Religious liberty ambassador’s resignation raises concerns

Washington D.C., Oct 22, 2013 / 05:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The reported resignation of  Suzan Johnson Cook as U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom is an chance for the Obama administration to address the issue, but some are dubious that real changes will be made. “If the position remains vacant, or if it is filled with someone not qualified to move this issue into the mainstream of diplomacy, that will confirm the views of the critics – including me – … [Read more...]

Catholic patriarch fears extremist slant of Syrian rebel groups

London, England, Oct 22, 2013 / 12:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch has said that the success of Syrian rebels could worsen the plight of Christians because of the extreme Islamist elements among the rebel forces. “The extremists are against even the normal rebel opposition,” he said Oct. 16, according to the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph. “This is an issue for Muslims as well as Christians. I am not afraid of Islam, I am just … [Read more...]

Sinners are closest to the heart of God, Pope reflects

Rome, Italy, Oct 22, 2013 / 09:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass homily Pope Francis stressed that Jesus came to save sinners, emphasizing also the importance of knowing God on more than an intellectual level.“I have come to heal, to save,” said the Pope, quoting the words of Jesus from the Gospel.The Holy Father directed his Oct. 22 homily to those gathered at the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, where he resides.Pope Francis began his reflections by echoing … [Read more...]

Vatican event brings sports ‘into the heart’ of the Church

Vatican City, Oct 22, 2013 / 07:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture held a conference on “believers in the world of sports” this week to discuss the role of the Church in the realm of athletics. “We wanted to bring sports into the heart of the Church,” said Monsignor Melchor Sanchez de Toca, undersecretary of the council, “to remember that sports is important…for a sound and full Christian life.” He told CNA on … [Read more...]

Vatican event lauds ‘tenacious’ women in modern society

Vatican City, Oct 22, 2013 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just down the road from St. Peter's Basilica, a crowd of almost 200 packed into an audience hall to hear a panel discussion on the witness of modern women in the Church. The occasion for this event was the publication of a book in Italian, “Tenacious Women,” which profiles 12 very different modern women throughout the world who have chosen to live their lives as a daily testimony to their faith. Italian journalist … [Read more...]

Spanish woman recounts how beatified aunt saved her life

Tarragona, Spain, Oct 22, 2013 / 02:06 am (CNA).- Blessed Josefa Martinez' niece says she owes her life to her aunt, who was beatified Oct. 13 alongside 521 other martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. “I pray to her every day, and in Alberique, the town where Sister Josefina was born, many people are devoted to her,” Carmen Cubelle, 76, told CNA following the beatification. “Many holy cards have been distributed, so people can pray novenas, or pray to her … [Read more...]

Syrian bishop calls for dialogue, continuing Christian presence

New York City, N.Y., Oct 22, 2013 / 12:01 am (CNA).- While calling for dialogue between Syria’s Assad regime and moderates among the opposition, a Maronite Catholic bishop has stressed the necessity of a continued Christian presence in the Middle East. “We need the solidarity of people and governments in the West to ensure the ongoing presence of Christians in Syria and throughout the Middle East,” Bishop Elias Sleman of the Maronite Eparchy of Latakia told the Catholic … [Read more...]