Reports of Christian martyrdom nearly doubled in 2013

Washington D.C., Jan 9, 2014 / 04:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly twice the number of Christians were reported as dying for their faith in 2013 than the previous year, according to a new study by an organization monitoring global religious persecution. The World Watch List, issued by Open Doors USA each year, documents oppression of Christians throughout the world. Based on data from the past year, it ranks the 50 countries that are home to the worst treatment of Christians. Along with the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis invites old friend for popemobile ride

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2014 / 04:03 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis welcomed an old friend – Father Fabrian Baez – to ride on his popemobile after spotting the priest in the crowd at the Jan. 8 General Audience at St. Peter's Square. The Argentinean priest has been friends with Pope Francis since they worked together in Buenos Aires. According to the newspaper La Nacion, Fr. Baez was able to get past a security barrier to get close to the Pope. He called out to the Holy Father, who … [Read more...]

Catholic leaders call for policies promoting decent work, just wage

Washington D.C., Jan 9, 2014 / 12:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As lawmakers in Washington, D.C., discuss a possible increase in federal minimum wage, Catholic leaders are asking that the needs of workers and families be kept in mind. The current federal minimum wage fails “to provide sufficient resources for individuals to form and support families,” argued Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: Christian love is not a ‘soap opera’

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2014 / 07:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass today, Pope Francis spoke on the meaning of Christian love, explaining that it is not a form of selfish romanticism, but rather something “concrete” that requires sacrifice. “The love John speaks of is not the love of soap operas! No, it is something else. Christian love has a particular quality: concreteness,” the Pope emphasized in his Jan. 9 homily, referring to the words of the Apostle John in … [Read more...]

Legionaries begin first general chapter to revise constitutions

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2014 / 05:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Earlier this morning the Legionaries of Christ began their first Extraordinary General Chapter meeting to draft and approve their new constitutions, after which they will elect their new leadership. Opening with a Jan. 8 Mass celebrated by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the Chapter, which will be held behind closed doors throughout its duration, began its official meetings the morning of Jan. 9, and is slated to last roughly 20 days. The … [Read more...]

Vatican analyst eager to improve media coverage of Church

Denver, Colo., Jan 9, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA).- Vatican journalist and expert John L. Allen, Jr. will join the staff of the The Boston Globe as an associate editor next month in a bid to enrich the media's coverage of religion and the Church. “What I really hope we can accomplish is to offer a model of what serious coverage of the Catholic Church will look like in a major secular news outlet,” Allen said in a Jan. 7 conversation with CNA. “Fundamentally, what I hope is … [Read more...]

Conflict puts Central African refugees in ‘horrendous’ situation

Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan 9, 2014 / 02:01 am (CNA).- As the refugee situation in the Central African Republic continues to worsen, Catholic Relief Services says it is working to help displaced persons and to encourage a peaceful resolution to the violence. “The humanitarian consequences have been horrendous,” Helen Blakesley, Catholic Relief Services' regional information officer for West and Central Africa, said Dec. 7. “The country was already extremely … [Read more...]