Lebanese bishop appeals for Christian Syrian refugees

Zahle, Lebanon, Jan 7, 2014 / 02:14 pm (CNA).- Christian refugees from Syria living in Lebanon need the support of their Western counterparts, according to an Eastern Catholic bishop who is himself a native of Syria. “They live in rented homes, sometimes with multiple families in a single home or a set of rooms … most of these Christian families, however, are in need of the very basics of daily life – food, educational opportunities for their children, medical care,” … [Read more...]

Christmas celebration in India promotes peace, harmony

Karwar, India, Jan 7, 2014 / 12:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics gathered with those of other traditions last week in a city of South West India to celebrate Christmas with efforts promoting peace and harmony. Bishop Derek Fernandes of Karwar presided over Christmas celebrations Dec. 29 with over 4,000 faithful, as well as extending the joy of the Nativity with those of other religions. “Such a public manifestation of the birth of our savior is important so as to share with everyone … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: the path of ‘humiliation’ leads us to Jesus

Vatican City, Jan 7, 2014 / 10:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass homily Pope Francis touched on the importance of discerning what comes from God and what is false, emphasizing that the way of Jesus is always one of “humility.” “That is the path of Jesus Christ: abasement, humility, humiliation as well,” the Pope said Jan. 7, “if a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, is from … [Read more...]

Pope leaves voicemail for Carmelite nuns on New Years

Vatican City, Jan 7, 2014 / 05:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis called a community of Carmelite sisters in Lucena, Spain to wish them a happy new year, and when they didn’t answer, he left a message saying that he would call back. "What are the nuns doing that they can't answer?" the Pope jested in his Dec. 31 message to the nuns, "I am Pope Francis, I wish to greet you in this end of the year, I will see if I can call you later. May God … [Read more...]

Catholic Charities helps Midwest poor through cold weather

Chicago, Ill., Jan 7, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As intense cold weather in the Midwest nears record low temperatures, local Catholic Charities affiliates are reaching out to those who are most in need. “Chicago is experiencing extremely dangerous and cold weather. We are anticipating some of the coldest weather on record,” Kristine Kappel, communications director for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, told CNA Jan. 6. “In weather like this our top … [Read more...]

Vatican spokesman: media manipulated Pope’s family comments

Vatican City, Jan 7, 2014 / 02:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's spokesman says some coverage of Pope Francis’ comment about a child of a same-sex couple is “forced” and a “manipulation” of his primary concern about evangelizing in new cultural environments. On Jan. 3, the Italian Jesuit periodical La Civilta Cattolica published a 14-page account of Pope Francis' Nov. 29 conversation with a group of superiors general from religious orders. While … [Read more...]

Veteran hospital’s ban on Christmas carols draws criticism

Augusta, Ga., Jan 7, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Veterans’ Affairs hospital in Georgia was wrong to bar Christmas carolers from singing religious songs, a religious liberty legal group has said. “By banning these Christmas carols, the VA is trampling the very religious freedoms our veterans have sacrificed so much to defend. Contrary to what hospital officials are claiming, they are disrespecting--not respecting – constitutionally protected religious freedoms,” … [Read more...]