Pope Francis: Receive new encyclical with ‘open heart’

Vatican City, Jun 17, 2015 / 10:18 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- Speaking one day before its official release to the public, Pope Francis is asking for people to have an “open heart” when they read his latest encyclical dedicated to the environment. “Our 'home' is being ruined, and this hurts everyone, especially the poorest among us,” the pontiff said at the conclusion of his weekly general audience on June 17. The Pope’s second encyclical will be … [Read more...]

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Top US bishops unwavering in support of traditional marriage ahead of Synod

St. Louis, Mo., Jun 17, 2015 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In their spring general assembly held last week, just four months before the Synod on the Family in Rome, top U.S. bishops took a united stand in support of marriage and family life as the Church has always understood it. “We need to be more effective in our communication of the meaning of marriage as one man and one woman, on married couples’ call to be open to life, and on the dignity and responsibility of the vocation of … [Read more...]

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Muslim leaders in Lebanon condemn persecution of Christians in the Middle East

Beirut, Lebanon, Jun 17, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The leaders of four branches of Islam in Lebanon gathered earlier this month to issue a joint statement in the face of sectarianism and the rise of the Islamic State, denouncing attacks against Christians in the region. “In the name of religious, humanitarian and national principles, the summit condemns religiously motivated attacks against Eastern Christians, including attacks against their homes, villages, property and places … [Read more...]

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Ahead of Supreme Court marriage decision, states act to protect religious freedom

Washington D.C., Jun 16, 2015 / 07:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to deliver a ruling that could lead to sweeping changes in the definition of marriage nationwide, two states have enacted new legal protections for those with religious objections to recognizing same-sex ‘marriages.’ “It’s important that people not feel as though they have to check their faith at the door,” a spokesman for the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C., told CNA. … [Read more...]

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How the US bishops believe America can overcome racial violence

St. Louis, Mo., Jun 16, 2015 / 03:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the U.S. bishops’ conference pledged support for reconciliation and healing efforts in areas around the country that have been the site of racial tension and violent clashes between police and citizens. “Promoting peace and reconciliation is the only way forward. And we must constantly strive to achieve these goals, trusting in the Lord to lead and guide us, accompanied by his merciful love,” said … [Read more...]

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Benedict XVI’s summer plans – rare public events and a visit to Castel Gandolfo

Vatican City, Jun 16, 2015 / 11:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Benedict XVI’s summer is set to be the most active since he stepped down from the pontificate in 2013, with plans for participation in at least two public events and a two-week stay at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. “Pope Francis invited Benedict XVI to spend some time in Castel Gandolfo in the month of July and Benedict accepted,” Fr. Lombardi told journalists on June 15. Benedict XVI is expected to be … [Read more...]

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What happens when an entire country becomes infested with demons?

Vatican City, Jun 16, 2015 / 03:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Can a country with deep Christian roots like Mexico find itself at the mercy of demons? Some in the Church fear so. And as a result, they called for a nation-wide exorcism of Mexico, carried out quietly last month in the cathedral of San Luis Potosí. High levels of violence, as well as drug cartels and abortion in the country, were the motivation behind the special rite of exorcism, known as “Exorcismo … [Read more...]

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