Caracas, Venezuela, May 20, 2013 / 12:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Venezuelan bishop said his country's 13th annual pro-life campaign will extend for the whole year, aiming to defend life and reject abortion “as the killing of a weak and defenseless human being.” In a statement sent to CNA, Bishop Rafael Conde Alfonzo recalled that for several years the Week for Life has begun on March 25. However, this year it was postponed because the date fell on Monday of Holy Week and … [Read more...]

Courageous prayer leads to miracles, Pope reflects

Vatican City, May 20, 2013 / 11:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis encouraged bold prayer and faithful trust in God during his homily at Mass today at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican. “A courageous prayer, that struggles to achieve a miracle,” the Bishop of Rome said May 20. “Not prayers of courtesy: 'Ah, I will pray for you,' I say an Our Father, a Hail Mary and then I forget.” Rather, he said, “strong prayer is needed. Humble and strong prayer that … [Read more...]

Rome university launches course on liturgical music

Rome, Italy, May 20, 2013 / 09:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A pontifical university in Rome has launched a master's program in Gregorian chant and the use of the organ at Mass so as to build unity among Catholics world-wide. “The most important thing is that music, when it is truly liturgical, creates community,” Father Jordi Piqué, dean of the Pontifical University of Saint Anselmo's liturgical institute, said May 20. “When one hears a Mass that is sung or the … [Read more...]