Release abducted nuns, Orthodox bishop urges Syrian rebels

Homs, Syria, Dec 17, 2013 / 04:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An Orthodox bishop in Syria has called for the release of 12 nuns kidnapped by Islamist rebels, saying they “have done no harm to anyone.” “We’ve now reached the point where even nuns are being abducted. What have they done wrong? It’s a crime. The abductors want to demonstrate that they show no mercy,” Bishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, told Aid to the … [Read more...]

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Minn. archbishop grieves, issues apology over clergy sex abuse

Minneapolis, Minn., Dec 17, 2013 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop John Nienstedt has apologized for sex abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis, urging Catholics to be hopeful that continued progress will be made in preventing the crimes. “The negative news reports about past incidents of clerical sexual abuse in this local Church have rightly been met with shame, embarrassment and outrage that such heinous acts could be perpetrated by men who had taken priestly vows as … [Read more...]

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Vatican secretary of state encourages diplomats to work for human dignity

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2013 / 12:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his first meeting with the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin emphasized their role in working together towards peace and the good of man. His Dec. 13 address came a day after Pope Francis encouraged the 17 newly appointed ambassadors to collaborate for an end to human trafficking. “In a time in which many parts of the world are faced with numerous forms of violence … [Read more...]

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Wife of imprisoned pastor says faith helps her persevere

Washington D.C., Dec 16, 2013 / 05:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The wife of a Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran is relying on her faith as she speaks out to ask for prayers and concrete aid in helping secure the return of her husband to the United States. Over the past 15 months, Naghmeh Abedini said she has been surprised at “how much I can endure through my relationship with Christ and my belief as a Christian.” Just over a year ago, she told CNA, “I didn't believe … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis: Christians worldwide are ‘united in blood’

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa Dec. 15, Pope Francis called ecumenical dialogue a priority of his pontificate, noting that Christians of all traditions face the same persecution today. “For me ecumenism is a priority. Today there is an ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a Bible and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic … [Read more...]

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New Pope interview touches on Church political reform

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 12:03 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis' recent interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa Dec. 15 addressed some of the more political issues in the Church, including reform of the curia and changes to the Vatican banking system. When questioned about the council of eight cardinals Pope Francis appointed one month after his election to help and advise him in sketching out curia reform, the pontiff explained, “I am always present at the meetings, except for … [Read more...]

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Pope prays for Church to be ‘free of clericalism’

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 04:45 am (CNA).- In his daily homily preached in the Santa Marta chapel, Pope Francis emphasized the need for prophets in the Church in order to prevent a negative spirit of legalism from taking over. “May our prayer in these days, in these during which we prepare for the Birth of the Lord, be: ‘Lord, let there not be a lack of prophets among your people!’” he said on Dec. 16. “Lord, free your people from a spirit of clericalism … [Read more...]

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