Coptic Catholics consecrate first church in Sinai, against backdrop of martyrdom

Ismailia, Egypt, Feb 20, 2015 / 02:01 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- “The Church in Egypt has been strengthened by the murder of our brothers in Libya.” Such was the reaction of Coptic Catholic Bishop Youssef Aboul-Kheir of Sohag to the beheading of 21 Orthodox Coptic men in Libya by Islamic State affiliates. The guest workers in Libya "suffered a holy death with prayers on their lips. They went to their deaths just like the early Christians,” the bishop told … [Read more...]

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Rise of racism, exclusion in Europe prompts call for action

Rome, Italy, Feb 20, 2015 / 12:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Church representatives across Europe cautioned Wednesday against a rise in xenophobic attitudes toward minorities and urged political leaders to stop pinning blame, and start promoting human values. “Simple slogans and cheap propaganda at the expense of immigrants and against the EU may have their impact on some people who are worried about their future; however, they are not a response to the complex challenge of our times,” … [Read more...]

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VIP treatment for LGBT group at the Vatican? Not really.

Vatican City, Feb 19, 2015 / 05:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Vatican sources have cast doubt on reports of VIP treatment for New Ways Ministry, an American LGBT activist group that rejects Catholic teaching, at Pope Francis’ most recent general audience. A source in the Prefecture for the Pontifical Household told CNA that “no requests are rejected” for the general audience seating in the so-called “reparto speciale,” which has a capacity of about 500 people. While … [Read more...]

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Not endorsement, but understanding – Pope Francis and married priests

Vatican City, Feb 19, 2015 / 04:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While addressing the priests of the Diocese of Rome on Thursday, Pope Francis also responded to a question about married priests, underscoring that the Church has great concern for priests who leave ministry to get married and later want to return, but that on the other hand he does not know if the Church can find a way for this to happen. The Bishop of Rome traditionally meets with the priests of his diocese during Lent, and the Feb. 19 … [Read more...]

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Cardinal Dolan: ISIS threatens whole civilization – no one can be silent

New York City, N.Y., Feb 19, 2015 / 03:55 pm (CNA).- With ISIS threatening all of human civilization, no one of any background or religion can remain silent, said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. The ISIS militants who are perpetrating these acts of violence in the name of Islam “threaten civilization, everything that is decent and noble about humanity,” Cardinal Dolan warned, saying that their vicious acts are creating a worldwide crisis that cannot – and must not … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis’ daily challenge: Who will you follow – God or the world?

Rome, Italy, Feb 19, 2015 / 05:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily Thursday, Pope Francis said that every day we are faced with choices between good and evil, and stressed that God is always there to help us when the right decision is hard to make. “The choice is between God and other gods who do not have the power to give us anything other than trivial, pithy little things that pass,” the Pope told Mass attendees Feb. 19. He recognized that “it is not easy” to … [Read more...]

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Communion for divorced and remarried? Africa’s bishops have other concerns, cardinal says

Rome, Italy, Feb 19, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A leading African cardinal says the continent's bishops want the upcoming Vatican synod to zero-in on strengthening the Church with good families – before getting sidetracked on other issues such as the contentious debate over allowing Communion for divorced and remarried couples. Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban was in Rome last week for a meeting of African bishops – known as the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of … [Read more...]

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