Cardinal encourages Lenten prayers for Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela, Mar 18, 2014 / 05:03 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela, called on the faithful to intensify their prayers during Lent for God to rid Venezuela of violence, as the death toll from recent protests continues to rise. “I want to ask you to pray a lot for Venezuela this Lent, that Venezuelans can resolve our problems peacefully, with everyone seeking the common good,” Cardinal Urosa said in his Lenten message. “Regardless of the … [Read more...]

Ukrainian Catholics experiencing ‘total persecution’ in Crimea

Kyiv, Ukraine, Mar 18, 2014 / 04:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the Russian president signed a bill to annex Crimea Tuesday, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the peninsula has been experiencing what a Church official calls “total persecution.” “At this moment all Ukrainian Greek Catholic life in Crimea is paralyzed,” Fr. Volodymyr Zhdan, chancellor of the Stryi eparchy in western Ukraine, told CNA March 18.   From 2006 to 2010, Fr. Zhdan served as chancellor … [Read more...]

Benedict XVI sends Pope commentary on early interview

Rome, Italy, Mar 18, 2014 / 01:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Former Pope Benedict XVI sent a four-page commentary to Pope Francis on the September 2013 interview he granted to Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica, according to Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household. The Italian news agency Korazym reports that in an interview with the German television station ZDF, Archbishop Ganswein – who is also Benedict XVI’s secretary – said the retired Pope wrote the … [Read more...]

Pope assures Ukrainian people of his solidarity, prayers

Vatican City, Mar 18, 2014 / 12:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a March 17 meeting with the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Pope Francis expressed the Holy See’s commitment to building peace amid the country’s political crisis. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halyc traveled to Rome for a private encounter with Vatican officials to discuss the political unrest in the country and Crimeans’ vote to join Russia. Crimea, a southern peninsula of Ukraine, … [Read more...]

Vatican designates Kansas church as a minor basilica

Victoria, Kan., Mar 18, 2014 / 11:18 am (CNA).- Capuchin Father Jeff Ernst’s voice leapt with emotion when he heard the news: St. Fidelis Church would be named a minor basilica. “It’s exciting,” he said from his office at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence. “The state of Kansas doesn’t have any.” Bishop Edward Weisenburger received the news from the Vatican last week that the diocese’s application to name St. Fidelis a minor basilica … [Read more...]

Pope Francis warns against the disguise of hypocrites

Vatican City, Mar 18, 2014 / 09:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily Pope Francis cautioned against those who appear to be holy but are in fact self-absorbed, explaining that Lent is a time a time of purification which allows us to grow closer to the Lord. “The sign that we are far from the Lord is hypocrisy. The hypocrite does not need the Lord, he is saved by himself – so he thinks – and he disguises himself as a saint,” the Pope observed in his March 18 daily … [Read more...]

John XXIII a representation of goodness, cardinal recounts

Vatican City, Mar 18, 2014 / 07:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During a recent interview, Cardinal Angelo Comastri reflected on scenes from the life of Pope John XXIII, revealing the pontiff’s deep spiritual nature, as well as his great kindness towards others. “If in John Paul II the key word is courage of the faith, in John XXIII the key word is the strength of goodness,” Cardinal Comastri told CNA in a March 10 interview. Cardinal Comastri is the President of the Fabric of … [Read more...]