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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Supreme Court puts hold on Texas law regulating abortion clinics

Washington D.C., Jun 30, 2015 / 02:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday afternoon the Supreme Court of the United States temporarily halted Texas' regulations on abortion clinics, which were upheld by an appellate court earlier in the month. By a 5-4 margin, the justices on June 29 blocked the law from going into effect until it is asked to hear the case; and if the court consents to hear the case, until it issues its decision. The 2013 law increased safety regulations for abortion … [Read more...]

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Supreme Court protects Pennsylvania charities from HHS mandate

Washington D.C., Jun 30, 2015 / 12:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court has issued an order protecting a group of Pennsylvania religious institutions from being required by the federal contraception mandate to violate their faith. “Doesn't our government have something better to do than fight charities serving the poor?” said Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in a statement after the July 29 court order. The … [Read more...]

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