Catholics in Bologna mourn Cardinal Biffi, a humorous, plain-spoken preacher

Bologna, Italy, Jul 15, 2015 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Humour, realism and culture characterized the life of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, who died July 11 at the age of 87. The former Archbishop of Bologna had retired in 2003 and was living in small house near Bologna, but had been hospitalized for the past year in a clinic, where he died after a long sickness. The news of Cardinal Biffi’s sickness reached Pope Francis during the 2014 Synod on the Family, and the Pope sent the cardinal a … [Read more...]

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With freedom for Catholic education uncertain, English diocese charts a path

Portsmouth, England, Jul 13, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic schools in England could face problems under both a new “British values” government mandate and demands to approve same-sex relationships. But in the Diocese of Portsmouth, new education guidelines focus on Catholic fidelity, love of neighbor, and the love of Jesus Christ. Bishop Philip Egan has written a letter introducing the diocese’s guidance on sex and relationship education. He said the document … [Read more...]

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Spanish court recognizes pharmacists’ conscience rights

Madrid, Spain, Jul 8, 2015 / 03:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Spain's Constitional Court has issued a ruling protecting the conscience rights of pharmacists who decline to sell the morning after pill on the basis of religious belief or other conscientious objection. The court's finding was based on freedoms of religion and conscience found in article 16 of the Spanish constition. The decision concerned the case of a pharmacist in Seville who was sanctioned with a 3,000 euro ($3,300) fine … [Read more...]

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Pope’s encyclical forges unusual allies in fight for the environment

Rome, Italy, Jul 2, 2015 / 11:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican recently added the voice of self-described “secular Jewish feminist” Naomi Klein to their discussion on the climate, signaling a wider collaboration in the push for environmental protection. “A new kind of climate movement is fast emerging” – one based on the “courageous truth” proclaimed in the encyclical that “our current economic system is both fueling the climate crisis and … [Read more...]

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Pontifical university plans to offer diploma in child protection by 2016

Rome, Italy, Jul 2, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Beginning in the spring of 2016, Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University will begin offering an intensive one-semester diploma program on the safeguarding of minors and the prevention of sex abuse by clergy. A new one semester diploma course in the protection of minors is being offered by the Center for Child Protection in Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, and is set to welcome its first round of applicants in February, 2016. “There are … [Read more...]

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Why choose celibacy? A gay Catholic speaks out

Rome, Italy, Jul 1, 2015 / 04:03 am (CNA).- More than 10 years ago, Joseph Prever found himself scouring the internet for anything that might help him: he was gay, Catholic, and confused. Resources were scarce for a man struggling with homosexuality and trying to remain faithful to the Church’s teaching. In the intervening years, Catholics experiencing same-sex attraction have become a more vocal presence in the Church. Google the words “gay Catholic” and one of the top … [Read more...]

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Meet Father Salvatore, the young priest whose life moved the Pope

Trani, Italy, Jul 1, 2015 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The life of Father Salvatore Mellone, who died on Monday, was moving to thousands of people. He was to have at least two more years of seminary when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but by special permission and the blessing of Pope Francis, he was ordained nevertheless. Fr. Mellone, who died June 29 at the age of 38, had been a priest of the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie for two and a half months. With his failing health, … [Read more...]

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