Pope calls single mother, offers to baptize her child

Vatican City, Sep 9, 2013 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis made a personal phone call to a young Italian woman facing a difficult pregnancy, applauding her bravery in choosing life for her child and offering to baptize the baby.Anna Romero, a 35-year-old woman from central Italy, was on vacation when she received a phone call from the Pope. She had written the pontiff earlier this summer, describing her anguish at discovering that she had become pregnant by a man who – unknown … [Read more...]

Taking sides in Syria conflict ‘unreasonable,’ bishop says

Lincoln, Neb., Sep 9, 2013 / 10:08 am (CNA).- Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln says that a solution to the violence in Syria must be achieved, not through more violence or “taking sides” with one of the warring factions, but by speaking the truth “boldly.”“I am not a politician, or a military strategist. I am only a pastor,” he wrote in a Sept. 7 column. “But I know we cannot solve the violence of Syria with more violence.”On the occasion of … [Read more...]

College network seeks to change campus debate on sex

Princeton, N.J., Sep 8, 2013 / 04:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As college students around the country kick off a new school year, one national organization is working to change prevailing campus attitudes that accept casual sexual encounters as the norm.Cassandra Hough, founder of the Love and Fidelity Network, explained that “on the majority of college campuses, there’s a one-sided view” on questions of marriage, family and sexuality, “and there’s a lot of pressure … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: follow Jesus’ Way of the Cross

Vatican City, Sep 8, 2013 / 09:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis spoke to crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for Sunday’s Angelus, encouraging them to follow Christ on the way of the cross.“Following Jesus does not mean participating in a triumphal procession!” he said on Sept. 8. “It means sharing his merciful love, entering into his great work of mercy for each person and for all mankind. And this forgiveness passes through the cross.”The Pope … [Read more...]

Continue in conversion, Philadelphia archbishop encourages

Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 8, 2013 / 06:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Charles Chaput says his first two years in Philadelphia witnessed “tough news,” but he encouraged his flock to continue renewal and to “shape the future with the message of Jesus Christ.”   “The future depends on what we do right now, and right now we need to be willing to continue the hard work of personal conversion and institutional reform that we’ve already begun,” the … [Read more...]

Papal peace vigil draws positive response

Vatican City, Sep 8, 2013 / 01:29 am (CNA).- Pope Francis’ four-hour Saturday prayer vigil is part of a “major peace initiative” that is receiving a favorable reaction across religious lines, a leading Vatican communications figure has said.“Pope Francis wants to keep this issue alive to make sure everything possible could be done to put an end to the violence, and not to increase it,” Greg Burke, senior communications adviser to the Holy See’s Secretariat … [Read more...]

Tourists and pilgrims pray for peace at Vatican vigil

Vatican City, Sep 7, 2013 / 04:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the sun set over St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Rhode Islander Angeline Martin stood in line for confession and prepared to join Pope Francis in a world-wide prayer vigil for peace.Martin, 34, was on vacation in Tuscany with family members from around the world when her mother sent her an email about the Sept. 7 vigil. “We re-arranged our plans to come here,” she said.Martin said her family’s roots in … [Read more...]