Religious freedom essential for global human rights, panel says

Washington D.C., Mar 4, 2014 / 04:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Experts at a recent panel talk in Washington, D.C., suggested that while religious freedom has become a respectable component of foreign policy, serious concerns remain on a global scale. “Religion matters: for billions of people religion remains an inescapable source of identity and purpose,” said Dr. Katrina Lantos-Swett, vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, at a Feb. 26 … [Read more...]

EWTN adds Lenten scripture challenge to app

Irondale, Ala., Mar 4, 2014 / 04:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The EWTN Global Catholic Network has launched a new feature to the EWTN application that challenges its users to read the four Gospels during Lent. Reading all four gospels is “easier than you think!” the network said in a March 3 statement. EWTN’s free app now includes the Daily Lenten Scripture Reading Challenge feature. The app is presently available for iPhone and iPad, Android operating systems and the Amazon … [Read more...]

Pope: More martyrs exist today than in the early Church

Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily Pope Francis called persecution a “reality” of Christian life, challenging faithful to take up the cross and noting that we are never given more than we can handle. “But (people say) 'today we are better educated and these things no longer exist.' Yes they do!” the Pope said March 4. “And I tell you that today there are more martyrs than during the early times of the … [Read more...]

‘Son of God’ movie shines at box office on opening weekend

Los Angeles, Calif., Mar 4, 2014 / 12:19 pm (CNA).- “Son of God,” a new movie depicting the life of Christ according to Gospels, saw tremendous success and positive reviews when it opened in theaters at the end of February. The movie, which opened Feb. 28, grossed $26.5 million at the box office on opening weekend, far surpassing’s prediction of $17.5 million. Yahoo fans gave the film 4.5 stars, and on March 4, it became the No. 1 fan-rated film on … [Read more...]

Portland, Ore. diocese receives new auxiliary bishop

Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 10:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced earlier this morning that Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Peter Leslie Smith to assist in leading the archdiocese of Portland, Ore. as their new auxiliary bishop. Following the retirement of the diocese's previous auxiliary bishop Kenneth D. Steiner in 2011, Msgr. Smith will serve as the archdiocese's third auxiliary bishop. The bishop-designate was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1958 and … [Read more...]

Ancient Lenten pilgrimage comes to life through new book

Rome, Italy, Mar 4, 2014 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Author and scholar George Weigel says his newly-released book offers readers the opportunity experience a centuries-old Lenten practice from Rome in their households across the globe.   Weigel called his recent work “Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches,” an “invitation to people all over the world to spend Lent in Rome, at home.” “This book is a way to make the ancient station church pilgrimage in … [Read more...]

Cardinal Kasper’s speech on divorce, remarriage, and Communion

Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 02:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a two-hour address to a consistory on the family last month, Cardinal Walter Kasper discussed marriage and family life, devoting the last section to “the problem of the divorced and remarried.” The final of the five sections has garnered much attention in the press. In that portion he asked, “is it not perhaps an exploitation of the person” when a person who has been divorced and remarried is excluded from … [Read more...]