Benedict XVI celebrates brother’s 90th birthday with day of music

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2014 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Retired pontiff Benedict XVI celebrated his brother Monsignor Georg Ratzinger's 90th birthday on Jan. 15 at the Vatican with a sung Mass and a simple concert. The director of the Holy See's Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, told reporters the celebrations began in the morning at the former pope's Vatican residence, Mater Ecclesia. Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary of … [Read more...]

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The Pope ‘came out to meet me’, says priest who rode on popemobile

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2014 / 11:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- “I was in Rome to meet the Pope, but it was the Pope who came out to meet me.” This is how Fr. Fabian Baez explained his impromptu Jan. 8 ride in the popemobile with Pope Francis. Pope Francis spotted the Argentine priest in the crowd at the General Audience that day, and welcomed him onto the popemobile. Fr. Baez spoke with CNA Jan. 16 about the experience. “I didn’t have a ticket for the audience, but I felt … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis warns against a ‘worldly uniformity’

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2014 / 08:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily, Pope Francis cautioned the faithful not to fall into the temptation of worldliness which hardens our hearts and makes us forget our “election” as children of God. “The normality of life demands fidelity from Christians to their election, and to not sell it to go towards a worldly uniformity,” the Pope stated in his Jan. 17 homily. Pope Francis began his daily Mass, held in the chapel of the … [Read more...]

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Pope: Christians have not been chosen for ‘small things’

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2014 / 05:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis urged youth to listen to the call of God, stating that this is often faced with obstacles and requires “going against the tide.” “We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for small things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals!” the pontiff remarked in his Jan. 17 message to youth.The 51st World Day of … [Read more...]

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LA immigrant kids implore Pope to help detained parents

Los Angeles, Calif., Jan 17, 2014 / 04:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Immigrant children in California have written heartfelt letters to Pope Francis seeking his help and his prayers for their parents who have been deported or arrested. “They know that Pope Francis himself is the son of an immigrant. They know that he has the heart to understand what they are going through,” Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said Jan. 14. The archbishop said that reading the letters … [Read more...]

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Supreme Court hears abortion zone case, declines 20-week ban

Washington D.C., Jan 17, 2014 / 02:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Supreme Court will rule this year on a case involving “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics, but it has declined to hear a case on state abortion bans after 20 weeks of pregnancy. On Jan. 15, the court heard oral arguments in McCullen v. Coakley, a case challenging a Massachusetts state law requiring a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, in which protestors and pro-life counselors may not enter to speak with … [Read more...]

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Haiti encounters hope, challenges four years after devastation

Port au Prince, Haiti, Jan 16, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Four years after a desolating earthquake affected millions in Haiti, Catholic Relief Services continues to help the nation move from recovery to addressing social concerns that pre-dated the catastrophe. “You can't help but have great love for Haitians,” Darren Hercyk, Catholic Relief Services' Country Representative for Haiti based in Port-au-Prince, told CNA Jan. 15. In Haiti, he said, there are … [Read more...]

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