Ukrainian Catholic bishops urge prayer, fasting ahead of Sunday’s ceasefire

Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 12, 2015 / 05:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Ukrainian Catholic bishops in the US issued a letter on Wednesday asking their faithful to pray and fast for peace, a day before a tentative ceasefire in Ukraine was agreed on which would end 10 months of fighting. The Feb. 11 letter urged prayers for “the president and elected officials of Ukraine, for the conversion of the aggressors, for the Ukrainian army, for those who protect citizens, for the souls of the deceased, and … [Read more...]

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Enough talk about talking – Iraqi priest calls for action on ISIS

Rome, Italy, Feb 12, 2015 / 04:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An Iraqi priest currently living in Rome said that those living the nightmare of ISIS are tired of hearing talk about dialogue and human rights, and are ready to see concrete action on the part of political leaders. “Like many other terms, dialogue is abused like the words democracy, peace, defending human rights and many other words. (They) are profaned because everybody talks about them, but in their heart they have other … [Read more...]

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‘A reform to promote harmony’ – Pope Francis opens a much-debated consistory

Vatican City, Feb 12, 2015 / 02:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A reform to promote a greater harmony in the work of the Roman Curia, in Pope Francis’ words, was the topic of discussion on Thursday, the opening day of an extraordinary consistory of cardinals held at the Vatican. Opening the consistory Feb. 12, Pope Francis stressed that the aim of reform “is always that of promoting greater harmony in the work of the various dicasteries and offices, in order to achieve more effective … [Read more...]

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US pushing Cuba to improve record on human trafficking, State Dept. says

Washington D.C., Feb 12, 2015 / 10:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As the U.S. aims to re-establish full relations with Cuba, it is also pushing the country to redeem its poor track record fighting human trafficking, said a U.S. State Department official. “We met on multiple occasions over the past year to share information on efforts to combat human trafficking,” the State Department’s Sarah Sewall told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Feb. 11. Sewall is the … [Read more...]

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As church-goers wane, Germany’s controversial tax prompts unease

Rome, Italy, Feb 12, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- While church attendees dwindle in Germany, questions have arisen once again over the controversial state-imposed church tax – and whether it's time for the country's bishops to address concerns around it. “We are in a time when more and more people realize that the financial apparatus Church works well, that the facade is optimal but what is behind it? Where is the true faith?” asked Martin Lohmann, Catholic … [Read more...]

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Jail, not death: appropriate punishment according to Australia’s bishops

Canberra, Australia, Feb 12, 2015 / 02:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With two of their nationals on Indonesia's death row over drug trafficking offenses, the Australian bishops are appealing to the government to stay their executions by firing squad, believed to be imminent. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were in a group of nine Australians arrested in Bali in 2005 with more than 18 lb of heroin. Their fellow drug traffickers were sentenced to life in prison, but in 2006 they were given the … [Read more...]

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Pope prays for migrants killed in Mediterranean boat tragedy

Vatican City, Feb 12, 2015 / 12:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis said he was following “with concern” the news of hundreds of immigrants who perished in the Mediterranean Sea this week. “I wish to assure you of my prayers for the victims, and encourage once again solidarity in order that no one lacks the necessary relief,” the Pope said Feb. 11. The United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, says that some 300 migrants are … [Read more...]

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