Monks in Louisiana win lengthy fight to sell caskets

Baton Rouge, La., Oct 18, 2013 / 02:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After a long legal fight, the U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that Benedictine monks in Louisiana have the right to sell their handmade wooden caskets to the public. “It’s a great day for us, and we’re very thankful that this five-year battle is over,” Abbot Justin Brown of St. Joseph Abbey told The Advocate, Baton Rouge's daily newspaper. “We’re not in the business of … [Read more...]

Book on Pope Francis to illuminate his context, background

Washington D.C., Oct 18, 2013 / 12:05 am (CNA).- Austen Ivereigh, author of an upcoming book on Pope Francis, says it will help explain the Pope's pastoral approach to North Americans and Europeans, who may not understand his Latin American roots. Before his election, Pope Francis “had already been thinking very deeply about the Church, and the way that the Church interacts with the world for a very long time,” author Austen Ivereigh explained to CNA Oct. 16. What is … [Read more...]

US bishops welcome end of government shutdown

Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2013 / 07:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The end of a two-week shutdown of the federal government was welcomed by both the U.S. bishops and President Barack Obama, both speaking to the harm caused to the American people by the stalemate. “The shutdown has had a widespread impact on many people, especially the poor, who suffered for lack of basic services during the period,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton in an Oct. 17 statement distributed by the U.S. … [Read more...]

Academics call religion vital to a well-functioning society

Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2013 / 05:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Although different belief systems create varying ideas on what's best for a nation, religious freedom is essential for the maintenance of a just and thriving society, academics said at a recent D.C. event. “Instead of treating religious conviction as the problem, we can treat religious traditions as part of the solution,” Kristine Kalanges, law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said at the Oct. 10 panel. If … [Read more...]

Synod on family can help renew marriage, English bishop says

Portsmouth, England, Oct 17, 2013 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Next year’s synod on the family and evangelization is a chance to renew family life and the Catholic vision of marriage, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England has said.“How might we educate, form and support Catholics to embrace with joy the Church’s vision and to put it into practice?” the bishop asked.The extraordinary synod will be held at the Vatican in October 2014 to discuss the pastoral care … [Read more...]

Priests cannot live chastity without prayer, cardinal stresses

Lima, Peru, Oct 17, 2013 / 12:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid news of sexual misconduct by two local bishops, the Archbishop of Lima says chastity is impossible without prayer and that the priesthood is a treasure that should be safeguarded with fidelity. “The priest who does not pray cannot live chastity, which is a gift from God. He should live obedience and poverty,” Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani said during a local priestly ordination on Oct. 12. “In these days one has to … [Read more...]

Do not reduce the faith to ‘moralistic’ ideology, Pope warns

Rome, Italy, Oct 17, 2013 / 09:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his daily Mass homily Pope Francis reflected on the dangers of following one's own personal, “moralistic” ideology, stressing the importance of prayer in staying open to God.If a Christian “becomes a disciple of ideology,” noted Pope Francis during his Oct. 17 daily Mass, “he has lost the faith.”Pope Francis offered his words to those who were gathered with him in the chapel at the … [Read more...]