Could a US priest face jail for refusing to break confession seal?

Washington D.C., Jan 21, 2015 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a petition from a Louisiana Catholic diocese that fears a civil lawsuit could force a priest to violate the seal of confession or go to jail. The Diocese of Baton Rouge and diocesan priest Father Jeff Bayhi were disappointed by the decision, which the diocese said has “significant ramifications for religious freedom in Louisiana and beyond.” “The diocese and Fr. Bayhi … [Read more...]

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Austin diocese receives first auxiliary bishop

Austin, Texas, Jan 21, 2015 / 04:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Wednesday appointed Fr. Daniel Garcia as Auxiliary Bishop of Austin, to assist the diocese's chief shepherd, Bishop Joe Vásquez, in his governance of the local Church. The appointment is significant for the diocese, as Fr. Garcia will be the first auxiliary bishop since it was established in 1947. “This is a historic moment for our diocese as Bishop-elect Garcia will be the first auxiliary bishop … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis decries Charlie Hebdo motivated attacks in Niger

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2015 / 03:50 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis condemned deadly protests in Niger during which dozens of churches were torched over the weekend, stressing that religious motives do not justify violence. “One cannot make war in God's name!” the Pope said during his weekly general audience on Jan. 21. Ten people were killed and 45 churches were set on fire in the riots erupted after the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo published an image of Mohammed on the … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis blesses two lambs on the Feast of St. Agnes

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2015 / 01:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis observed the feast of St. Agnes with the time-honored custom of the blessing of lambs, whose wool will be used to make stoles worn by archbishops and known as palliums. The two small lambs, traditionally less than a year old, were placed in baskets and carried to the Casa Santa Marta on Wednesday where they received the Holy Father’s blessing.   St. Agnes, whose name means “lamb” in Latin, was a … [Read more...]

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Big families bring hope – not poverty, says Pope

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2015 / 11:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has rejected the “simplistic” belief that large families are among the causes of poverty, stressing that economic systems which create a culture of waste are to blame. “Families know they are essential to the life of society,” the Pope said Jan. 21 during his first weekly general audience since returning from his Jan. 12-19 tour of Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Speaking to the crowds gathered in … [Read more...]

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A step forward for evangelization in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines, Jan 21, 2015 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A three-day conference on evangelization took place in Manila during Pope Francis' Philippines visit, exploring the relationship between the beatitudes and evangelization in the southeast Asian nation. In the light of the “Year of the Poor” and connecting to the papal visit theme “Mercy and Compassion,” the second Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE II) explored the eight beatitudes given … [Read more...]

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Australia event looks to Oakland cathedral as model for church architecture

Melbourne, Australia, Jan 21, 2015 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An upcoming symposium at Australian Catholic University aims to study the relationship of liturgy and architecture, and takes the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland as a model for church architecture. “The symposium is about making architecture and art for Catholic worship,”  a Jan. 16 release of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference press office stated. With the theme “God is in the … [Read more...]

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