Bishops appeal against death penalty in Boston bombing case

Boston, Mass., Apr 8, 2015 / 04:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stands trial, the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts are asking that he not receive the death penalty if he is convicted. “The defendant in this case has been neutralized and will never again have the ability to cause harm,” the bishops stated. “Because of this, we, the Catholic Bishops of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, believe that society can do better than the … [Read more...]

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How the Holy See is using diplomacy to aid Christians in the Middle East

Vatican City, Apr 8, 2015 / 02:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In the face of increased persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the Holy See's diplomatic arm is developing a strategy to shed light on Christian martyrs, helping those remaining to stay in their homeland and to foster interreligous dialogue. A visible effect of this commitment is a joint statement issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council March 13, which was drafted by the Holy See together with Lebanon and … [Read more...]

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Britain stands with persecuted Christians, prime minister affirms

London, England, Apr 8, 2015 / 12:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Easter is a perfect time to take note of all that Christianity has done for Great Britain and to support those persecuted for their faith, UK prime minister David Cameron said in his Easter message. “The church is not just a collection of beautiful old buildings,” Cameron said in an April 4 video message posted on Youtube. “It’s a living, active force doing great works right across our … [Read more...]

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Between conflicting cake rulings in Colorado, baker’s livelihood still at risk

Denver, Colo., Apr 7, 2015 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Colorado agency which punished a baker who declined to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony has ruled that other bakers may refuse to make cakes with messages opposed to gay marriage. Defenders of the censured baker, Jack Phillips, say the commission should be more consistent. “Like the other bakers, Jack happily serves all people but declines to use his artistic talents to create cakes that violate his conscience,” Jeremy … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis sends rosaries, Easter cakes to Iraqi Christians

Erbil, Iraq, Apr 7, 2015 / 03:37 pm (CNA).- The Solemn Easter Vigil in Erbil, Iraq, concluded in a spirit of joyful celebration with the distribution of dove-shaped Easter cakes and rosaries sent by Pope Francis to thousands of Chaldean Christians displaced by ISIS. More than 70,000 Christians fled to Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, after their villages came under attack by the Islamic State (ISIS) last June. The militants have since established a caliphate and have persecuted … [Read more...]

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Amid war in Syria, Catholic patriarch says Easter offers path of hope

Damascus, Syria, Apr 7, 2015 / 12:48 pm (CNA).- Citing St. Paul’s conversion on the Road to Damascus, an Eastern Catholic patriarch’s Easter message repeated a call for peace and urged Christians to bear the Gospel of Life amid Syria’s ongoing civil war. “God grant that the day of reconciliation, salvation and mutual embrace may come! Then indeed there will be a great feast for the whole of Syria, a feast of resurrection and life,” said Gregorios III, Melkite … [Read more...]

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Faith served straight up: how alcohol shapes cultural and religious identity

Washington D.C., Apr 7, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA).- From a glass of beer at dinner to the wine transubstantiated at the Last Supper, sharing a drink has held a profoundly important place in shaping people’s lives through the ages. In fact, according to one noted Catholic bartender, society would be drastically different if it were not for the influence of alcohol on religion and culture. “Alcohol is an important part of how we connect with each other,” said Derek Brown, a … [Read more...]

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