No, Pope Francis isn’t saying your ‘conscience’ trumps doctrine

Washington D.C., Apr 12, 2016 / 04:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia Pope Francis is helping priests to be better pastors, not giving individual consciences the ultimate authority to decide their spiritual state, a moral theologian and a canon lawyer both maintain.“We still have to form conscience,” said Fr. Thomas Petri, academic dean at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., in an interview with CNA. “That’s what [Pope … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis’ Instagram success: a model for Catholic social media?

Vatican City, Apr 12, 2016 / 06:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Social media can be a place for evangelization.The proof? The giant audience for Pope Francis’ new Instagram profile. More than 1 million people followed his “Franciscus” account in the first 12 hours after its March 19 launch. As of April 11, he has over 2.2 million followers on the photo-centered network.Reflecting on this success, and on what it means for the Church in the social media age, Monsignor Dario Edoardo … [Read more...]

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Pope appoints new Vatican ambassador to the U.S.

Vatican City, Apr 12, 2016 / 05:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has appointed French-born Archbishop Christophe Pierre as the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., replacing Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Holy See press office announced Tuesday.The appointment of the new Vatican ambassador – known as an apostolic nuncio – comes after Archbishop Viganò reached the retirement age of 75 on Jan. 16 of this year. The Italian prelate had served as apostolic nuncio to the … [Read more...]

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Being pro-life never used to mean being Republican

Washington D.C., Apr 12, 2016 / 03:28 am (CNA).- “(W)hen it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother. I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far.”So said then-Senator Joe Biden in 1974, a Democrat whose shifting position on abortion is a microcosm of what happened to the pro-life views of the Democratic party as a whole. When Roe v. Wade was first decided, Biden was among the legislators … [Read more...]

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Christians, Muslims in Thailand gather to promote harmony and peace

Bangkok, Thailand, Apr 12, 2016 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic officials attended the inauguration of a new mosque in Bangkok earlier this week, in an effort to foster interreligious dialogue, and harmony between their communities in Thailand.“We need to build more solid bridges and destroy many walls of hatred and prejudices,” Monsignor  Andrew Vissanu Thanya Anan, deputy secretary-general of the Thai bishops' conference, told CNA April 7.“We have to … [Read more...]

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Bulldozed for a shopping mall? What might happen to these Church ruins

Gaza City, Apr 11, 2016 / 06:13 pm (CNA).- Newly uncovered ancient ruins of Byzantine-era church are threatened by the construction of a commercial shopping mall in Gaza, with Palestinian Christians and archaeologists making desperate appeals to save a piece of history.“It breaks one’s heart to see such destruction of a valuable source of history and one just cannot wipe out thousands-of-years-old history and its significant value,” a young person based in the Holy Land, who … [Read more...]

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How a simple idea helped 7,000 homeless pregnant women

New York City, N.Y., Apr 11, 2016 / 02:39 pm (CNA).- Christopher Bell was in his twenties and living in Times Square when he heard something that sounded like the voice of God.Bell had been working with homeless and runaway kids in New York City, when he encountered pregnant women with young children who had no homes. At the time, Bell said there were no long-term programs that were ministering to pregnant women with other children.“I thought there was a need to have longer-term … [Read more...]

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