Pope Francis: Christian love is not a ‘soap opera’

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2014 / 07:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass today, Pope Francis spoke on the meaning of Christian love, explaining that it is not a form of selfish romanticism, but rather something “concrete” that requires sacrifice. “The love John speaks of is not the love of soap operas! No, it is something else. Christian love has a particular quality: concreteness,” the Pope emphasized in his Jan. 9 homily, referring to the words of the Apostle John in … [Read more...]

Legionaries begin first general chapter to revise constitutions

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2014 / 05:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Earlier this morning the Legionaries of Christ began their first Extraordinary General Chapter meeting to draft and approve their new constitutions, after which they will elect their new leadership. Opening with a Jan. 8 Mass celebrated by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the Chapter, which will be held behind closed doors throughout its duration, began its official meetings the morning of Jan. 9, and is slated to last roughly 20 days. The … [Read more...]

Vatican analyst eager to improve media coverage of Church

Denver, Colo., Jan 9, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA).- Vatican journalist and expert John L. Allen, Jr. will join the staff of the The Boston Globe as an associate editor next month in a bid to enrich the media's coverage of religion and the Church. “What I really hope we can accomplish is to offer a model of what serious coverage of the Catholic Church will look like in a major secular news outlet,” Allen said in a Jan. 7 conversation with CNA. “Fundamentally, what I hope is … [Read more...]

Conflict puts Central African refugees in ‘horrendous’ situation

Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan 9, 2014 / 02:01 am (CNA).- As the refugee situation in the Central African Republic continues to worsen, Catholic Relief Services says it is working to help displaced persons and to encourage a peaceful resolution to the violence. “The humanitarian consequences have been horrendous,” Helen Blakesley, Catholic Relief Services' regional information officer for West and Central Africa, said Dec. 7. “The country was already extremely … [Read more...]

Church expert to help California priest’s canonization cause

Los Angeles, Calif., Jan 9, 2014 / 12:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Supporters of the canonization cause of California priest Father Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F., have welcomed the help of prominent canon lawyer Dr. Andrea Ambrosi. Fr. Kevin Manion, a representative of the group The Friends of Father Aloysius, said Dec. 6 that the support from Ambrosi “confirms we are on the right track.” Ambrosi, who is based in Rome, has worked on the canonization causes of Blessed John Henry … [Read more...]

Christian baker files religious freedom appeal in marriage ruling

Denver, Colo., Jan 8, 2014 / 05:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Christian baker in Colorado is appealing a judge's ruling that he must violate his religious beliefs and bake a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony. “Jack simply exercised the long-cherished freedom to not speak by declining to promote a false view of marriage through his creative work,” explained lead counsel Nicolle Martin, who is allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “It’s outrageous that the … [Read more...]

Islamism in Nigeria places Africa ‘at risk’, bishop says

Lagos, Nigeria, Jan 8, 2014 / 04:41 pm (CNA).- Christians in Nigeria face violence and persecution in their homeland as militant group Boko Haram uses inequality and instability in the country to advance its ideology, a bishop has warned. "Don’t sit by while Nigeria disintegrates," Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, Vicar Apostolic of Bomadi, said in a Jan. 1 interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.   If Boko Haram succeeds, the bishop continued, “the … [Read more...]