Freiburg archdiocese given new bishop, from among its priests

Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, May 31, 2014 / 08:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Stephan Burger, a priest of the Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau, was appointed archbishop of the same local Church, vacant since September, by Pope Francis on Friday. “We are grateful to Pope Francis and are all glad that the time of waiting for a new archbishop is finally over,” Bishop Bernd Uhl, an auxiliary of Freiburg, said May 30. “We are able to choose Stephan Burger as a competent … [Read more...]

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Proposed Nicea ecumenical meeting ‘nice’ idea, Vatican spokesman says

Vatican City, May 31, 2014 / 01:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In response to media reports that Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I will meet for an ecumenical gathering in Nicea in 2025, the Vatican's spokesman said that such a meeting would be a positive encounter.Father Federico Lombardi told CNA that a meeting between the two leaders “is a nice proposal from Bartholomew, just as his proposal for an encounter on the 50th anniversary meeting between Paul VI and Athenagoras I … [Read more...]

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Lawyer: Colo. baker forced to choose between faith, work

Denver, Colo., May 30, 2014 / 05:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A commission’s ruling that Colorado baker Jack Phillips must bake same-sex “wedding” cakes forces him to choose between violating his conscience and supporting his family, the baker’s lawyer said. “In America, we don’t separate a person’s creative expression from what he believes. Jack simply exercised the long-cherished American freedom to decline to use his artistic and creative talents to … [Read more...]

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Abducted Catholic priest released in Ukraine amid unrest

Kyiv, Ukraine, May 30, 2014 / 12:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In the midst of ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine, a Roman Catholic priest from Poland who was kidnapped May 27 by separatists in the city of Donetsk has been released. Father Pawel Vitka says he was accused of being a spy by separatists affiliated with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. Fr. Vitka, who works in Kazakhstan but was visiting a fellow priest in Ukraine at the time, was freed after 24 hours in … [Read more...]

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Christian joy is based in hope, Pope Francis reflects

Vatican City, May 30, 2014 / 06:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his first daily homily since returning from the Holy Land Pope Francis centered on the theme of Christian joy, explaining that it comes not from our immediate circumstances, but what Jesus promised. “Be courageous in suffering and remember that after the Lord will come; after joy will come, after the dark comes the sun” the Pope encouraged in his May 30 daily Mass. “May the Lord give us all this joy in … [Read more...]

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Pope’s historic prayer deeply moves Jerusalem bishop

Jerusalem, Israel, May 30, 2014 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem described the recent prayer shared between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I as a moving event, predicting future blessings from the encounter. “Really, it was moving. It was very moving and emotional,” Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem told CNA May 25, explaining that he had never witnessed anything like it before. “The humility of the Pope, the friendship which was … [Read more...]

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Filipinos from Holy Land voice excitement for Pope’s visit

Vatican City, May 30, 2014 / 01:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A small Filipino community in Israel has expressed their joy that Pope Francis will travel to their country next January, stating they hope his presence will bring peace and heal divisions. “We are blessed that he will go to our place. We are so happy, absolutely blessed,” Mercy Agosta told CNA May 25, adding that “It’s also a blessing for us because for Filipinos it’s hard to go to … [Read more...]

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