Africa archbishop affirms support for Catholic Relief Services

Washington D.C., Aug 2, 2013 / 05:20 pm (CNA).- A Madagascar archbishop has distanced himself from controversial claims that Catholic Relief Services distributed contraceptive drugs and abortifacients in his country, affirming that the agency’s actions do not violate Catholic teaching.The U.S. bishops’ conference reported Aug. 2 that Archbishop Désiré Tsarahazana of Toamasina voiced his “strong support” for the relief agency and confirmed that CRS does … [Read more...]

Friar lauds indulgence as a way to connect with St. Francis

New York City, N.Y., Aug 2, 2013 / 04:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Today's feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Porziuncola and its associated indulgence is a way to focus on the importance of Mary and the Franciscan tradition in the Church, a friar explained.The Aug. 2 feast is found in the Franciscan tradition, and marks the dedication of the parish church, called Porziuncola or “little portion,” which is one of those Italy's St. Francis of Assisi rebuilt in obedience to … [Read more...]

Brazilian president signs law permitting abortion after papal visit

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 2, 2013 / 03:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Four days after Pope Francis left Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff signed into a law a measure that opens the door to the distribution of abortion-causing drugs in the country’s public health care system.Upon its publication in the government’s official journal, the August 1 law requires health care centers in Brazil to administer the “morning-after pill” to women who say they have been raped up to 72 … [Read more...]

Mexico archdiocese investigating possible Eucharistic miracle

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 2, 2013 / 12:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Msgr. Ramiro Valdes Sanchez, vicar general of Guadalajara, Mexico, has announced that the archdiocese is investigating a possible Eucharistic miracle that reportedly took place last week. Msgr. Valdes Sanchez said he has received instructions from the archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Jose Francisco Robles Ortega, to direct the investigation.The pastor of Mary Mother of the Church, Father Jose Dolores Castellanos Gudino, … [Read more...]

Despite reports, Vatican organizer says Rio went as planned

Rome, Italy, Aug 2, 2013 / 10:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Although the media focused on some of the moments when the Pope’s security team appeared overwhelmed during the World Youth Day, one of the Vatican press office’s coordinators says just one change was made to the schedule and everything else that happened was foreseen. “In fact, Pope Francis never changed the schedule. He just added the appointment with the Argentineans, which was set in the cathedral of Rio de … [Read more...]

Pope writes to Muslims about mutual respect

Vatican City, Aug 2, 2013 / 06:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With the end of the month of Ramadan approaching, Pope Francis decided to personally write to all Muslims as a sign of friendship and to promote greater respect between the two faiths. “This year, the first of my Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders,” Pope … [Read more...]

Indian migrants in Holy Land prepare for Marian feast

Jaffa, Israel, Aug 2, 2013 / 04:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Preparations for the Feast of the Nativity of Mary this September are already underway in the Holy Land, particularly among Indian migrant workers.“Mother Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother and a spiritual figure of maternal protection,” said Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM, head of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land.She is acknowledged as the “protector and patroness” of … [Read more...]