Thai Catholics celebrate queen’s birthday with prayer

Bangkok, Thailand, Aug 13, 2013 / 04:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics in Thailand are joining in prayer to celebrate the 81st birthday of Queen Sirikit, respected throughout the country for her various charitable efforts.Special prayers, programs and Masses are planned for Aug. 12, the queen’s birthday, which is celebrated as both a national holiday and Mother’s Day in the country.The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand issued a special announcement asking every … [Read more...]

Assumption speaks to Japan’s Catholics, missionary says

Nagoya, Japan, Aug 13, 2013 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Feast of the Assumption is an important celebration for Catholicism in Japan because of its link to both death and eternal life, according to an Australian missionary priest in Nagoya.“The Catholic communities spend this day in paying tribute and attending Mass, and the names of all the deceased in the family are read aloud, causing the ceremony to sometimes go on for hours,” said Fr. Keith Humphries, a member of the … [Read more...]

Lawyer: Catholics, vegans and Starbucks all need conscience rights

Washington D.C., Aug 13, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA).- A leading religious freedom lawyer says the HHS mandate controversy involves whether government can force businesses and their owners to disregard their own values as they seek to make a living.Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said that businesses frequently make “decisions of conscience.”“Starbucks has ethical standards for the coffee beans it buys. Vegan stores refuse to sell animal … [Read more...]

‘March on the Media’ criticizes abortion bias in reporting

Washington D.C., Aug 12, 2013 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life leaders from around the country are calling on major media outlets to do a better job of informing society about the reality of abortion, rather than obscuring the facts in their coverage choices.“The media has flinched from the reality of abortion for decades,” said Lila Rose, president of Live Action, which has worked through undercover videos to expose abuses within the abortion industry.“We call on … [Read more...]

Pope Francis calls, consoles Italian man after brother’s murder

Rome, Italy, Aug 12, 2013 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- An Italian man who has struggled to forgive God after the murder of his brother recently received a personal phone call from Pope Francis, who offered him words of comfort.Michele Ferri was devastated when his brother, who owned several gas stations in the city of Pesaro in northern Italy, was shot and killed by two employees last June. The employees are now serving prison sentences.Overcome with grief and frustration, Ferri had written a letter … [Read more...]

Colombia to host 2014 World Congress on Divine Mercy

Bogotá, Colombia, Aug 12, 2013 / 02:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Bishops’ Conference of Colombia has announced that the capital city of Bogota will be the site of the third World Apostolic Congress on Divine Mercy, to be held Aug. 15-19, 2014.Bishop Julio Hernando Garcia of Istima Tado, who heads the committee charged with organizing the event, made the announcement during a press conference on Aug. 8.He said the congress will be “a platform for healing the wounds of the … [Read more...]

Mystery priest in Missouri rescue comes forward

Jefferson City, Mo., Aug 12, 2013 / 02:12 pm (CNA).- The mysterious Missouri priest who gave anointing to a woman in her wrecked car near Center, Mo. has been identified as Father Patrick Dowling, of the Diocese of Jefferson City.“I thank God and the amazingly competent rescue workers,” Fr. Dowling stated today in a comment on CNA's original article on the Aug. 4 incident.“I thank them for making me welcome in such a highly charged situation and allowing me to … [Read more...]