Pope outlines congregation’s focus in choosing bishops

Vatican City, Feb 28, 2014 / 02:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his address to the Congregation of Bishops Feb. 27, Pope Francis emphasized that the dicastery exists to ensure that bishop candidates are called to their ministry by Christ himself. “This Congregation exists to ensure that the name of those chosen has first of all been pronounced by the Lord. Behold the great mission entrusted to the Congregation for Bishops, its most challenging task: to identify those whom the same Holy … [Read more...]

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, England’s newest ‘red hat’

London, England, Feb 28, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, was given the red hat in a Feb. 22 consistory, now that his predecessor Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has passed the age of 80. Cardinal Nichols was born in Crosby, Merseyside, in 1945, and studied for the priesthood at the Venerable English College and the Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool in 1969 and served there for 14 … [Read more...]

Korean Masses strengthen migrant community in Thailand

Pattaya, Thailand, Feb 27, 2014 / 09:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- This month’s introduction of Sunday Masses celebrated in Korean at a parish in the Thai city of Pattaya has united both emigrants and tourists from South Korea. “This regular Korean language Mass unites, strengthens, and revitalizes faith life in the parish,” Fr. Giovanni Lee Sung-hyun, chaplain at St. Nikolaus parish in Pattaya, about 80 miles southeast of Bangkok, told CNA Feb. 24. He added that the other … [Read more...]

Vatican releases Pope’s liturgical schedule for Lent, Easter

Vatican City, Feb 27, 2014 / 08:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican made public the schedule of Pope Francis' liturgical celebrations for March and April, including the list of Lenten and Easter activities over which he will preside. Beginning the Lenten season on March 5, Ash Wednesday, the Pope will hold a “statio” and penitential procession 4:30 p.m. in the Basilica of Sant'Anselmo, and at 5 p.m. he will bless and distribute the ashes at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in … [Read more...]

Iraqi patriarch urges prayer, fasting that Christians remain

Rome, Italy, Feb 27, 2014 / 04:53 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, has issued an urgent appeal to mark the beginning of Lent, calling for “prayer and fasting that Christians not leave Iraq.” “Our Christian identity has had profound roots in the history and geography of Iraq for 2000 years,” Patriarch Sako said, according to the Fides news agency. “Our roots and our clear sources are found in our country, and … [Read more...]

Critics say Ariz. bill veto swarmed by misleading rhetoric

Phoenix, Ariz., Feb 27, 2014 / 04:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Arizona Catholic Conference has lamented the veto of Arizona religious freedom bill S.B. 1062, noting the “extremely intense, if not misleading rhetoric” surrounding the bill. “Religious liberty is an important concept upon which our country was founded,” the conference said Feb. 27. “Unfortunately, however, threats to religious liberty have become very real in courts across the country and are … [Read more...]

Pope to mother of train crash victim: I weep for you

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Feb 27, 2014 / 02:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis sent a letter offering his continued condolences to the mother of one of the victims of a 2012 Argentina train crash that killed dozens of people and injured hundreds more. According to the Argentina Catholic Information Agency (AICA), the letter was read during a recent ceremony at the station where the accident occurred, marking the anniversary of the tragedy. The accident took place Feb. 22, 2012, when the … [Read more...]