Man with disfigured face recalls warmth of encounter with Pope

Rome, Italy, Dec 11, 2013 / 12:29 pm (CNA).- Oreste Tornani, a man with a severely disfigured face who was blessed by Pope Francis at a recent General Audience, says he felt very close to the Holy Father at their encounter. The two met briefly on Nov. 20 following the Pope's address in St. Peter's Square, as the Roman Pontiff spent several minutes greeting the sick who were in attendance. “The Pope speaks very simply, cordially and with a warm voice, and it's nice to hear … [Read more...]

Pope Francis proclaimed TIME’s 2013 ‘Person of the Year’

New York City, N.Y., Dec 11, 2013 / 09:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On this morning's episode of “Today Show” Time Magazine announced their choice of Pope Francis for the 2013 “Person of the Year,” stating that he is changing the “tone and perception” of the Church. Reacting to the news, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi issued a comment Dec. 11, calling it “unsurprising considering the resonance and very widespread attention given to the … [Read more...]

Mary’s ‘embrace’ shows unity of the Americas, says Pope

Vatican City, Dec 11, 2013 / 06:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At the end of his general audience, Pope Francis reflected on tomorrow’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, extending his greetings to all on the American continent. “Mary’s embrace showed what America – North and South – is called to be: a land where different peoples come together,” the Pope explained after his Dec. 11 general audience address. Following his discourse given … [Read more...]

Pope: Final Judgment brings comfort, despite our fears

Vatican City, Dec 11, 2013 / 05:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his general audience Pope Francis reflected that the reality of the Final Judgment allows us to trust in God even if we are afraid, emphasizing also that our judgment begins each day through the way we live.“Dear brothers and sisters, reflecting on the final judgment – despite that it instinctively raises a certain fear in us – gives elements of comfort and trust,” the Pope said in his Dec. 11 Wednesday … [Read more...]

Funding for adult stem cell research increasing, report finds

Washington D.C., Dec 11, 2013 / 04:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A recent report has found that research on ethically-sourced adult stem cells is rising in popularity, leaving advocates pointing to its advantages – in both ethics and outcome – over embryonic stem-cell research. The views of the scientific community are shifting with the realization that “the best hope for rapid medical advances lies with morally unproblematic alternatives,” said Chuck Donovan, president of … [Read more...]

Study shows importance of online giving options for young Catholics

Washington D.C., Dec 11, 2013 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- New research reveals that younger Catholics are more likely to give to charitable causes through online donation options and that overall, Catholics are concerned with the needs of the poor in their area. “The knowledge gained from this report is important for our understanding of the current patterns of giving among Catholics,” said Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ national … [Read more...]

European Parliament rejects notion of abortion as human right

Strasbourg, France, Dec 11, 2013 / 12:03 am (CNA).- Members of the European Parliament have rejected a report which suggested that abortion be defined as a “human rights and public health concern.” The rejection of the report affirms the ability of the individual nations in the European Union to promote their own approach to sexual education and abortion policies. "The formulation and implementation of policies on sexual and reproductive health and rights and on sex … [Read more...]