Four-year-old asks Belgian king to block euthanasia of children

Montreal, Canada, Feb 5, 2014 / 01:59 pm (CNA).- As Belgium legislators move forward with a proposed law to allow euthanasia for children, a 4-year-old girl from Canada is asking the King of Belgium to refuse to sign the legislation. “Please do not sign the Euthanasia Law, for the sake of the children,” Jessica Saba says in a video posted to YouTube Feb. 1. Within four days, the video has received more than 12,000 views. Saba was born in Montreal in May 2009 with a severe heart … [Read more...]

Vatican official slams ‘negative approach’ of UN report

Vatican City, Feb 5, 2014 / 11:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In wake of the U.N. Child Protection Committee criticizing Vatican policies and calling for the Church to change its doctrine, a leading archbishop countered that the committee's analysis fails to be objective. “The concluding recommendations…point out a rather negative approach to what the Holy See has been doing and has already achieved in the area of the protection of children,” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told … [Read more...]

Scottish Church ‘disappointed’ in legalization of gay marriage

Edinburgh, Scotland, Feb 5, 2014 / 08:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a statement released on behalf of the Catholic Church in Scotland, officials lamented parliament’s decision to allow same-sex “marriages,” and affirmed that their position remains unchanged. “While the Catholic Bishops of Scotland are disappointed in the decision of the Scottish Parliament it does not change the Church's understanding of or our commitment to the Sacrament of marriage,” a … [Read more...]

The Eucharist gives us a taste of heaven, Pope reflects

Vatican City, Feb 5, 2014 / 04:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his general audience, Pope Francis spoke on the significance of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, explaining that it is a banquet which reminds us of the eternal life that is yet to come. “The Eucharist configures us in a unique and profound way with Jesus,” the Pope noted in his Feb. 5 general audience, “renewing our heart, our existence, and our relationship with Him and with our brothers, and gives us a foretaste … [Read more...]

Samurai’s cause for beatification forwarded to Rome

Vatican City, Feb 5, 2014 / 04:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Takayama Ukon, a 16th-century samurai who faced exile rather than giving up his Catholic faith, is being considered for sainthood because of his fidelity to Christ and his Church. The Japanese bishops’ conference submitted a 400-page application for Takayama’s beatification to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints last year. Takayama’s life is an example of “a great fidelity to the Christian vocation, … [Read more...]

Chart-topping Benedictine nuns to release album for Lent

Kansas City, Mo., Feb 5, 2014 / 02:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles – an order of contemplative nuns who live in a cloister yet repeatedly climb music charts – are set to release an album for Lent later this month. Of the 23 songs found on “Lent at Ephesus,” three are original compositions by sisters of the community, whose priory is in the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph. “We feel like we are stepping out on a limb … [Read more...]

Bishop: Pop culture’s take on Pope an opening for conversion

Lincoln, Neb., Feb 5, 2014 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Rolling Stone piece on Pope Francis was an attempt to “hijack” the papacy for secularist causes, but Catholics should be prepared to use the Pope’s “pop culture moment” rather than become its “victim,” Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln has said. “Pop culture is important, and powerful. The sign value of Pope Francis' pontificate is immense. And liable to misinterpretation,” he … [Read more...]