Cuban bishops: prepare for Pope’s visit with works of mercy

Havana, Cuba, Jul 2, 2015 / 12:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In preparation for Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba this fall, the bishops of the island nation are asking the faithful to perform acts of mercy during the first Fridays of July, August and September. “Pope Francis never stops talking about mercy,” the bishops said in a June 29 message. “The first Sunday after his election, he mentioned it 13 times. And he just recently called for the celebration of the Extraordinary … [Read more...]

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Anti-Catholic history in US shows Church has survived and will continue, historian says

Washington D.C., Jul 1, 2015 / 03:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. “It’s okay to realize that other people have gone on this same journey, a journey that’s involved persecution, a journey that’s involved a Catholic minority and a non-Catholic majority, and sometimes friction with … [Read more...]

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Human dignity must be center of political debate – Pope on Greek debt crisis

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2015 / 11:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Wednesday called for prayer for the people of Greece, shortly after the nation defaulted on a significant loan payment on its more than $300 billion debt. “The news from Greece regarding the economic and social situation of the country is worrying,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, Holy See press officer, said in a July 1 statement. “Pope Francis invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the … [Read more...]

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Why choose celibacy? A gay Catholic speaks out

Rome, Italy, Jul 1, 2015 / 04:03 am (CNA).- More than 10 years ago, Joseph Prever found himself scouring the internet for anything that might help him: he was gay, Catholic, and confused. Resources were scarce for a man struggling with homosexuality and trying to remain faithful to the Church’s teaching. In the intervening years, Catholics experiencing same-sex attraction have become a more vocal presence in the Church. Google the words “gay Catholic” and one of the top … [Read more...]

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Meet Father Salvatore, the young priest whose life moved the Pope

Trani, Italy, Jul 1, 2015 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The life of Father Salvatore Mellone, who died on Monday, was moving to thousands of people. He was to have at least two more years of seminary when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but by special permission and the blessing of Pope Francis, he was ordained nevertheless. Fr. Mellone, who died June 29 at the age of 38, had been a priest of the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie for two and a half months. With his failing health, … [Read more...]

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Chewed or brewed: A brief history of Popes and coca leaves

Vatican City, Jun 30, 2015 / 04:21 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis might chew coca leaves – or maybe sip coca tea – during his visit to Bolivia next week, the Vatican has said. Bolivian Culture Minister Marko Machicao told local media that Francis had asked to chew coca leaves in the country, one of several stops during his visit to South America July 5-13. The coca leaf, whose daily use and cultural importance in the Andes region rivals that of coffee in the United States, is … [Read more...]

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Bishops expect Pope Francis’ visit to have profound impact on US

Washington D.C., Jun 30, 2015 / 03:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Looking forward to Pope Francis' September visit to the U.S., the nation's bishops were exuberant on Tuesday, as the itinerary for the apostolic voyage was released. Fewer than three months before the scheduled visit, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. bishops conference, called it a “source of joy and gratitude for U.S. Catholics” in a June 30 statement. After visiting Cuba, the Pope … [Read more...]

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