Spanish bishop affirms Church’s commitment to women, unborn

Rome, Italy, Mar 12, 2014 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As controversy surrounds reform of Spain's abortion law, the newly-elected president of the local bishops' conference says Catholics must both oppose the procedure and support pregnant women. “We need to understand that it is very difficult for many pregnant women – for reasons we can all come to understand – to carry their babies to term,” said Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid. “We … [Read more...]

Group of 200 Catholic employers sues to block HHS mandate

Washington D.C., Mar 12, 2014 / 01:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In one of the largest collective lawsuits against the federal HHS mandate, the Catholic Benefit Association, representing more than 200 Catholic employers and more than 19,000 employees nationwide, has filed a suit on the grounds that the measure compels the violation of Catholic teachings. The association's employers are “united and committed in their defense of their first amendment right to give witness to their Catholic … [Read more...]

Pope to hold first official audience with the blind, deaf

Vatican City, Mar 12, 2014 / 12:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the first pontiff to meet with those who are blind and deaf in an exclusive audience, Pope Francis will hold the gathering later this month – an encounter participants are highly anticipating. “I am pleased that the Pope is making the whole world aware of our world by having an audience with us for the first time” Jakob Badde told CNA on March 10, “we have a great deficiency and most people do not know why and … [Read more...]

Cardinal Bertone: Pope Francis uses prayer as a diplomatic tool

Vatican City, Mar 12, 2014 / 12:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was Vatican secretary of state from 2006 to 2013, has shared his views on papal diplomacy, emphasizing Pope Francis’ use of prayer in relations with states. “Pope Francis has underscored, and put a special emphasis on, prayer as a diplomatic tool,” Cardinal Bertone told CNA March 7. This stress was proven by Pope Francis’ call for a day of prayer and fasting Sep. 7 to address the … [Read more...]

Archbishop Nienstedt cleared of accusation, glad to return

St. Paul, Minn., Mar 12, 2014 / 12:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis is happy to resume public ministry, after he recused himself during an investigation which did not end in charges over accusations he inappropriately touched a youth. “I look forward to returning to public ministry during this Lenten season, especially during Holy Week and the great feast of Easter,” Archbishop Nienstedt said in a March 11 statement. He had been accused … [Read more...]

Bishops laud Pope’s humility, care for poor on anniversary

Vatican City, Mar 12, 2014 / 06:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a statement released on the occasion of the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate, US bishops praised the pontiff for his example, and encouraged the faithful to offer continued prayers on his behalf. “The members of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have noted with thanksgiving the first anniversary of the election of His Holiness Pope Francis as the 266th successor … [Read more...]

Personal notes underscore John Paul II’s Marian devotion

Vatican City, Mar 12, 2014 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In private letters of Bl. John Paul II which have been published by his former secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the pontiff reflects on the three theological virtues, emphasizing that Mary is the highest example of each. “Nothing can be dangerous for us; neither Satan nor the world, nor sin – if there is in us the power of Christ in the Marian way,” Bl. John Paul II wrote in one of his personal notes. Entitled … [Read more...]