Will the number of dioceses in Italy be cut in the near future?

Rome, Italy, Jan 28, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A plan to reduce the number of Italian dioceses has been widely debated in the Italian bishops conference, and a first draft of the plan has reportedly already been given to the Congregation for Bishops and has undergone some adjustments. There are currently 222 dioceses in Italy. An internal commission to study a possible reduction of Italian dioceses, by consolidation, had been established under Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis … [Read more...]

Blessed Odoardo Focherini, the father of seven who saved 100 Jewish lives

Rome, Italy, Jan 27, 2015 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis tweeted Jan. 27 to observe the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, it is worth remembering Bl. Odoardo Focherini, who died a martyr to rescue Jews from Nazi persecution. Tuesday marks the anniverary of the 1945 liberation by Soviet troops of the death camp where some 1.1 million people – the vast majority of them Jews – were put to death by the Nazis. “Auschwitz cries out with the pain of … [Read more...]

Beatification cause opened for founder of Focolare movement

Rome, Italy, Jan 24, 2015 / 07:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Rafaello Martinelli of Frascati, Italy, has announced that the beatification cause will be opened for the founder of the Focolare movement, Chiara Lubich. The ceremony will take place on January 27 at the cathedral in Frascati, where the international headquarters of the movement is located and where Lubich is buried. Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement, celebrated the news and encouraged members to be “living … [Read more...]

Ahead of Synod, UK Catholics to venerate relics of St Therese’s parents

Portsmouth, England, Jan 16, 2015 / 05:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics in the Diocese of Portsmouth will have an invaluable opportunity this May to venerate the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux’s parents, a saintly married couple, ahead of the upcoming Synod on the Family. “To focus our prayers in the lead-up to the Synod, I have invited to the Diocese the relics of Blessed Louis and Blessed Zélie Martin, one of the first married couples ever to be beatified,” wrote … [Read more...]

Scottish archbishop credits God’s grace for healing process in diocese

Edinburgh, Scotland, Jan 13, 2015 / 05:18 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following the 2013 resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, his successor acknowledges the healing process for the diocese is continuing by God’s grace, but will take time. “Time is a great healer, and that is certainly helping us. But there is also the grace of God assisting us in moving on from any difficulties we might have had in the past,” Archbishop Leo Cushley … [Read more...]

For refugees, Spanish bishops propose ‘a Church without borders’

Albacete, Spain, Jan 13, 2015 / 02:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Spanish bishops have released a message for their nation's Day of the Immigrant and Refugee, which will be held Jan. 18, entitled "A Church without borders, a Mother for all." Bishop Ciriaco Benavente Mateos of Albacete told CNA, “Today there is much talk about borders, and sometimes immigration is seen almost as an attack, but the theme of the day sums up the spirit of a Church without borders, a Church that … [Read more...]

How a crucifix restoration in Rome offers hope to the poor

Rome, Italy, Jan 11, 2015 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After receiving inspiration from an aged crucifix, Cardinal James Stafford commissioned it to be restored as a sign of compassion for Rome’s suffering poor and unemployed population. Cardinal Stafford told CNA Jan. 9 that the cross has been restored “out of a hermeneutics of compassion and to rediscover compassion, to help the poor rediscover the fact that there is a compassionate world (out) there.” The restoration … [Read more...]