Race-based death sentence rejected at US Supreme Court

Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2017 / 02:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A death row inmate in Texas deserves a new sentencing hearing because his own lawyers called on an expert who claimed he was more likely to be dangerous because he is black, the U. S. Supreme Court has said.Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion in the Feb. 22 decision in Buck v. Davis, saying: “When a jury hears expert testimony that expressly makes a defendant's race directly pertinent on the question of life … [Read more...]

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Trump draws praise for withdrawing transgender bathroom regulation

Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2017 / 12:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday night, the Trump administration withdrew an Obama-era guidance that had directed schools to allow students to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender they currently identify with, not the facilities of their birth or biological sex.The guidance had prompted criticism on the grounds of safety and privacy. In dropping it, the Trump administration said the policy had created too much confusion and the issue should be … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis: the Torah is a manifestation of God’s love for man

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2017 / 07:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis welcomed longtime friend and Rabbi Abraham Skorka to the Vatican for the presentation of a new version of the Torah, which he said is a sign of the love God shows to man in both words and gestures.The Torah “manifests the paternal and visceral love of God, a love shown in words and concrete gestures, a love that becomes covenant,” the Pope said during the Feb. 23 audience, adding that the word covenant … [Read more...]

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This 110-year-old nun got birthday greetings from Pope Francis

Florence, Italy, Feb 23, 2017 / 06:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- She is one of the oldest religious sisters in the world, but this week, she turned 110 years young. Despite her advanced age, Sister Candida Bellotti retains the enthusiasm of a young woman. On Monday, Feb. 20, she celebrated her 110th birthday and received a special message from Pope Francis.“To the Reverend Sister Candida Bellotti, Sister Minister of the Sick, who with gratitude to God is celebrating her 110th birthday, … [Read more...]

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Catholics shouldn’t totally reject human gene editing – but it still has ethical problems

Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2017 / 02:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Recent American guidelines for human gene modification have raised important ethical questions, especially with regard to modifying the genes of unborn children and of reproductive cells.The National Academy of Sciences last week released a 261-page report on guidelines for editing the human genome to treat diseases and other applications. The report covers a wide array of topics, from the editing of adult cells for therapies such as … [Read more...]

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Venezuelan Catholics face backlash for opposing government

Caracas, Venezuela, Feb 23, 2017 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After speaking against alleged government misconduct, human rights abuses and delay of free elections, Catholic churches and clergy around Venezuela are facing a wave of protests from pro-government supporters.A string of incidents began on the morning of Jan. 29, as supporters of the current government interrupted a Mass at San Pedro Claver Church in a poor neighborhood of Caracas, Reuters reported.The crowd of around 20 people … [Read more...]

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In DR Congo, an upsurge of violence against the Church

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Feb 22, 2017 / 06:09 pm (Aid to the Church in Need).- In the wake of an attack on a Catholic seminary, the leader of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has issued an appeal about “the alarming security situation” in his country.In a message sent to international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, the country’s capital, reported on a Feb. 18 “arson … [Read more...]

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