Vatican spokesman: media manipulated Pope’s family comments

Vatican City, Jan 7, 2014 / 02:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's spokesman says some coverage of Pope Francis’ comment about a child of a same-sex couple is “forced” and a “manipulation” of his primary concern about evangelizing in new cultural environments. On Jan. 3, the Italian Jesuit periodical La Civilta Cattolica published a 14-page account of Pope Francis' Nov. 29 conversation with a group of superiors general from religious orders. While … [Read more...]

Veteran hospital’s ban on Christmas carols draws criticism

Augusta, Ga., Jan 7, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Veterans’ Affairs hospital in Georgia was wrong to bar Christmas carolers from singing religious songs, a religious liberty legal group has said. “By banning these Christmas carols, the VA is trampling the very religious freedoms our veterans have sacrificed so much to defend. Contrary to what hospital officials are claiming, they are disrespecting--not respecting – constitutionally protected religious freedoms,” … [Read more...]

Supreme Court halts ‘gay marriage’ in Utah pending appeal

Washington D.C., Jan 6, 2014 / 05:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay blocking “gay marriage” in Utah until the state can complete its appeal of a federal judge's order to recognize the unions. “The decision by a single federal judge to redefine marriage in Utah is lawless, and we are pleased that the Supreme Court has put this decision on hold to allow the state to appeal it in an orderly fashion,” said Brian Brown, president … [Read more...]

Bishop Pates visits Holy Land in hopes of encouraging peace

Washington D.C., Jan 6, 2014 / 03:57 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The US bishops' representative for international justice and peace is traveling to Palestine and Israel to support peace efforts in the region, and the Catholic Church in the Holy Land. “As I prepare to make a solidarity visit to the Middle East in support of the local Church caught in the midst of regional conflicts, I recall in a special way our Holy Father’s Urbi et Orbi Christmas message in which he invoked the … [Read more...]

Reported limit on ‘monsignor’ may be return to older practice

Vatican City, Jan 6, 2014 / 02:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Commenting on Pope Francis allegedly restricting the honorary title of “monsignor” to priests over the age of 65, one historian has suggested that the move could be a return to traditional practices. On Jan. 4, Italian daily La Stampa reported that “henceforth, the only Pontifical Honor that will be conferred on 'secular priests' will be that of 'Chaplain to His Holiness' and this will be conferred only … [Read more...]

Malaysian church choir seeks to balance Catholic, local traditions

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan 6, 2014 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The “Laudis” chamber choir based in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is seeking to revive the tradition of sacred music in the local Church, balancing it with an appreciation of local music. “We cannot perform new, contemporary and local music at the expense of the rich heritage that belongs to the Roman Catholic culture; nor can we simply perform the great music of our Catholic heritage at the expense of a … [Read more...]

Journey of the Magi symbolizes ‘destiny’ of man, says Pope

Vatican City, Jan 6, 2014 / 04:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily for the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis described how our lives are a continuous search to encounter “the Light” of Jesus, urging that we be “cunning” in our defense against darkness. “The destiny of every person is symbolized in this journey of the Magi of the East,” the Pope said in his Jan. 6 homily, “our life is a journey, illuminated by the lights which brighten our way, to … [Read more...]