Facing risk of death, Syrian priests remain faithful

Rome, Italy, Jun 26, 2013 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As civil war rages in Syria, priests are choosing to stay with their people and continue pastoring them, even as a monk was killed during a raid on a monastery in the north of the country on June 23. Father Francois Mourad died at the Franciscan monastery of Saint Anthony of Padua in a village near Jisr Ash-Shughur. The town had been under attack by Islamist rebels for a few weeks, and local Christians sought refuge in the … [Read more...]

Toddler’s encounter with Pope ‘unforgettable,’ dad says

Rome, Italy, Jun 26, 2013 / 02:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The two year-old daughter of a Catholic News Agency bureau chief shared a brief but intimate greeting with Pope Francis on Sunday, leaving the girl and her father all smiles. “She was right at home with the Holy Father,” Alan Holdren, the head of CNA's Rome bureau, said June 24. Isabel accompanied Holdren who was covering a special trip for disadvantaged children organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and … [Read more...]

Bishop urges US to respect rights of Guantanamo detainees

Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2013 / 12:03 am (CNA).- The U.S. bishops’ international justice head told the U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that detainees held on terrorism charges at Guantanamo Bay deserve a just trial and should not be held indefinitely.“Detainees have the right to a just and fair trial held in a timely manner,” wrote Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, to Secretary Hagel.“The indefinite detention of detainees is not only injurious to … [Read more...]

Threat to one faith endangers freedom for all, warn leaders

Washington D.C., Jun 25, 2013 / 05:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Noting significant threats to religious liberty in modern U.S. society, speakers at a recent national conference stressed that all faiths are threatened by restrictions on the freedom of believers.“Religious freedom is a human right,” said Rev. Eugene F. Rivers, pastor of the Azusa Christian Community, at a recent conference in Washington, D.C.He stated that “the black churches want to work with those who are … [Read more...]

God calls each Christian personally, Pope says

Vatican City, Jun 25, 2013 / 03:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Just as God called Abraham by name to receive a promise, so does he continue to call each Christian personally to enter into relationship with him, Pope Francis said at his daily Mass June 25.“We Christians have been called one-by-one: none of us is Christian by pure chance. No one,” he said during his homily at the chapel of Saint Martha House in the Vatican.The call of each Christian is “by name, and with a … [Read more...]

Bishop Dunne, auxiliary of Rockville Centre, retires at 75

Rockville Centre, N.Y., Jun 25, 2013 / 09:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop John C. Dunne, who was an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, on June 22, a few months after he turned 75.Canon law requires that bishops submit their resignation upon their 75th birthday.Born in 1937, Bishop Dunne was ordained a priest for the Rockville Centre diocese on June 1, 1963. As a priest of the diocese, he served as a pastor, as spiritual director at … [Read more...]

Arizona hermitage to foster deep prayer, priestly renewal

Phoenix, Ariz., Jun 25, 2013 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix has established a local house of prayer for priests, where they can come for solitude with Christ and renew themselves for their ministry to the people of God. Merciful Heart Hermitage is “a place of prayer for priests....to be drawn into Jesus' own heart, and through his heart coming into deep relationship with the Father and the Father's heart,” director Father Eugene Florea, … [Read more...]