Harvard ‘black mass’ event met with shock, outcry

Cambridge, Mass., May 8, 2014 / 12:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Harvard student group’s plans to re-enact a satanic black mass on campus has prompted outrage from Catholics who say that the event is not educational, but sacrilegious, offensive and disrespectful. “We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: grace is more important than bureaucracy

Vatican City, May 8, 2014 / 08:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass Pope Francis reflected on attitudes necessary to evangelize, emphasizing the need to leave room for the grace of God instead of putting our own bureaucratic obstacles in the way. “Grace: Grace is more important than all the bureaucracy…Remember this” the Pope insisted in his May 8 daily homily. Addressing to those present for his Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, the pontiff began … [Read more...]

China’s youngest detainee decries torture of father

Vatican City, May 8, 2014 / 04:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Dubbed as “China’s youngest prisoner of conscience,” Zhang Anni and her sister Ruli have voiced their opposition to the government’s vicious treatment of their father, who resists the communist party. In her first interview given in English, Anni told CNA May 5 that if she could say something to the Chinese government, “(I would say) to release our father, because he didn’t do anything … [Read more...]

US draws fire over ‘ineffective’ policy toward Boko Haram

Washington D.C., May 8, 2014 / 04:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Boko Haram kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls follows years of “ineffective” U.S. policy and analysis that ignored the Islamist extremists’ motives, one critic says. “It took the U.S. far too long to recognize that this is a problem of international Islamist extremism and not simply a matter of disaffected youth angry about poor government services, as the administration stated after a … [Read more...]

Former Vatican ambassador faced sexual harassment claim

Vatican City, May 8, 2014 / 02:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A University of Dayton investigation in 2013 found “reasonable cause” to believe that former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Miguel Diaz sexually harassed a married couple while a professor there. The academic news website Inside Higher Ed first reported the allegations against Diaz. It published two confidential letters from the University of Dayton's provost and its general counsel to the two alleged victims, who are … [Read more...]

Jewish and Muslim leaders to join Pope’s Holy Land trip

Vatican City, May 8, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A rabbi and a sheikh, both of whom are friends of Jorge Bergoglio from Buenos Aires, will be accompanying him on his pilgrimage to Jordan, Palestine, and Israel later this month. Abraham Skorka and Omar Abboud, who have been participants in interreligious dialogue with the Pope, will both join the May 24-26 trip, marking the first time that a rabbi and a Muslim dignitary will have done so. The pilgrimage will focus on the encounter … [Read more...]

Evangelize to heal wounds, Pope encourages Burundi bishops

Vatican City, May 7, 2014 / 02:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis encouraged the bishops of Burundi to engage with civil society and proclaim the Gospel in order to promote justice and reconciliation in the fragile society. “I can only encourage you to take your whole place – as you are already doing – in the social and political dialogue, and to encounter the government without hesitation,” the Pope said May 5 at the Vatican. “Persons in positions of … [Read more...]