Pope: ‘Quality of life in Rome depends on all of us’

Vatican City, Dec 31, 2013 / 12:07 pm (CNA).- In his homily during evening prayer on New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis focused on the theme of time well spent, urging the citizens of Rome to better their city in the upcoming year. “It is the last day of the year. What will we do, how will we act next year, to make our city a little better?” he questioned the congregation gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 31 in anticipation of the solemnity of Mary, Mother of … [Read more...]

Church in Papua New Guinea hosts training for journalists

Madang, Papua New Guinea, Dec 31, 2013 / 08:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The social communications office of the bishops' conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands recently held a series of seminars training Catholics involved in media about their role in evangelization. “The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea needs to … see how she can be more present and active where modern culture and behavior is shaped and promoted,” said Fr. Giogio Licini, head of the … [Read more...]

Belgium considers legalizing euthanasia for minors

Brussels, Belgium, Dec 30, 2013 / 09:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite religious opposition, the Belgian Senate voted Dec. 13 in favor of a bill which would expand legal euthanasia to terminally ill minors and persons with dementia. The bill now has to be considered by the country’s lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Representatives, which is widely expected to approve it. The bill passed in the Senate by a margin of 50-17. After the bill was passed by the Senate's justice … [Read more...]

Archbishop: Muslims, Christians united in fight for equality in India

New Delhi, India, Dec 29, 2013 / 08:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Recent efforts from Christians and Muslims in India have united the communities to end the practice of untouchability, including a Dec. 11 march in which peaceful protesters were subjected to beatings and being sprayed with water cannons. “We are trying to come together in this ecumenical effort,” Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi said in a Dec. 18 interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. Although … [Read more...]

Pope prays for upcoming Synod of Bishops

Vatican City, Dec 29, 2013 / 05:26 am (CNA).- In his Angelus address given on the feast of the Holy Family, Pope Francis prayed especially for the approaching Synod of Bishops which will discuss pastoral challenges to the family. “The next Synod of Bishops will address the theme of the family, and the preparatory phase has already begun some time ago. For this reason, today, (on) the feast of the Holy Family, I wish to entrust this synodal work to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, praying for … [Read more...]

Legal group fights Swiss lawsuit promoting euthanasia

Washington D.C., Dec 28, 2013 / 09:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S.-based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom has issued a legal brief supporting Swiss laws that bar assisted suicide for those who do not suffer from any fatal disease. “The government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death,” Alliance Defending Freedom’s Vienna-based legal counsel Paul Coleman said in a statement. The legal group’s brief, submitted to the Grand Chamber of … [Read more...]

Release imprisoned pastor, congressional hearing urges Iran

Washington D.C., Dec 27, 2013 / 09:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A congressional hearing about Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran, produced more calls for his speedy release and warnings that his situation reflects Iran’s continued poor human rights record. “The plight of Pastor Saeed’s imprisonment is not isolated, but is symptomatic of the Iranian regime’s hostility to religious minorities,” warned Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chair of the … [Read more...]