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...]

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...]

Religious women support teenagers grieving after shooting

Newtown, Conn., Dec 18, 2012 / 12:04 pm (CNA).- Consecrated women from a religious community in Connecticut are offering prayers, counseling and support to high school students following a mass shooting in their town. “Only God can give them the hope that they need to heal,” said Florencia Silva, director of youth ministry for the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. Silva told CNA that she was one of three consecrated lay women from the Marian Community of Reconciliation who was asked … [Read more...]

Archbishop Chaput: Advent’s message relevant in wake of tragedy

Philadelphia, Pa., Dec 18, 2012 / 11:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The message of Advent is applicable in today’s world, especially in light of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia said in his Dec. 17 column.“In these final days of Advent, the Church urges us to lift up our hearts and prepare to rejoice,” he said. “There’s nothing remotely naïve in this call to joy; the Church knows the harshness of the world far too … [Read more...]

Long-time Michigan roadside nativity resurrected

Warren, Mich., Dec 18, 2012 / 04:01 am (CNA).- A 67-year-old tradition of placing a nativity scene on a public median in Warren, Mich. has been re-established after a four-year legal battle involving the Freedom From Religion Foundation.“John Satawa was persistent enough to follow through,” CNA was told Dec. 17 by Richard Thompson, president of Thomas More Law Center, which represented Satawa, the crèche’s caretaker.Satawa is “an individual citizen who … [Read more...]

Man with sledgehammer attacks two La. Catholic churches

Lake Charles, La., Dec 18, 2012 / 02:12 am (CNA).- A vandal with a sledgehammer who attacked statues at two parishes in Sulphur, La. was discovered in the adoration chapel at one of the churches.Sulphur police chief Lewis Coats said the suspect told authorities, “God ordered him to destroy the statues.”Both Our Lady of Prompt Succor and Our Lady of LaSalette parishes lost about a dozen statues in the attack, which occurred overnight between Dec. 14 and 15. The Blessed Sacrament … [Read more...]