Lincoln bishop: strengthen faith to restore religious freedom

Lincoln, Neb., Jul 2, 2013 / 12:07 am (CNA).- The recent threats against religious freedom are an opportunity for the faithful to grow closer to God through prayer, fasting and penance, said Bishop James C. Conley of Lincoln, Neb., in a recent column. “When God’s people start living like everyone else, there is trouble in store,” he said in a June 27 article for the Southern Nebraska Register. Throughout the Old Testament, he explained, we see that as the Israelites … [Read more...]

Hobby Lobby gets temporary reprieve from mandate fines

Washington D.C., Jul 1, 2013 / 05:57 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A district court has ruled that the national craft chain Hobby Lobby may move forward with its lawsuit against the federal contraception mandate without being penalized for violating the regulation. “Hobby Lobby and the Green family faced the terrible choice of violating their faith or paying massive fines starting this Monday morning,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which … [Read more...]

Vatican Bank director, deputy announce resignations

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2013 / 04:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Paolo Cipriani, director of the IOR, or “Vatican Bank,” resigned today, along with his deputy, Massimo Tulli, “in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See,” according to a Vatican statement. The Vatican Bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, has begun the process of finding permanent replacements to fill the positions. Meanwhile, Ernst von Freyberg, who was appointed … [Read more...]

Ignoring human nature harms marriage, says cardinal

Rome, Italy, Jul 1, 2013 / 03:42 pm (CNA).- After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, an Italian cardinal said that recognizing gay unions as “marriages” ignores nature and may yield effects that cannot be entirely anticipated. “The fundamental structures of our existence would be overturned, with the destructive effects that we can imagine, but not entirely foresee,” Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general emeritus of the Diocese of … [Read more...]

Pope will travel to Italian island to pray for immigrants

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2013 / 11:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will travel to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on July 8 to pray for immigrants who died trying to reach the destination. A statement released July 1 by the Holy See press office said the Holy Father was “deeply touched by the recent sinking of a boat carrying migrants from Africa, the latest of a series of similar tragedies.” “Because of the particular circumstances,” the statement … [Read more...]

Prayer is ‘negotiating with the Lord,’ says Pope

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2013 / 10:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At his homily for daily Mass at Saint Martha House, Pope Francis called Abraham's bargaining with the Lord for the people of Sodom a model of prayer – a courageous negotiation with God. “Praying is negotiating with the Lord, even being inopportune with the Lord,” the Bishop of Rome said at the chapel of the Vatican guest-house July 1. “Abraham is a courageous man and prays with courage,” he said, … [Read more...]

Pope Francis’ first encyclical to be released July 5

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2013 / 10:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ first encyclical will be published on Friday, July 5, the Vatican has announced. The encyclical was begun by Benedict XVI and finished by Pope Francis in recent months. It is entitled “Lumen Fidei,” which means “The Light of Faith.” The papal document will be presented at a press conference by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and … [Read more...]