Disney ends Boy Scout donations due to gay leader ban

Orlando, Fla., Mar 7, 2014 / 02:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Less than a year after the Boy Scouts lifted its ban on openly homosexual members, the Walt Disney Company has cut the scouting organization from an employee donation program because it does not allow openly gay scout leaders. On Feb. 28, the company said employees may no longer donate to the scouts through the company’s VoluntEARS program. A Disney spokesperson noted the company’s anti-discrimination policy, which bars … [Read more...]

Church in Oceania concerned over Australian asylum policy

Canberra, Australia, Mar 7, 2014 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Church leaders in both Australia and Papua New Guinea are voicing discontent with Australia’s policy of processing asylum seekers at offshore camps with conditions condemned by human rights groups. Asylum seekers, many of them from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Iran, travel by boat from Indonesia and are intercepted by the Australian navy before reaching land. They are then sent to camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, a … [Read more...]

Vatican appointments may signal new role for state secretariat

Vatican City, Mar 6, 2014 / 08:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Recent appointments are beginning to show a pattern of how Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia will be carried out, with a seemingly diminished role for the Secretariat of State. For the first time, the president of the cardinals’ commission overseeing the Institute of Religious Works, or Vatican bank, is not chaired by the Secretary of State. On March 4, the cardinals’ commission of the Institute for Religious … [Read more...]

Spanish bishop issues letter on abortion

Madrid, Spain, Mar 6, 2014 / 07:53 pm (CNA).- Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla of San Sebastian in Spain has released a new pastoral letter on abortion that answers questions and encourages open discussion on the issue. “We cannot accept 4000 abortions each year in the Basque Country,” Bishop Munilla said. In his letter – which he presented to Pope Francis during an ad limina visit to the Vatican – the Spanish bishop responded to specific questions about abortion and … [Read more...]

Churches critical to development of South Sudan, author says

Washington D.C., Mar 6, 2014 / 04:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With unique knowledge and solidarity with the people, churches play an essential role in helping cultural development in South Sudan, said an author familiar with the region. “I think it’s crucial for people to understand that South Sudan is fundamentally dependent on the churches,” said Gabriel Meyer, a Catholic journalist and author who has written and lectured extensively on the region. Development in South … [Read more...]

Path of self-denial brings joy, fruitfulness, Pope reflects

Vatican City, Mar 6, 2014 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily Pope Francis spoke of the Christian “style,” explaining that in order to be authentic, it must follow the path of Jesus in denying oneself, taking up the Cross, and practicing humility. “And this style will save us, will give us joy and make us fruitful, because this path of denying oneself is there to give us life,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse on … [Read more...]

Research finds link between oral contraception, multiple sclerosis

Washington D.C., Mar 6, 2014 / 03:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new study, researchers analyzed the data found in women's health records over four years, discovering a connection between the use of oral contraception and the contraction of multiple sclerosis. “It’s not clear what role (hormones) play in the development of the disease, but it’s clear that two to three times more women than men have MS,” Dr. Kerstin Hellwig stated in comments on FoxNews.com. Dr. … [Read more...]