DC appeals court rules new contraception rule must be issued

Washington D.C., Dec 19, 2012 / 04:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Religious freedom advocates applauded a federal appeals court’s decision to hold the government accountable for revising its controversial contraception mandate.Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, called the decision “a win not just for Belmont Abbey and Wheaton, but for all religious non-profits challenging the mandate.”“The D.C. Circuit has now made it clear that … [Read more...]

Pope accepts resignation of 85-year-old Chaldean Patriarch

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2012 / 03:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI on Dec. 19 accepted the resignation of Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, and called the Chaldean bishops to Rome for a synod to elect his successor. Cardinal Delly, the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, was elected the Chaldean patriarch on Dec. 3, 2003. Pope Benedict XVI made him a cardinal in November 2007. The 85-year-old resigned for age and health reasons, the Italian newspaper … [Read more...]

Filipino bishops will not concede to ‘reproductive health’ bill

Washington D.C., Dec 19, 2012 / 12:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders in the Philippines vowed to continue fighting for life, marriage and family as a controversial “reproductive health” bill passed both houses of Congress in the country. “If the President will sign this into law, he will give us a moral time bomb wrapped as a gift to celebrate Christmas,” warned Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen Dagupan. In a Dec. 18 statement, the archbishop … [Read more...]

Pope says faith includes trust in dark moments

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2012 / 10:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI continued his series of reflections on faith this Wednesday, saying that at times it includes an element of darkness."We encounter moments where God seems absent, his silence weighs on our hearts and his will doesn't correspond to our own as we would like it to," the Pope told pilgrims on Dec. 19."But the more we open ourselves to God, we receive the gift of faith and put our trust in him … [Read more...]

Irish pro-lifers: abortion legislation will have election consequences

Dublin, Ireland, Dec 19, 2012 / 04:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life leaders in Ireland have warned that the Fine Gael-run government’s introduction of legislation to legalize abortion will have consequences for the party at the next election.Rebecca Roughneen, a spokeswoman for Youth Defence, said Dec. 18 that her organization will make sure the Irish public does not forget that Prime Minster Enda Kenny and his party “broke the pro-life promise” they made before the 2011 … [Read more...]

Study finds 84 percent of world has religious affiliation

Washington D.C., Dec 19, 2012 / 02:23 am (CNA).- More than 80 percent of people around the world – about 5.8 billion individuals – identify with a religious group, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. “Christians number 2.2 billion, or about one-in-three” of the 6.9 billion people in the world in 2010, the study found, adding that about “half of all Christians are Catholic.” Released Dec. 18, the study examined censuses, surveys and … [Read more...]

Goodness is best response to evil of shootings, Archbishop Aquila says

Denver, Colo., Dec 19, 2012 / 12:29 am (CNA).- As the nation mourns the loss of life in the Newtown, Conn. shooting, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver is saying that goodness and respect for human dignity are the best responses to evil. “We're most often the victims of evil when we become objects — used for someone's else's purposes — instead of treated with the inherent dignity that comes just from being a person,” the archbishop wrote in a Dec. 18 … [Read more...]