Report: Syrian rebel group makes Christians low-status subjects

Washington D.C., Mar 5, 2014 / 04:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An ultimatum allegedly from a jihadist group has demanded that Syrian Christians live as “dhimmis,” low-status subjects who must pay protection money and obey strict restrictions on their religious practice. Christians who reject conversion to Islam or the restrictive conditions “are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” said the online … [Read more...]

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Pope names secretary general for new economy dicastery

Vatican City, Mar 5, 2014 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Alfred Xuereb March 3 as prelate secretary general for the Vatican’s new Secretariat for the Economy, which will oversee economic and administrative affairs in the city state. Msgr. Xuereb, 55, is from Malta’s Diocese of Gozo, and has served as Pope Francis’ personal secretary. He served on Benedict XVI’s staff as a personal secretary beginning in September 2007, a post he held … [Read more...]

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Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, Perugia’s first red hat in 160 years

Perugia, Italy, Mar 5, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Among the cardinals elevated by Pope Francis at the Feb. 22 consistory is Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Citta della Pieve – a diocese which has not seen a cardinal since 1878. That year, Archbishop Vincenzo Pecci of Perugia, who had been made a cardinal in 1853, was elected Pope Leo XIII. Cardinal Bassetti was born in 1942 in Maraddi, little more than an hour outside of Florence. He was ordained a priest of the … [Read more...]

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Planned Parenthood election spending demands response, pro-lifers say

Washington D.C., Mar 4, 2014 / 06:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Planned Parenthood’s intention to spend millions of dollars to support political candidates who favor legal abortion shows the need to speak out more on the issue, pro-life groups say. “There are no winners, except those making money by selling abortions, when Big Abortion leader Planned Parenthood pours millions into America's elections,” Lila Rose, the president of the pro-life group Live Action, told Fox News … [Read more...]

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Religious freedom essential for global human rights, panel says

Washington D.C., Mar 4, 2014 / 04:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Experts at a recent panel talk in Washington, D.C., suggested that while religious freedom has become a respectable component of foreign policy, serious concerns remain on a global scale. “Religion matters: for billions of people religion remains an inescapable source of identity and purpose,” said Dr. Katrina Lantos-Swett, vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, at a Feb. 26 … [Read more...]

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EWTN adds Lenten scripture challenge to app

Irondale, Ala., Mar 4, 2014 / 04:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The EWTN Global Catholic Network has launched a new feature to the EWTN application that challenges its users to read the four Gospels during Lent. Reading all four gospels is “easier than you think!” the network said in a March 3 statement. EWTN’s free app now includes the Daily Lenten Scripture Reading Challenge feature. The app is presently available for iPhone and iPad, Android operating systems and the Amazon … [Read more...]

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Pope: More martyrs exist today than in the early Church

Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily Pope Francis called persecution a “reality” of Christian life, challenging faithful to take up the cross and noting that we are never given more than we can handle. “But (people say) 'today we are better educated and these things no longer exist.' Yes they do!” the Pope said March 4. “And I tell you that today there are more martyrs than during the early times of the … [Read more...]

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