Iranian pastor’s Christmas arrest worries religious liberty advocates

Tehran, Iran, Jan 2, 2013 / 06:15 pm (CNA).- A Christian pastor who spent nearly three years in an Iranian prison for his religious conversion was reportedly arrested again on Christmas Day, contrary to a previous agreement.“Iran has historically cracked down on the Christian community over the Christmas season; this year was no exception,” said Tiffany Barrans, international legal director at the American Center for Law and Justice, which has been monitoring the case of Pastor … [Read more...]

Pope appoints Boston priest as Vatican’s abuse investigator

Vatican City, Jan 2, 2013 / 04:50 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI has named Boston priest Father Robert W. Oliver as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s promoter of justice, the “chief prosecutor” at the office responsible for promoting and safeguarding Catholic doctrine and morals.“It is with deep humility and gratitude that I received the news that the Holy Father is entrusting me with this service to the Church,” Fr. Oliver said Dec. 22. … [Read more...]

Hobby Lobby braces for millions in mandate fines

Washington D.C., Jan 2, 2013 / 01:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby says it is willing to pay fines of $1.3 million per day to follow its owners’ religious beliefs, which conflict with the federal mandate that requires coverage of abortion-inducing drugs.“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby in … [Read more...]

Jesus’ birth should deepen trust in God, Pope teaches

Vatican City, Jan 2, 2013 / 11:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The birth of Jesus causes joy because it gives us the certainty that God “works wonders in weakness,” Pope Benedict XVI said Jan. 2.“The Nativity of the Lord once again illuminates the darkness that often surrounds our world and our hearts with his light, bringing hope and joy,” he said during his weekly general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.The pontiff opened and closed his remarks with … [Read more...]

Bishop highlights value of Latino Catholics in US Church

Rome, Italy, Jan 2, 2013 / 08:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The newly appointed bishop of Lincoln, Neb., James D. Conley, said Americans nationwide can learn much from the Latino community on how to live their faith. “They bring a strong sense of family, a great love of the Catholic faith, of the sacraments and of the blessed Virgin Mary,” said Bishop Conley. “Those are all positives and I think we Anglos can benefit from that because it's almost instinctual for … [Read more...]

New year is journey we face with God’s grace, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 1, 2013 / 09:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During the first Angelus of 2013, Pope Benedict asked Mary to bless the world “like a mother blesses her children who must leave on a trip,” since “a new year is like a journey” which we must face “with the light and grace of God.”Pope Benedict’s full Angelus address follows:Dear Brothers and Sisters,Happy New Year to all! On this first day of 2013, I would like God’s blessing to be … [Read more...]

Pope proposes serenity of Mary as model for peace

Vatican City, Jan 1, 2013 / 09:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Presiding at the Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, Pope Benedict XVI proposed Mary’s serenity as the source of interior peace and as the foundation for world peace.On the first day of 2013, when the Church also commemorates the World Day of Peace – established by Pope Paul the VI in 1975 – the Holy Father said that Mary shows “the interior peace which … [Read more...]