FOCUS grateful for injunction against contraception mandate

Denver, Colo., Apr 30, 2014 / 04:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) has welcomed a federal court’s injunction against the HHS mandate that the student missionary organization says threatens the freedom of religious ministries. “Affirming the freedom of FOCUS to operate as a Christian ministry is the only constitutionally correct solution to this government-created problem,” John Zimmer, vice president of training and formation for … [Read more...]

Botched execution shows death penalty’s brutality, bishop says

Oklahoma City, Okla., Apr 30, 2014 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Commenting on the April 29 bungled execution of a death row inmate at the state penitentiary, Oklahoma City’s archbishop has called for a reconsideration of capital punishment. “We certainly need to administer justice with due consideration for the victims of crime, but we must find a way of doing so that does not contribute to the culture of death, which threatens to completely erode our sense of the innate dignity … [Read more...]

Holy Spirit’s gift of understanding enlightens minds, Pope says

Vatican City, Apr 30, 2014 / 11:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis explained that the Holy Spirit’s gift of understanding allows Christians to obtain “intimacy with God” and helps them understand things “as God understands them.” “When the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and enlightens our minds, he makes us grow day by day in the understanding of what the Lord has said and accomplished,” the Pope said at the Wednesday General Audience April … [Read more...]

Argentine nun heads to Syria after Pope’s call to peripheries

Gaza City, Apr 30, 2014 / 04:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A religious sister from Argentina, who has been serving for four years in the Gaza Strip, is preparing to go to the Syrian city of Aleppo, in response to Pope Francis’ call to aid those who are “forgotten.” At his first General Audience after being elected, Pope Francis on March 27, 2013, called on Catholics to learn “to come out of ourselves … in order to go to meet others, to go toward the outskirts of … [Read more...]

Google called on to be neutral in pregnancy center ad policy

Mountain View, Calif., Apr 30, 2014 / 02:18 am (CNA).- Google is being asked to maintain neutrality and fairness in implementing its advertising policy after an abortion advocacy group convinced it to remove a number of ads from pro-life pregnancy centers. “This represents the next round of NARAL’s attacks on the work of grassroots organizations offering life-affirming alternatives to abortion,” said Joe Young, vice president of operations and strategic initiatives for … [Read more...]

Interreligious Thai leaders pray for peace during crisis

Bangkok, Thailand, Apr 30, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics and representatives of four other religious traditions in Thailand have prayed in union with another for peace, in light of tensions and political unrest that have threatened the nation's progress. “Prayer has power and plays an important role in the life of the person; every religion acknowledges this fact and believes it with deep conviction in their hearts,” Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak … [Read more...]

Catholic Charities aids victims of powerful Ark. storm

Little Rock, Ark., Apr 29, 2014 / 05:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At least 35 people have been killed in deadly storms and tornadoes in the South, and Catholic agencies are preparing long-term support for the storm’s victims. “The storm was really powerful,” Patrick Gallaher, executive director of Catholic Charities of Arkansas, told CNA April 28. “They’re not finding many damaged homes. They’re either untouched or they’re completely blown away, just … [Read more...]