Thinking of yourself won’t make you holy, but serving others will, Pope says

Vatican City, Nov 19, 2014 / 07:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly general audience address, Pope Francis said that holiness can never be selfish, but is a gift that must be put into practice through daily witness and attentiveness to the needs of others. “Growing in holiness thus means becoming better persons, free of selfishness and self-absorption, and ever ready to place ourselves at the service of our brothers and sisters in the Church,” the Pope told pilgrims present in … [Read more...]

Poverty, divorce, alcoholism – no shortage of challenges for Church in Belarus

Minsk, Belarus, Nov 19, 2014 / 04:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In Belarus, western Ukraine's neighbor to the north, the Church is doing its best to reach out to the people, even as it faces such challenges as irreligion, poverty, and alcoholism in the former Soviet republic. “For 70 years efforts had been made to completely eradicate any belief in God,” Magda Kaczmarek, a senior staff member of Aid to the Church in Need, said after her visit to Belarus earlier in November. … [Read more...]

#savealeppo – International movement urges a ceasefire in the Syrian city

Rome, Italy, Nov 19, 2014 / 02:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As the battle over Syria's largest city has raged for more than two years, the Community of Sant'Egidio on Tuesday launched a campaign for international solidarity to promote a truce in the historic metropolis. Andrea Riccardi, founder of the lay association known for its dedication to peace, said Nov. 18 that “Aleppo, a world of cohabitation, where Christians and Muslims lived together, is going to be destroyed. It is not a … [Read more...]

Church combats domestic violence in Arabian peninsula

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Nov 19, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The family ministry office serving expatriate Catholics in the Arabian peninsula held a workshop last week to help end domestic violence by creating awareness and a change in attitudes. The symposium is aimed at creating violence-free families, and is concerned by the ignorance and silence on domestic violence within the migrant worker communities in Arabia. The Catholic family ministries symposium on violence free … [Read more...]

Vatican communication reform underway, but no decisions yet

Vatican City, Nov 18, 2014 / 09:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Though the Vatican's communications reform committee met last week, it is still to be seen how the committee's proposals will be incorporated within a larger reform of the Roman Curia. The committee met for three days last week, and began an exploration of the Vatican's media branches; but no official communication on the meeting has been delivered. According to sources, the committee, which is chaired by Chris Patten and … [Read more...]

New Chicago archbishop: Be authentic, leave your comfort zone

Chicago, Ill., Nov 18, 2014 / 04:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Newly installed Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich’s first public homily stressed the importance of personal witness “with joy and compassion,” purified of “anger, harshness and fear.” “Jesus tells all of us today to go back to where our journey of faith began, to be in touch with the joyful experience of being transformed by the intimacy God offers us, to be willing to share it with the next … [Read more...]

Remember the ‘least of these’ in spending cuts, bishops tell Congress

Washington D.C., Nov 18, 2014 / 03:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the 113th Congress enters the “lame-duck” session before newly-elected members take office, the U.S. Bishops are urging that a “circle of protection” be enacted around budget programs focusing on the poor. “As you consider federal spending and tax legislation,” the bishops wrote in a Nov. 17 letter to each member of Congress, “we urge you to draw a ‘circle of protection’ around … [Read more...]