What makes someone religious? Tax forms, apparently

Washington D.C., Jan 12, 2016 / 03:41 pm (CNA).- Since its first introduction, the federal contraception mandate has drawn controversy, with hundreds of employers saying it forces them to violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs.   Now, one lawyer is arguing that the Obama administration unfairly relied on tax law to determine which institutions were religious enough to get an exemption from the mandate.“The distinction they ended up making was simply whether you file a … [Read more...]

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We’re wounded – that’s why we need mercy, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Jan 12, 2016 / 07:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his new book on mercy Pope Francis offers extensive reflections on the topic that has shaped much of his pontificate, getting personal about his own experiences of mercy, what it means for him, and why humanity is in such desperate need of it.“This is a time for mercy. The Church is showing her maternal side, her motherly face, to a humanity that is wounded,” the Pope said in his new book “The Name of God is … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis explains ‘who am I to judge’ in his new book

Vatican City, Jan 12, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his new book on God's mercy, Pope Francis explains that his oft-quoted words “who am I to judge”, about a homosexual person who is searching for the Lord with a good will, is simply his reflection on Church teaching found in the catechism.The Name of God is Mercy, to be released Jan. 12, is a book-length interview of Pope Francis by Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli. The book is meant to “reveal the heart of … [Read more...]

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Surrogacy and the risk of forced abortion – Calif. cases bring new scrutiny

Washington D.C., Jan 12, 2016 / 02:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Surrogate pregnancy is back in the news with two high profile cases where two different surrogate mothers of triplets rejected requests to have abortions. And one organization is responding by saying the practice is so unethical it should be banned.“The problems with surrogacy aren’t limited just to here in the U.S. – they’re universal,” said Christopher White, director of research and education at the … [Read more...]

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Fr. Georg Ratzinger says he was unaware of sex abuse claims in German boy’s choir

Regensburg, Germany, Jan 12, 2016 / 12:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The elder brother of retired Pope Benedict XVI said that he was unaware of any sexual abuse occurring at a choir boarding school he previously directed.“These things were never discussed,” Fr. Georg Ratzinger told German newspaper Passauer Neue Presse. “The problem of sexual abuse that has now come to light was never spoken of.”He also said that he was not aware of how serious physical abuse by one of the … [Read more...]

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After week of silence, German bishops respond to Cologne attacks

Cologne, Germany, Jan 11, 2016 / 03:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A week after hundreds were attacked in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising and president of the German Conference of Catholic Bishops, condemned the attacks in a press release and called for more vigilance in the future.“(T)he excesses in Cologne and other large cities are deeply disturbing for our society and can in no way be tolerated,” Marx said.  “We … [Read more...]

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Pope to diplomats: Migrants present challenges, but don’t forget their dignity

Vatican City, Jan 11, 2016 / 07:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday Pope Francis gave his first major speech of the year to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, focusing on the hot-button topic of migration and the need to find dignified solutions to the problem.While the increasing number of migrants certainly poses a challenge, Francis said that the basic human dignity of those seeking a better life shouldn’t be overshadowed by the problems that come with them.“Over … [Read more...]

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