Turkish border closed as Christian hostages in Syria spike to 250

Rome, Italy, Feb 26, 2015 / 07:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The number of ISIS hostages in Syria has increased to at least 250 after continued attacks on Christian villages, and civilians fleeing to the Turkish border have been stranded when not allowed to cross. “There are 200 families who were running away and trying to escape to Turkey, but the border is closed for Syrians. No Syrian can cross into Turkey,” Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo told CNA Feb. 26. Archbishop Hindo … [Read more...]

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Could Pope Francis travel to Ukraine?

Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 26, 2015 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has sent a letter inviting Pope Francis to visit Ukraine, though the Vatican diplomacy has not yet responded, Ukraine's Embassy to the Holy See told CNA on Wednesday. The embassy forwarded the letter to the Vatican Secretariat of State Feb. 18, two days before the ad limina meeting of Ukrainian bishops with Pope Francis. Bishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Vladimir the Great … [Read more...]

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Chinese Bible association gathers to make Scripture the heart of Church’s life

Taipei, Taiwan, Feb 26, 2015 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association held its tenth World Chinese Biblical Congress last month in Taiwan, drawing participants from 18 countries to reflect on Scripture and its place in the new evangelization. “The congress was a very touching experience of a new Pentecost with the outpouring of gifts of the Holy Spirit in the company of the Blessed Mother … engendering fresh new inspirations, hope, and vision … [Read more...]

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A pro-life giant: remembering Dr Willke

Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb 26, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life leaders marked the death of Dr. John Willke by praising his adamant stand against legalized abortion and his tireless dedication to helping women and their unborn children. “The right-to-life movement has lost one of its most influential activists,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said Feb. 23. “But we know that Dr. Willke’s legacy of education and activism will live on in the … [Read more...]

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A Middle East without Christians: advocates call for action before it’s too late

Washington D.C., Feb 25, 2015 / 04:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Middle Eastern Christian communities face extinction, and the results for the stability and peace of the region would be devastating, said an advocacy group asking Americans to speak out on their behalf. “They have been there since the time of Christ, and they are now arguably in the time of their greatest need,” said Kristina Olney of the advocacy group In Defense of Christians. “We are basically seeing history … [Read more...]

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Ancient Roman pilgrimage revs-up spiritual aspect of Lent

Vatican City, Feb 25, 2015 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- For pilgrims in Rome, Ash Wednesday marked not only the start of the Church’s Lenten season, but also a traditional Lenten pilgrimage that helps offer a more spiritual outlook on the journey toward Easter. “It’s incredible. It’s an experience I never thought I would be able to have. It’s still hard to believe – I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not just back in the states, I’m not … [Read more...]

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Vatican: Pope’s ‘Mexicanization’ comment not intended to offend

Vatican City, Feb 25, 2015 / 11:02 am (CNA).- The Vatican on Wednesday issued a statement clarifying a private comment made by Pope Francis to a friend warning that his native Argentina was in danger of a “Mexicanization” by drug traffickers. “The Pope did not in any way intend to offend the Mexican population, for whom he holds special affection, nor to underestimate the commitment of the Mexican government in its fight against narco-trafficking,” Vatican spokesman … [Read more...]

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