Korea trip fulfills the dream of the seminarian Jorge Bergoglio

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 13, 2014 / 03:18 pm (CNA).- As a young man and a Jesuit still in formation, Jorge Bergoglio longed to become a missionary in the Far East, like St. Francis Xavier and so many of his confreres in the Society of Jesus. Pope Francis revealed this himself June 7, 2013, during a meeting with some 8,000 students of Jesuit schools in Italy and Albania. “What I liked about the Society is its missionary outreach and I wanted to be a missionary,” he said in … [Read more...]

En route to Korea, Pope prays for journalists killed in Gaza

Aboard the papal plane, Aug 13, 2014 / 12:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Aboard the papal flight to South Korea today, Pope Francis led an impromptu moment of silence to pray for a photojournalist who was killed in Gaza, and thanked journalists for their work. Simone Camilli, a 35-year-old Italian working for the Associated Press, and his freelance Palestinian translator, Ali Shehda Abu Afash, died Aug. 13 along with four Gazan bomb disposal offficers who were trying to dismantle an Israeli … [Read more...]

Pope Francis urges United Nations to intervene in Iraq

Vatican City, Aug 13, 2014 / 10:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis wrote United Nations general secretary Ban Ki-moon, asking him to act to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway in Iraq. The letter, received by Ban Aug. 13, is the latest of the Pope’s interventions to stop the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq. In it, Pope Francis writes that he has been following “the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq” with … [Read more...]

Vatican official calls for military protection of Iraqi Christians

Vatican City, Aug 13, 2014 / 08:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations on Saturday urged the international community to provide humanitarian assistance and military and political protection for Christians persecuted by the Islamic State. “We hope the voice that is surging from different Christian and religious communities, from moderate Muslims, from people of good will around the world, may find the response of concrete humanitarian … [Read more...]

Survey: Christian supporters of gay unions show other moral divisions

Austin, Texas, Aug 13, 2014 / 07:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Churchgoing Christians who support “gay marriage” are more likely to approve of commitment-free sexual relations, pornography, adultery, polyamory, and abortion than other churchgoers, says one researcher who calls the differences a “massive divide.” “At a glance, there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage,” University of Texas sociology professor … [Read more...]

Robin Williams’ death renews call for mental health attention

Washington D.C., Aug 13, 2014 / 04:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The death of iconic comedy star Robin Williams highlights the need for greater education, understanding and support surrounding those struggling with mental illness, say mental health advocates. “We as Catholics first and foremost have to pray for those who suffer and bear this terrible cross, but also be understanding and do what we can to help alleviate this suffering in any way we can,” said Dennis Poust, spokesman for … [Read more...]

Franciscans determined to keep Christianity in Holy Land

Jerusalem, Israel, Aug 13, 2014 / 02:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite the stresses of alternating violence and ceasefires between Hamas and Israel, Franciscans in the Holy Land are committed to helping the region's Christians remain in their homeland. “We pray and we work,” said Father Peter Vasko, O.F.M., president of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land. “That's how we will help preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land. That’s our … [Read more...]