Report shows ‘egregious’ religious freedom violations in Syria

Washington D.C., May 6, 2014 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. government should designate Syria as a “country of particular concern” due to “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” in its ongoing conflict, a global religious liberty group said. “The existing humanitarian disaster and egregious human rights and religious freedom violations pose a serious danger to Syria’s religious diversity post-conflict,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said in its 2014 report. The commission blamed “the collective actions of... Read more

Church bulldozing in China prompts religious freedom worries

Washington D.C., May 6, 2014 / 01:57 pm (CNA).- Chinese authorities’ bulldozing of a large Protestant church shows the need for greater respect for religious freedom in the country, a U.S. congressman has said. “The destruction of church buildings and the detention of religious leaders in Zhejiang Province is a stunning and somber reminder that many hardliners in the Chinese government still want to eradicate the religious freedom of the Chinese people and control all practice of religion,” U.S. Rep.... Read more

New Swiss Guards swear oath to protect Pope Francis

Vatican City, May 6, 2014 / 11:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Thirty young men joined the ranks of the Swiss Guards today, taking an oath of allegiance to Pope Francis and promising to serve the Church by protecting him and all of his successors. Addressing the new guards the day before their traditional swearing-in on May 6, the Pope explained that the event commemorates their predecessors, who “offered their lives to defend the Church.” “Your dedication,” he noted, “confirms that their... Read more

Vatican doctrine head: LCWR has moved beyond Church, faith

Rome, Italy, May 6, 2014 / 10:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an address to the presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Cardinal Gerhard Müller reaffirmed the necessity of reform of the conference, saying it has effectively moved beyond the Christian faith. “We believe the conclusions of the Doctrinal Assessment are accurate and the path of reform it lays before the LCWR remains necessary so that religious life might continue to flourish in the United States,” the prefect of... Read more

The Church is more than ‘a university of religion,’ Pope insists

Vatican City, May 6, 2014 / 07:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass Pope Francis recounted the death of St. Stephen, the Church’s first martyr, explaining that being a Christian means giving witness rather than remaining sterile within ourselves. “You cannot understand a Christian without witness,” the Pope stated in his May 6 daily homily, adding that “we are not a university of religion, a 'religion' of ideas,” or “of pure theology, beautiful things, of commandments.” “No, we are... Read more

At UN panel, Holy See urges civil prosecution for torture

Geneva, Switzerland, May 6, 2014 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- All individuals who commit torture and abuse must face prosecution from legitimate government authorities, a Holy See delegation has told a U.N. committee on a global anti-torture convention. “The Holy See wishes to reiterate that the persons who live in a particular country are under the jurisdiction of the legitimate authorities of that country and are thus subject to the domestic law and the consequences contained therein,” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,... Read more

Women conceived in rape seek to inspire others in choosing life

Vatican City, May 6, 2014 / 03:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During Italy’s fourth annual March for Life, two women shared testimonies of being conceived in rape, and expressed hope that they can offer light to women who are pregnant through similar circumstances. Speaking of women who become pregnant as a result of rape, Rebecca Keissling and Mary Rathke told CNA May 4 that they wish to “give them hope, and that they wouldn’t feel alone.” The women were present in... Read more

Latino Catholic group aims to bring faith to all life’s aspects

Los Angeles, Calif., May 6, 2014 / 02:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Association of Latino Leaders’ national conference this August aims to achieve a “spiritual revolution” by helping Latino Catholics bring their faith into all aspects of life through serving their communities. “Faith cannot be something independent or separated from our daily lives. It really has to be the prism through which we see everything,” Diana Richardson-Vela, president of CALL, told CNA May 2. “We’re truly looking for the... Read more

Hospice seeks funds for its human dignity-centered care

Denver, Colo., May 6, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An end-of-life care organization based in Denver, Colo. will begin helping patients in earnest later this month and is raising funds in a particular way for a matching donation. “It is an exciting time for Divine Mercy Supportive Care…all of our policies and procedures are in order and we have assembled our team of clinicians,” Mark Skender, development director of the hospice, told CNA May 2. “We are anticipating taking... Read more

Pope calls on Church in Sri Lanka to be leaven for reconciliation

Vatican City, May 5, 2014 / 07:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During his ad limina address Saturday, Pope Francis urged the bishops of Sri Lanka to continue their role in reconciliation of the nation, which emerged in 2009 from a 26-year civil war. “Our vocation is to be a ‘leaven in the midst of humanity’,” Pope Francis said May 3. “Sri Lanka particularly needs this leaven.” “After many years of fighting and bloodshed, the war in your country has finally ended... Read more