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Pope Francis back from Ariccia with new seeds planted

Rome, Italy, Feb 27, 2015 / 06:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After a weeklong spiritual retreat outside of Rome, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to the priest who led the reflections, saying that although it’s not always easy to preach to priests, seeds have been planted. “On behalf of all of us, I too would like to thank the father for his work among us during the spiritual exercises,” Francis said after his return to Rome Feb. 27. “It’s not easy to give … [Read more...]

This Lent, the Pope has a message for lapsed Catholics: It’s never too late

Rome, Italy, Feb 27, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Fallen away Catholics are being invited to “come home” this Lent through a worldwide initiative led by Pope Francis, which points to confession as a primary way to experience God's merciful embrace. “So often, people are afraid to come back to church or to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for they feel that, since they have been gone for so long, there is no way back,” said Father Geno Sylva, English language … [Read more...]

Jesuit priest’s cheerful disposition kept hope alive during Afghan captivity

Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb 27, 2015 / 02:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A key player in working for the release of a Jesuit priest held by suspected Taliban militants in Afghanistan for eight months said Thursday the priest never lost hope and was confident in the efforts being made to secure his freedom. Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, S.J., was the Afghanistan director for Jesuit Refugee Services at the time of his abduction by unidentified men on June 2, 2014. Some reports identified the men as Taliban … [Read more...]

African bishops aim for observer status at African Union

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb 27, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The African bishops took the first step on Monday toward having representation at the African Union, with the appointment of a liaison between the AU and the symposium of African bishops conferences. Bernhanu Tamene Woldeyohannes was on Feb. 23 appointed head of the office for relations between the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and the African Union. Woldeyaohannes' Addis Ababa office … [Read more...]

Why a new State Department position could spell trouble for religious liberty

Washington D.C., Feb 26, 2015 / 06:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The State Department’s new LGBT special envoy will promote human rights abroad but could also pose a serious threat to religious freedom, said several experts in the field. “I believe this administration's long-term objective is more revolutionary,” said Dr. Tom Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Through the … [Read more...]

Indians rise up to defend Mother Teresa’s legacy after attack by Hindu leader

New Delhi, India, Feb 26, 2015 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Indians from all walks of life and religions have joined to condemn allegations made against Bl. Teresa of Calcutta by a fundamentalist Hindu leader charging that her sole objective in helping the poor was converting them to Christianity. Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Hindu nationalist organization RSS, said Feb. 23 in India's Rajasthan state that “Mother Teresa's service would have been good. But it used to have one … [Read more...]

Faith vs. Fashion – Muslim woman spars with Abercrombie in major court case

Washington D.C., Feb 26, 2015 / 03:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- When an employer’s hiring standards conflict with a prospective employee’s religious practice, when would the employer be guilty of discrimination for not hiring? That is the question currently before the Supreme Court, which held oral arguments yesterday in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores. Abercrombie chose not to hire Samantha Elauf, a Muslim teenager who applied for a retail job with the chain retailer, claiming … [Read more...]