Columnist: US should counter anti-Christian persecution

Washington D.C., Jan 3, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Americans should not resign themselves to “a Middle East without Christians” but should work to expand their traditions of religious freedom overseas, says Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson. “Across North Africa and the greater Middle East, anti-Christian pressure has grown during the past few decades, sometimes subtle, sometimes overt,” Gerson wrote on Dec. 26. He cited the Christmas Day bombings in … [Read more...]

Little Sisters granted mandate relief by Justice Sotomayor

Washington D.C., Jan 2, 2014 / 05:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A group of religious sisters that cares for the elderly poor in the U.S. was among several religious organizations to gain protection from the federal contraception mandate shortly before it took effect on Jan. 1. “We are grateful for the decision of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granting us a temporary injunction protecting us from the HHS contraceptive mandate,” said the Little Sisters of the Poor. On Dec. 31, … [Read more...]

Six million people attended Pope Francis’ Vatican events in 2013

Vatican City, Jan 2, 2014 / 03:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 6.6 million people have taken part in events with Pope Francis at the Vatican since his election to the papacy, the Prefecture of the Papal Household has estimated. In the nine months since Pope Francis’ March 13 election, more than 2.7 million people have attended the Pope’s Angelus and Regina Coeli prayers. About 2.3 million have attended liturgical celebrations in St. Peter’s Basilica and at St. … [Read more...]

We share in Mary’s ‘journey of faith,’ says Pope

Vatican City, Jan 1, 2014 / 05:12 am (CNA).- Pope Francis’ homily for the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God emphasized Mary's path of faith and hope as an example for all Christians.“The message of hope contained in this (God’s) blessing was fully realized in a woman, Mary, who was destined to become the Mother of God, and it was fulfilled in her before any other creature,” he said on Jan. 1 to the congregation gathered for mass in St. Peter’s … [Read more...]

Pope: ‘Quality of life in Rome depends on all of us’

Vatican City, Dec 31, 2013 / 12:07 pm (CNA).- In his homily during evening prayer on New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis focused on the theme of time well spent, urging the citizens of Rome to better their city in the upcoming year. “It is the last day of the year. What will we do, how will we act next year, to make our city a little better?” he questioned the congregation gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 31 in anticipation of the solemnity of Mary, Mother of … [Read more...]

Church in Papua New Guinea hosts training for journalists

Madang, Papua New Guinea, Dec 31, 2013 / 08:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The social communications office of the bishops' conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands recently held a series of seminars training Catholics involved in media about their role in evangelization. “The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea needs to … see how she can be more present and active where modern culture and behavior is shaped and promoted,” said Fr. Giogio Licini, head of the … [Read more...]

Belgium considers legalizing euthanasia for minors

Brussels, Belgium, Dec 30, 2013 / 09:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite religious opposition, the Belgian Senate voted Dec. 13 in favor of a bill which would expand legal euthanasia to terminally ill minors and persons with dementia. The bill now has to be considered by the country’s lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Representatives, which is widely expected to approve it. The bill passed in the Senate by a margin of 50-17. After the bill was passed by the Senate's justice … [Read more...]