Vatican astronomers unlock the mysteries of the universe…sort of

Rome, Italy, Jan 8, 2015 / 04:03 am (CNA).- Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno was 30 years old and just starting his career as an astronomer when he faced a personal crisis. “I couldn’t justify my life,” he told CNA in a recent interview. “I said ‘Why am I doing astronomy when people are starving in the world?’” Br. Consolmagno promptly quit his job and joined the Peace Corp to “do something good for people.” But when he … [Read more...]

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In Jordan, Church works to assist refugees, protect youth from extremism

Amman, Jordan, Jan 8, 2015 / 02:01 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- For years the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been a haven for refugees from Iraq. However, a critical limit is in view as the country is also forced to accommodate a huge, and growing, influx of refugees fleeing ongoing war and violence in Syria. Along with Lebanon, the country is threatened by chaos, as the hundreds of thousands of Christians and Muslims from both Syria and Iraq may swampt Jordan’s capacity to cope … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis is all about the new evangelization, says expert

Vatican City, Jan 8, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With a style that meets the need for a new missionary zeal, Pope Francis is representative of the new evangelization, says one theologian and guest speaker for the upcoming annual gathering of Ratzinger's former students. “The new style represented by Pope Francis is the first to merit the title of new evangelization,” said Msgr. Tomas Halik in an interview with CNA. “If this progress, which has aroused so much … [Read more...]

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Court protects Catholic-owned company from HHS mandate

Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan 7, 2015 / 05:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The federal government cannot force a Catholic-owned Michigan company to provide insurance coverage for sterilization, contraceptives, and drugs that could cause abortion, a court ruled Jan. 5. “Coercing citizens to violate their conscientious religious beliefs makes a mockery of the very notion of religious freedom,” Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Chicago-based Thomas More Society. He said the … [Read more...]

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Mercy and compassion at heart of papal visit to the Philippines

Manila, Philippines, Jan 7, 2015 / 04:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- “Mercy and compassion” will be the theme of Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines, where devastation from Typhoon Haiyan is still being felt more than a year later, along with the earthquake that hit the region of Visayas one month earlier.   The theme of the Jan. 15-19 visit refers to Matthew 9:36, where Jesus, after “seeing the people, felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and … [Read more...]

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French imams: Muslims must condemn ‘barbaric’ attack on newspaper

Vatican City, Jan 7, 2015 / 02:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Two French imams visiting the Vatican have called on Muslims to respond to the deadly attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo by rising up to express their disgust at the criminals who have “hijacked” their religion. “Muslims are shocked and tired… the silent majority of them feel as if they are taken hostage,” Tareq Oubrou, director of the Mosque of Bordeaux, said Jan. 7. Muslims need to … [Read more...]

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Vatican condemns ‘horrible attack’ on French newspaper

Paris, France, Jan 7, 2015 / 12:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has voiced his “strongest condemnation” of the “horrible attack” on a French satirical newspaper that published insulting cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, and he urged opposition to all hatred and violence. “Whatever may be the motivation, homicidal violence is abominable. It is never justified: the life and dignity of all must be firmly guaranteed and guarded; any instigation to hate … [Read more...]

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