Pope urges UN leadership to resist ‘culture of death’

Vatican City, May 9, 2014 / 11:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with the secretary general and other leaders of the United Nations today, urging them to challenge both a “culture of death” and the “economy of exclusion.” In a meeting on May 9 with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other executives at the U.N., Pope Francis said that the institution should work towards goals which include providing “appropriate protection for the family, which is an … [Read more...]

We are ‘sinners in a Holy Church,’ preaches Pope

Vatican City, May 9, 2014 / 05:04 am (CNA).- In his homily on Friday morning, Pope Francis reminded the congregation of the holiness of the Church that at the same time contains sinful members. “We are sinners, everyone, here. And the Church is holy! We are sinners, but she is holy,” he emphasized to the congregation at the daily Mass on May 9 in the Santa Marta guesthouse chapel. The Pope stressed the living reality of the Church that is both heavenly but also present on … [Read more...]

Report urges better response to Hispanic Catholic growth

Boston, Mass., May 9, 2014 / 04:01 am (CNA).- A new report finds many signs of vitality in Hispanic Catholic ministry in the U.S., but recommends immediate action and more youth outreach to meet Hispanics’ growing needs and to counter secularization. “A new generation of Hispanic leaders in the Church is emerging,” Hosffman Ospino, the Boston College professor who led the study, said May 5. “The question is: is the Catholic Church ready for this? Will the structure of … [Read more...]

Cardinal Kasper: ‘Heroism is not for the average Christian’

New York City, N.Y., May 9, 2014 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a recent interview with Commonweal, Cardinal Walter Kasper discussed his proposal that divorced and remarried persons might receive Communion, suggesting that Christians aren't called to be heroic. “To live together as brother and sister? Of course I have high respect for those who are doing this,” he told Commonweal's Matthew Boudway and Grant Gallicho, referring to divorced partners who have entered into a … [Read more...]

The ecumenism of martyrdom: Pope Francis’ way

Vatican City, May 9, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Martyrdom is a call to Church unity, Pope Francis observed to the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, signalling his preference for a means of ecumenism favored by his representative for Christian unity. Cardinal Kurt Koch became president of Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in February 2013, taking over from Cardinal Walter Kasper. In line with Pope Francis, he has returned to a focus on “ecumenism of … [Read more...]

Priest sees deluge of support against Harvard ‘black mass’

Boston, Mass., May 8, 2014 / 05:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Harvard chaplain says a student group's plans to re-enact a satanic black mass on campus has elicited a strong response, and he is encouraging the Catholic community to engage in prayer and witness. Fr. Michael Drea, senior chaplain at the Harvard Catholic Student Association, told CNA on May 8 that he has seen “a huge groundswell from Catholics on campus, as well as alumni” protesting the black mass re-enactment, which … [Read more...]

Vatican calls on Boko Haram to release kidnapped schoolgirls

Vatican City, May 8, 2014 / 05:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a May 8 statement, the Holy See condemned all gross violations of human rights, calling for an end to terrorism and a safe return for a group of more than 200 abducted Nigerian schoolgirls. “The denial of any kind of respect for life and for the dignity of the human person, even the most innocent, vulnerable and defenseless, calls for the strongest condemnation,” said Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press … [Read more...]