Christian words without Christ bring ‘madness,’ says Pope

Vatican City, Dec 5, 2013 / 02:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily on Dec. 5, Pope Francis reflected that the words and actions of a Christian must be centered on Jesus, or they will be empty, leading to division and the “madness of pride.” “A Christian word without Christ at its center leads to vanity, to pride, power for the sake of power,” said the Pontiff during Mass at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Martha. “And the Lord knocks these people down. … [Read more...]

Shipwrecked man survives underwater for three days praying psalms

Lagos, Nigeria, Dec 5, 2013 / 01:02 pm (CNA).- After a shipwreck off the coast of Nigeria, a 29-year-old man survived three days at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean while constantly reciting a psalm his wife mentioned to him during their last conversation. Harrison Okene was a Nigerian cook on the tugboat Jascon 4, which was one of three vessels pulling an oil tanker. It capsized and sank about 32 kilometers off the coast of Nigeria in late May with its 12 crewmembers aboard. Although the … [Read more...]

Vatican launches new commission for the protection of minors

Vatican City, Dec 5, 2013 / 07:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Earlier today, Pope Francis accepted a proposal for a new commission which will advise him on the protection of children from abuse, as well as how to offer help to those who are already victims.“Accepting a proposal that has been presented by the Council of Cardinals, the Holy Father has decided to establish a very specific commission for the protection of children,” Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley told journalists in a … [Read more...]

Group aims to ease US water poverty with Advent campaign

Smith Lake, N.M., Dec 5, 2013 / 03:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A human rights organization is teaming up with a Catholic mission this Advent to help offer free, clean water to an area of the world that often gets overlooked when fighting water poverty: the United States. “As a Roman Catholic myself and as a human rights organization, we really try to seek out these marginalized populations that just don’t have a voice,” said George McGraw, founder and executive director of … [Read more...]

Schedule of Pope’s Advent, Christmas liturgies released

Vatican City, Dec 5, 2013 / 03:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has issued the calendar of all liturgical celebrations that Pope Francis is slated to preside over during the Advent and Christmas seasons, extending through January of 2014.Pope Francis opened the liturgical new year by celebrating first Vespers on Saturday, Nov. 30 inside of St. Peter’s Basilica in anticipation of the First Sunday of Advent.During this celebration, the Pope gave a special address to university … [Read more...]

Notre Dame, FOCUS lawsuits challenge contraception mandate

South Bend, Ind., Dec 5, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA).- Lawsuits from the University of Notre Dame and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students are challenging the HHS mandate for forcing them to violate Catholic teaching or face crippling fines. Notre Dame's president Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said the university's lawsuit is about the freedom to “live out a religious mission” with broader significance than a debate about contraception. “For if we concede … [Read more...]