Vatican: Pope’s ‘Mexicanization’ comment not intended to offend

Vatican City, Feb 25, 2015 / 11:02 am (CNA).- The Vatican on Wednesday issued a statement clarifying a private comment made by Pope Francis to a friend warning that his native Argentina was in danger of a “Mexicanization” by drug traffickers. “The Pope did not in any way intend to offend the Mexican population, for whom he holds special affection, nor to underestimate the commitment of the Mexican government in its fight against narco-trafficking,” Vatican spokesman … [Read more...]

The story of a Czech priest who testified to a miracle – and was killed for it

Rome, Italy, Feb 25, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A priest who witnessed to a miracle in communist Czechoslovakia in the 1940s was tortured and beaten to death for refusing to recant what his parishioners had seen. And now Catholics from the country are honoring his heroic virtue and pushing for him to be recognized as a martyr. At a recent gathering in Cihost' commemorating the priest's brutal death, his current successor at the parish church says he's grateful for efforts … [Read more...]

Vatican retirees needn’t worry for their pensions

Vatican City, Feb 25, 2015 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Thanks to a two-year increase to retirement age and other financial interventions, the Vatican's pension fund is consistent and the the funding ratio of the pension fund is 95 percent, the Holy See stated Feb. 20. The release was issued “since for some months, and amplified by press reports, alarming data has been circulating regarding the situation of the Vatican Pensions Fund and on the sustainability of honouring the … [Read more...]

A UK bishop’s plea: speak up on marriage before it’s too late

Shrewsbury, England, Feb 25, 2015 / 12:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Inside a small English church dedicated to St. Columba, a congregation of Catholics gathered, sitting in the midst of 2,500 years of marriage. As they celebrated marriage as a blessing to society, they also received a warning: speak up on behalf of marriage now, before doing so becomes taboo. Bishop Mark Davies of the Diocese of Shrewsbury celebrated Mass on Feb. 14 for over 50 couples who were commemorating their anniversaries … [Read more...]

The war in Ukraine: a failure to evangelize?

Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 24, 2015 / 05:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Conflict in eastern Ukraine which began in April 2014 has pitted the country's government against separatists widely believed to be backed by Russia, and some are attributing the chaos to a failed evangelization in the country. Fr. Wojciech Surówka, a Dominican priest who directs the St. Thomas Aquinas Institute of Religious Sciences in Kyiv, urged that “a dialogue of reconciliation between Ukrainians and Russians … [Read more...]

How threats to religious freedom could harm unaccompanied minors

Washington D.C., Feb 24, 2015 / 03:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic and Evangelical humanitarian agencies are among the U.S. groups responding to the massive influx of unaccompanied minors from Latin America, but a new federal rule could require them to refer the children for abortion or lose their grants.   A coalition of these faith-based agencies called on the federal government to amend the rule so that the government can meet obligations to care for these children while … [Read more...]

Patriarch urges prayer after at least 90 Christians kidnapped in Syria

Rome, Italy, Feb 24, 2015 / 06:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With reports circulating saying that ISIS forces have kidnapped at least 90 Christians from villages in northeast Syria, Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan said prayer is the only possible response. “Let’s pray for those innocent people,” Patriarch Younan told CNA over the phone from Beirut Feb. 24. “It’s a very, let’s say, very ordinary thing to have those people with such hatred toward … [Read more...]