Pope: Beauty, generosity in sports build the common good

Vatican City, Aug 13, 2013 / 05:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following a century of Popes who have been enthusiastic about sports, Pope Francis met with the Italian and Argentine soccer teams, urging them to contribute to the common good in their calling.“This is a social responsibility! Let me explain: In the game, when you are on the field, you find beauty, generosity, camaraderie. If a game is missing this, it loses its might, even if the team wins,” Pope Francis told the teams … [Read more...]

March for Life founder still influencing movement after death

Washington D.C., Aug 13, 2013 / 03:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A year after her death, Nellie Gray – called the “Joan of Arc of the pro-life movement” – is still having a profound impact on the annual March for Life that she started nearly 40 years ago.“Nellie will always have a strong presence,” said Jeannie Monahan, president of the March for Life.She told CNA on Aug. 12 that while the organization is currently “in a time of transition,” it is … [Read more...]

Human life should be protected as gift from God, Pope says

Vatican City, Aug 13, 2013 / 12:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Human life – including the lives of unborn children – must be defended as a gift from God, underscored Pope Francis in a recent message. Especially in today's throw-away culture that devalues the human person, parents “are called to teach their children to defend life always, beginning with life in the womb, and see it as a gift from God and a guarantee of the future of humanity,” the Pope said.In a … [Read more...]

Thai Catholics celebrate queen’s birthday with prayer

Bangkok, Thailand, Aug 13, 2013 / 04:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics in Thailand are joining in prayer to celebrate the 81st birthday of Queen Sirikit, respected throughout the country for her various charitable efforts.Special prayers, programs and Masses are planned for Aug. 12, the queen’s birthday, which is celebrated as both a national holiday and Mother’s Day in the country.The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand issued a special announcement asking every … [Read more...]

Assumption speaks to Japan’s Catholics, missionary says

Nagoya, Japan, Aug 13, 2013 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Feast of the Assumption is an important celebration for Catholicism in Japan because of its link to both death and eternal life, according to an Australian missionary priest in Nagoya.“The Catholic communities spend this day in paying tribute and attending Mass, and the names of all the deceased in the family are read aloud, causing the ceremony to sometimes go on for hours,” said Fr. Keith Humphries, a member of the … [Read more...]

Lawyer: Catholics, vegans and Starbucks all need conscience rights

Washington D.C., Aug 13, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA).- A leading religious freedom lawyer says the HHS mandate controversy involves whether government can force businesses and their owners to disregard their own values as they seek to make a living.Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said that businesses frequently make “decisions of conscience.”“Starbucks has ethical standards for the coffee beans it buys. Vegan stores refuse to sell animal … [Read more...]