Dates of Pope’s Cuba trip announced: Sept. 19-22

Vatican City, May 11, 2015 / 12:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ historic trip to Cuba will take place Sept. 19-22, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Cuba has announced. The dates of the trip were released in a May 11 statement from the Cuban bishops. The announcement came one day after Pope Francis met privately with Cuban president Raul Castro at the Vatican. Castro said after the meeting that he “will start praying again and return to the Church” if the Pope … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis: Get ready to be martyrs – even in the little things

Vatican City, May 11, 2015 / 11:31 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- Pope Francis centered his homily for Monday's daily Mass on the “scandal of the cross,” saying Christians should turn to the Holy Spirit in preparing for martyrdom – great or small. “A Christian who does not take the dimension of martyrdom seriously in life does not understand the road that Jesus has indicated,” the Pope said May 11, according to Vatican Radio's translation. Addressing … [Read more...]

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Hopelessness and heroin – what fueled the Baltimore riots and what now?

Baltimore, Md., May 10, 2015 / 05:17 pm (CNA).- As Baltimore works to recover from riots and protests after the death of 25 year-old Freddie Gray, the Church is working to reach a wounded community with a long history of pain and little hope. Baltimore “is a place of many strengths, a lot of beauty, a lot of goodness, but it also has long-standing systemic problems,” Archbishop William E. Lori told CNA. The city erupted in anger after Freddie Gray, an African American, died … [Read more...]

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March for Life in Rome draws 40,000 participants

Rome, Italy, May 10, 2015 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- One of tens of thousands of people to take to the streets of Rome for this year's March for Life, Mary Rathke is living proof that those conceived in rape deserve life, and not abortion. “Many people use the reason for rape to accept abortions,” said the Michigan native in a May 10 interview with CNA. Rathke, 35, was conceived when her mother was raped on her way home from work. “They say that it is the … [Read more...]

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Raul Castro to Pope: Thanks to you, I may come back to the Church

Vatican City, May 10, 2015 / 01:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following a private meeting at the Vatican with Pope Francis, who has helped to broker improved relations between Cuba and the United States, the president of the Caribbean nation suggested he could return to the Church in the future. “I will start praying again and return to the Church” if the Pope continues what he has been doing, Raul Castro said on Sunday. Castro is president of Cuba and the younger brother of Fidel, … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day

Vatican City, May 10, 2015 / 09:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to all those around the world who are celebrating Mother's Day, after offering advice on loving to the point of laying down one's life. “We remember all mothers with gratitude and affection,” the Pope said to the crowds gathered in Saint Peter's Square under the hot sun for the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer May 10. Speaking to the mothers after … [Read more...]

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From Europe’s Christians, a call for a vision of freedom with and for others

Rome, Italy, May 10, 2015 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- True freedom rejects mere consumption and satisfaction and embraces a duty to rescue the migrant, to save women from violence, and to help young people struggling to work and care for their families. In short, freedom includes responsibility towards God and neighbor, Europe’s Christian leaders have said. “Our Christian freedom is God-given, rooted in Christ, and calls us into a life of service of one another. Christ challenges … [Read more...]

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