Pope: break down the stigma burdening those with autism

Vatican City, Nov 22, 2014 / 11:36 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has said autistic disorders are nothing to be ashamed of, as he encouraged everyone to build solidarity to ensure that autistic persons are not isolated. “Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance, encounter and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope,” he told participants in his Nov. 22 audience with autistic persons and their families. Through this support, he said, … [Read more...]

Will Pope Francis’ visit to Europe’s parliament bolster family issues?

Brussels, Belgium, Nov 22, 2014 / 06:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Awaiting the Pope's visit to Strasbourg next week, an official of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe says she hopes Francis will insist on family issues, as they are crucial to fulfilling Europe's dream of peace. “If you want peace, then defend the family,” Maria Hildingsson, secretary general of federation which works for political representation of family interests from a Catholic … [Read more...]

‘Backbiting’ communities don’t help evangelization – unity does

Vatican City, Nov 22, 2014 / 01:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said that divisions among Christians are a stumbling block to evangelization, and encouraged members of the Church to go beyond personal opinions and find value in what others offer. “For the world to believe that Jesus is Lord, it needs to see communion among Christians. If, on the other hand, the world sees divisions, rivalries and backbiting, regardless of the cause, how can we evangelize?” the Pope said in a … [Read more...]

Catholics on immigration order: more reform needed

Washington D.C., Nov 21, 2014 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration was met with both praise and concern from Catholic groups, who emphasized that more must be done to find long-term solutions for a broken immigration system. “I am happy that some temporary relief is being offered to help parents and children who right now are living in daily fear that their families will be broken up by arrests and deportations,” said … [Read more...]

What fuels migration? For Pope Francis, a strong ‘aspiration to hope’

Vatican City, Nov 21, 2014 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said on Friday that the desire to migrate from one’s homeland is inspired by the search for hope, and encouraged the Church throughout the world to welcome migrants, whose presence helps build up society. “Notwithstanding new developments and the emergence of situations which are at times painful and even tragic, migration is still an aspiration to hope,” the Pope told participants in the Seventh World … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: Turning churches into ‘businesses’ is a scandal

Vatican City, Nov 21, 2014 / 10:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis condemned priests and laity who turn their parishes into a “business” by charging for things such as baptisms, blessings and Mass intentions – calling it a scandal that's hard to forgive. “It is interesting: the people of God can forgive their priests, when they are weak; when they slip on a sin, the people know how to forgive them,” the Pope told mass attendees in the Vatican's Saint … [Read more...]

US cardinal to the undocumented: you can ‘come out of the shadows’

Rome, Italy, Nov 21, 2014 / 10:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The vice president of the U.S. bishops’ conference has said that charitable immigration reform must address the needs of both legal and illegal immigrants, encouraging the latter to come forward and receive help. “Immigration (reform) should be more comprehensive, that is, we cover all immigrants, even the undocumented. We give people a chance to get their green card, a chance to come out of the shadows, so that when they work … [Read more...]