Half of church fires in the last 20 years were set on purpose

Washington D.C., Aug 3, 2015 / 10:57 am (CNA).- Fifty-one percent of the reported fire incidents at U.S. houses of worship between 1996 and 2015 were determined to be caused by arson, according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center. Church fires are investigated and classified by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as accidental, bombing, arson, threat or undetermined. Statistics show that just over half of the approximately 4,700 fires reported at houses of … [Read more...]

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Why the effort to make gay marriage sacramental won’t work

Washington D.C., Aug 2, 2015 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Dissenting Catholic groups have called for gay marriage to be recognized as a sacrament, but Catholic theology has a clear priority: marriage is God's creation – and not even the Church can change that.   Dr. John Grabowski, a professor of moral theology at Catholic University of America, said that the push for “sacramental equality” by groups such as Dignity USA shows “a lack of understanding of what … [Read more...]

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Pope: In Confession we encounter God’s immense mercy

Vatican City, Aug 2, 2015 / 09:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Delivering his weekly Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Pope Francis said that while everyone feels shame before going to Confession, this grace helps us to be open to God’s forgiveness. “There are people who are afraid of approaching Confession, forgetting that there, we do not encounter severe judgement, but the immensely merciful Father,” the Roman Pontiff said Aug. 2, speaking to the crowds who … [Read more...]

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A childhood friendship that shaped JPII’s love for the Jewish community

Vatican City, Aug 2, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Saint John Paul II's historic embrace of former chief rabbi of Rome Elio Toaff welcomes visitors to a new Vatican exhibition on the late Pope's compelling relationship with the Jewish people. The moment is reminiscent of an earlier, childhood friendship that likely laid the foundation for many of the symbolic acts that John Paul II would make toward Jews as Pope. Entitled “A Blessing to One Another,” the exhibit … [Read more...]

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New Armenian Catholic patriarch pulled from retirement to take the reins

Beirut, Lebanon, Aug 1, 2015 / 03:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a rare move, the Armenian Catholic Church has pulled their new patriarch from out of retirement to take on the role as their new head. Church leaders cited his energy and authority as necessary when dealing with current issues, particularly those in the Middle East. Gregory Peter XX Ghabroyan was elected Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians July 24. He succeeds former patriarch Nerses Pierre XIX Tarmouni, who died June 25. The … [Read more...]

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Nuns, guns and the Wild West – the extraordinary tale of Sr. Blandina

Santa Fe, NM, Aug 1, 2015 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Billy the Kid, a notorious bank and stage-coach robber of the Wild West, met his match in the most unlikely of people when he met Sister Blandina Segale. According to legend, and to Sr. Blandina's journal and letters, one of Billy the Kid's gang members had been shot and was on the brink of death when the doctors of Trinidad, Colo. refused to treat him. Sister decided to take him in and cared for him for three months, nursing him … [Read more...]

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Promote the common good and give workers a raise, Catholic leaders tell Congress

Washington D.C., Jul 31, 2015 / 05:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders are calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage, for the good of low-wage workers and their families. “An economy thrives only when it is centered on the dignity and well-being of the workers and families in it,” stated a letter to members of Congress from Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Sister Donna Markham, OP, president of Catholic Charities USA. Archbishop Wenski chairs the U.S. Bishops’ … [Read more...]

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