Global religious freedom law is ineffective, panel says

Washington D.C., Jun 13, 2013 / 05:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking before a congressional subcommittee, religious liberty experts warned that a U.S. law passed 15 years ago to promote international religious freedom needs stronger enforcement.“This hearing is important because religious freedom is important: it is a pivotal human right that is both central to U.S. History and heritage and affirmed by international treaties and obligations,” said Dr. Katrina Lantos … [Read more...]

Vatican diplomat: anti-drug policies should focus on family

La Antigua, Guatemala, Jun 13, 2013 / 04:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Policies to fight drug abuse should reflect the dignity of the human person and build up the family as vital for both prevention and treatment efforts, said a representative of the Holy See.“Protecting the dignity of all people, especially the youth who represent our future, requires the concerted effort of all in society,” Archbishop Francis Chullikatt said in a statement on behalf of the Holy See.The archbishop, … [Read more...]

Colorado fire draws aid efforts, call for prayers

Colorado Springs, Colo., Jun 13, 2013 / 03:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A massive forest fire in Colorado Springs has destroyed more homes than any previous fire in the state, prompting the local Catholic Charities head to ask for prayers for the victims and for an end to the blaze.“Prayers are really going to be our greatest resource here,” said Mark Rohlena, president of Catholic Charities of Central Colorado, on June 13. “We had a tough day today.”In the three days … [Read more...]

Teen attributes recovery from coma to global prayer chain

Santiago, Chile, Jun 13, 2013 / 12:10 pm (CNA).- A year ago, 16 year-old Antonia Cabrera suffered a stroke and was expected to die. Today, she can speak, walk with some difficulty and is continuing a recovery that she attributes to prayers across the globe. On April 28, 2012, Cabrera fell into a coma, and doctors told her family she would likely either die or remain permanently unconscious.On May 2, her case was publicized on the website, a social network designed to unite … [Read more...]

Pope confirms faith encyclical nearly done

Vatican City, Jun 13, 2013 / 10:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis put aside his prepared remarks this morning and told members of the Synod of Bishops that the encyclical on faith is almost ready and the exhortation on evangelization will be finished before the Year of Faith is over. “Now the four hand encyclical should be released, which Pope Benedict XVI had begun,” Pope Francis said June 13. “He handed it to me, it is an intense document,” he told the bishops. … [Read more...]

Francis celebrates first Mass in Spanish as Pope

Vatican City, Jun 13, 2013 / 10:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- “It feels good,” Pope Francis said today as he celebrated Mass in his native language of Spanish for the first time in 48 days. “It’s the first time I celebrate Mass in Spanish since February 26!” he exclaimed during his homily for daily Mass in the chapel of Saint Martha’s House. The Eucharistic celebration was attended by employees of Argentina’s embassies and consulates, alongside staff of … [Read more...]

Pope confident bishops will keep improving dialogue

Vatican City, Jun 13, 2013 / 08:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said he trusts that bishops will continue to improve their dialogue and collaboration with him and with each other in their next general assembly. “We are confident that the Synod of Bishops will discover further developments to facilitate even more the dialogue and collaboration between the bishops, and between them and the Bishop of Rome,” Pope Francis said June 13. “I am sure that with the … [Read more...]