Rabbi relates roots of Pope’s Holy Land visit in their friendship

Rome, Italy, May 20, 2014 / 02:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Abraham Skorka, an Argentine rabbi who has long been a friend of Pope Francis, has told a Jesuit magazine of the background of their upcoming pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which will occur May 24-26. “We dreamt of being together in front of the Western Wall of the Temple of Jerusalem and to embrace … and that I would accompany him to Bethlehem, to be on his side in such a meaningful moment for him,” Skorka told Fr. … [Read more...]

Italian bishop’s abortion clinic remark draws criticism

Florence, Italy, May 16, 2014 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An Italian bishop's comment that appeared to denigrate pro-life advocates who pray at abortion clinics drew criticism from a pro-life leader in the U.K., who said their witness helps save lives. Bishop Nunzio Galantino of Cassano all'Jonio, who is also secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference, told the Florentine newspaper La Nazione May 12 that “I don’t identify with the expressionless person who … [Read more...]

Focolare movement still working for goal of a united world, leader says

Rome, Italy, May 16, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA).- Ecclesial movements’ work to promote peace should be “an effort to witness” that it is possible, according to Maria Voce, president of the Focolare movement. Voce spoke with CNA May 14, at the end of her trip around the world to visit Focolare communities and to preparing for the movement’s assembly, which will take place Sept. 1-28. The assembly will lead to the election of a new president and board, six years after the … [Read more...]

Russian prison chaplain witnesses stories of conversion, hope

Moscow, Russia, May 15, 2014 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite its challenges, prison ministry in the Russian Federation is an important apostolate, changing lives and leading to conversions, a local Orthodox priest recounted to a Catholic charity. “When we started our pastoral work in the prison in 1998 we only had a small room in the washhouse to pray in,” Fr. Igor Pokrovskij recently told Aid to the Church in Need. “Six months later a group of them already met … [Read more...]

Vocation is ‘never static,’ reflects newly appointed Irish bishop

Dublin, Ireland, May 14, 2014 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Kevin Doran, whom Pope Francis appointed Bishop of Elphin, Ireland, on May 14 has emphasized that one’s personal vocation must be discerned daily, in faithfulness to God who calls us. “I must confess to being a little surprised to find myself here this morning … I have learnt over the years, however, that vocation is never static,” Bishop-designate Doran said to the faithful of his new diocese May 14, … [Read more...]

Animated video on John Paul II aims to evangelize youth

Rome, Italy, May 14, 2014 / 11:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In honor of the canonization of St. John Paul II, audiovisual resource page Catholic Link has created an animated video detailing the profound spiritual life of the saint with the hope of reaching youth. “With the video we try to tell people and share his life, but in a way that really emphasizes this central point…what the core, the nucleus of all of this was his relationship with Christ,” Garrett Johnson told CNA in a … [Read more...]

Catholic publishers see boost from interest in Pope Francis

Turin, Italy, May 14, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The “Francis effect” has invigorated Catholic publishing houses, and religious books are becoming less of a niche market, publishers at a recent international book fair in Italy have explained. This year’s Turin International Book Fair, held May 8-12, was the first instance in which the Holy See had been invited as a special guest to the event; its publisher set up a booth featuring a large St. Peter’s dome made … [Read more...]