Vatican Secretary of State urges ‘quick response’ to crisis in Libya

Vatican City, Feb 18, 2015 / 08:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a meeting with Italian officials on Tuesday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters that swift action is needed in Libya, where continual conflict since a 2011 revolution has resulted in rival governments and a foothold for Islamists. Amid the chaos in the north African nation, Islamic State affiliates beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians over the weekend. Cardinal Parolin said Feb. 17 the incident was “terrifying,” but … [Read more...]

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Would you die for your ashes? Cardinal reflects on modern Christian martyrs

Washington D.C., Feb 18, 2015 / 06:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics owe solidarity, prayer and a voice against injustice to their fellow Christians being martyred and persecuted around the world, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., stressed on Ash Wednesday. “(W)e can go out those doors with ashes on our forehead” as a public display of faith, the cardinal said. However, “(t)here are parts of the world where that will just as well be a death … [Read more...]

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Near Bethlehem, Israeli barrier threatens Christians’ future

Jerusalem, Israel, Feb 18, 2015 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Palestinian Christians, a monastery, a convent and a Catholic school near Bethlehem are all at risk from the Israeli government’s planned security barrier in the West Bank’s Cremisan Valley, the U.S. bishops have told members of Congress. “The proposed routes of the separation barrier would effectively confiscate the Palestinian agricultural and recreational lands of over 50 Christian families. This threatens the … [Read more...]

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This Lent, ask God for the ‘gift of tears,’ Pope says

Vatican City, Feb 18, 2015 / 12:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said the time of Lent is a call to leave hypocrisy behind and reconcile with God through fasting, charity and prayerful tears before our merciful Father. “I ask you a question: do I cry? Does the Pope cry? Do cardinals cry? Do bishops cry? Do consecrated men and women cry? Do priests cry?” the Pope said during his Feb. 18 Ash Wednesday Mass. Pope Francis focused during the Mass on … [Read more...]

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Amid string of break-ins, Bishop of Ars removes Blessed Sacrament from parishes

Paris, France, Feb 18, 2015 / 12:35 pm (CNA).- Bishop Pascal Roland of Belley-Ars in France has ordered that the Blessed Sacrament be removed from all chapels and churches in the diocese following a wave of sacrileges that have taken place in recent days. After numerous tabernacles were profaned and consecrated hosts were stolen, Bishop Roland issued an ordinance instructing that “the Blessed Sacrament shall be removed from the tabernacles of all the churches and parish chapels and be … [Read more...]

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How Catholics, Lent, and bowls of rice are changing the world

Baltimore, Md., Feb 18, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic Relief Services’ Rice Bowl program aims to continue its forty-year Lenten tradition of supporting hunger relief – and one of its past beneficiaries is now a spokesman for the project. “Many years ago when I was a hungry boy in Ghana and living without parents or family, the smell of food lured me to the village school. There I was nourished and lifted off the path of likely death,” Thomas Awiapo said … [Read more...]

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Siblings help you keep your eyes off yourself, Pope says

Vatican City, Feb 18, 2015 / 12:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In this week’s general audience, Pope Francis spoke on the role of siblings in family life, saying the fraternity we learn from them teaches us how to overcome barriers and leads to greater freedom. “With Jesus, this bond of brotherhood expands to overcome any difference of nation, language, culture or religion,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square Feb. 18. There is no greater compliment than … [Read more...]

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