Pope spending vacation season visiting, planning

Rome, Italy, Aug 9, 2013 / 09:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- This summer the Vatican is finding out what it’s like to have a Pope in residence during the hottest weeks of the year, which for Francis seems to include visiting workers and planning for the fall. On Aug. 9, Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to the area of Vatican City known as the industrial area. For the small city-state that involves a power plant, carpentry shop, warehouse, metal working shop, and the offices of the newspaper … [Read more...]

‘Mercy and love’ at heart of Church’s teaching on abortion

San Antonio, Texas, Aug 9, 2013 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A message of healing and compassion should always be at the center of the abortion debate and is the basis of Church teaching on the issue, according to the founder of a post-abortion apostolate.“We always need to speak the healing message,” because “this question of God’s mercy and love, it really is the message of the Church,” Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel, told CNA Aug 7.Thorn's … [Read more...]

Catholic radio host defends Islamic scholar’s debate choice

Ypsilanti, Mich., Aug 9, 2013 / 02:06 am (CNA).- Citing the need for public dialogue, Catholic radio host Al Kresta defended Islamic scholar Shadid Lewis’ invite to controversial critic Robert Spencer to a symposium and debate sponsored by Ave Maria Radio.“It was Shadid Lewis of the Muslim Debate Initiative who called for a public debate with Spencer,” Kresta said Aug. 7, adding that he “was disappointed that Robert Spencer's participation was treated as a sign of … [Read more...]

Bishops say confusion around CRS in Madagascar cleared up

Washington D.C., Aug 8, 2013 / 05:08 pm (CNA).- The U.S. bishop who chairs the board of Catholic Relief Services said that local Church leaders in Madagascar have given their assurances that the international aid agency adheres to Catholic teaching.Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., said that he and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York –president of the U.S. bishops’ conference – had spoken to Madagascar’s Archbishop Odon Razanakolona of Antananarivo and … [Read more...]

US asks for investigation into Cuban dissident’s death

Havana, Cuba, Aug 8, 2013 / 04:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, has called for an investigation into the death of the founder of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya, who died in Cuba last year.Diplomatic sources said Powers spoke with the Cuban chancellor, Bruno Rodriguez, during a lunch hosted on Tuesday by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez for the delegations that took part in the U.N. Security Council debate.News of the … [Read more...]

Before Pope’s election, conclave warned of Europe’s waning faith

Vatican City, Aug 8, 2013 / 04:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- When Cardinal Prospero Grech delivered a meditation to the cardinal-electors at the beginning of the 2013 conclave, he emphasized the value of the new evangelization in the face of Europe's loss of faith.“In the West, at least in Europe, Christianity itself is in crisis … there is a rampant secularism and agnosticism which has diverse roots,” Cardinal Grech, an Augustinian, told the 115 cardinal-electors in the … [Read more...]

Mysterious Missouri priest showed up to pray with crash victim

St. Louis, Mo., Aug 8, 2013 / 12:29 pm (CNA).- After emergency responders spent an hour trying to remove a young woman from her wrecked car near Center, Mo., a priest appeared with anointing oil and prayed with her, and then inexplicably vanished.“He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” Raymond Reed, the New London fire chief explained to KHQA about the Aug. 4 incident.“A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well. I can't be for … [Read more...]