Mystic, monk and poet – meet the newest Doctor of the Church

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2015 / 04:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- St. Gregory of Narek – a tenth century priest, monk, mystic, and poet beloved among Armenian Christians – has become the first Armenian to be named a Doctor of the Church. “It is a great honor for the Armenian Church to contribute to this very important rank of saints who have enriched the Catholic Church with their teachings,” Armenian Catholic priest Father Thomas Garabedian told CNA Feb. 23. “Certainly … [Read more...]

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Relief and gratitude after release of priest abducted in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb 23, 2015 / 02:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Friends and colleagues have pledged their support for a Jesuit priest released after eight months of captivity in Afghanistan, where he had been working to help refugees. “You cannot imagine our relief that he is now home, safe and sound,” Father Peter Balleis, S.J., international director of the Rome-based Jesuit Refugee Services, said Feb. 22. “We are aware of the tireless efforts at many levels to achieve … [Read more...]

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For Coptic Christians, threat of martyrdom is part of daily life

Washington D.C., Feb 22, 2015 / 04:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The brutal murder of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya at the hands of ISIS last week is shining a light on the reality faced by many of Egypt’s Christians on a daily basis. “These 21 victims, they were not the first and they will not be the last. There is a flowing river of Christian blood in the Middle East,” said Mina Abdelmalak, one of the organizers of a D.C. candlelight prayer vigil outside the White House on Ash … [Read more...]

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Pope and Curia begin annual Lenten retreat

Vatican City, Feb 22, 2015 / 01:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis and members of the Curia set out from Rome on Sunday afternoon to begin their annual Lenten retreat. This year's spiritual exercises will run from Feb. 22-27 on the theme: “Servants and prophets of the living God,” according to the Jan. 30 announcement in L'Osservatore Romano. The retreat will be guided by Fr. Bruno Secondin, Carmelite, who will focus on the prophet Elijah and the prophetic role of the … [Read more...]

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To follow Christ, we must confront life’s deserts, Pope says

Vatican City, Feb 22, 2015 / 10:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The 40 days of Lent are a reminder that we face spiritual deserts, and we must confront them with courage and the aid of Scripture, Pope Francis said during his weekly Angelus address. Delivering the Feb. 22 address from the papal apartments to a sizable crowd gathered in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope's remarks came on the first Sunday of Lent, hours before he embarked on a week-long Spiritual Exercises retreat with members of … [Read more...]

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To follow Christ, we must confront life’s deserts, Pope says

Vatican City, Feb 22, 2015 / 10:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The 40 days of Lent are a reminder that we face spiritual deserts, and we must confront them with courage and the aid of Scripture, Pope Francis said during his weekly Angelus address. Delivering the Feb. 22 address from the papal apartments to a sizable crowd gathered in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope's remarks came on the first Sunday of Lent, hours before he embarked on a week-long Spiritual Exercises retreat with members of … [Read more...]

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Bishops push for Congress to support conscience rights in health care act

Washington D.C., Feb 22, 2015 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just because you may oppose abortion doesn’t mean you should be denied comprehensive health care coverage, according to Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston. The two spoke last Friday, urging Congress to support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act in defense of conscientious objection. “Government should not force anyone to stop offering or covering much-needed legitimate … [Read more...]

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