Group aims to ease US water poverty with Advent campaign

Smith Lake, N.M., Dec 5, 2013 / 03:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A human rights organization is teaming up with a Catholic mission this Advent to help offer free, clean water to an area of the world that often gets overlooked when fighting water poverty: the United States. “As a Roman Catholic myself and as a human rights organization, we really try to seek out these marginalized populations that just don’t have a voice,” said George McGraw, founder and executive director of … [Read more...]

Schedule of Pope’s Advent, Christmas liturgies released

Vatican City, Dec 5, 2013 / 03:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has issued the calendar of all liturgical celebrations that Pope Francis is slated to preside over during the Advent and Christmas seasons, extending through January of 2014.Pope Francis opened the liturgical new year by celebrating first Vespers on Saturday, Nov. 30 inside of St. Peter’s Basilica in anticipation of the First Sunday of Advent.During this celebration, the Pope gave a special address to university … [Read more...]

Notre Dame, FOCUS lawsuits challenge contraception mandate

South Bend, Ind., Dec 5, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA).- Lawsuits from the University of Notre Dame and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students are challenging the HHS mandate for forcing them to violate Catholic teaching or face crippling fines. Notre Dame's president Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said the university's lawsuit is about the freedom to “live out a religious mission” with broader significance than a debate about contraception. “For if we concede … [Read more...]

‘No sense’ in ACLU suit against bishops, law professor says

Washington D.C., Dec 4, 2013 / 04:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A lawsuit against the U.S. bishops for teaching Catholic hospitals not to perform direct abortions ignores religious freedom protections and laws, a legal expert has said. “The ACLU’s idea that the courts should hold religious institutions liable for their religious teachings on abortion makes no sense,” Professor Mark Rienzi of the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law said Dec. 4. He … [Read more...]

If Pope could perform one miracle, it would be ‘to heal children’

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2013 / 12:37 pm (CNA).- During a recent visit to a parish on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis revealed that if he had the power to conduct one miracle, it would be to heal suffering children. The Pope was visiting St. Cyril parish to celebrate the sacrament of confirmation, and afterwards spent several hours visiting with the people there. One of the teenagers who was being confirmed asked him what miracle he would perform if he could. According to Vatican newspaper … [Read more...]

Vatican finance group signs agreement with German counterpart

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2013 / 11:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's financial watchdog, the Financial Information Authority, has signed a memorandum of understanding with its German counterpart, the Federal Criminal Police Office. René Bruelhart, director of the Financial Information Authority, stressed in a Dec. 4 press release that “this memorandum strengthens the FIA's international reach and further integrates the Holy See and the Vatican City State with a … [Read more...]

Pope: ‘seed of eternity’ has been planted in our hearts

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2013 / 05:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his general audience, Pope Francis reflected on the resurrection of the body, explaining that we are “imprinted” with eternal life, which we are able to experience even now through the sacraments.“Through Baptism, we are inserted into his death and resurrection and begin to experience new life,” the Pope stated in his Dec. 4 general audience, highlighting how “the seed of eternity is planted within … [Read more...]