The war in Ukraine: a failure to evangelize?

Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb 24, 2015 / 05:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Conflict in eastern Ukraine which began in April 2014 has pitted the country's government against separatists widely believed to be backed by Russia, and some are attributing the chaos to a failed evangelization in the country. Fr. Wojciech Surówka, a Dominican priest who directs the St. Thomas Aquinas Institute of Religious Sciences in Kyiv, urged that “a dialogue of reconciliation between Ukrainians and Russians … [Read more...]

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How threats to religious freedom could harm unaccompanied minors

Washington D.C., Feb 24, 2015 / 03:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic and Evangelical humanitarian agencies are among the U.S. groups responding to the massive influx of unaccompanied minors from Latin America, but a new federal rule could require them to refer the children for abortion or lose their grants.   A coalition of these faith-based agencies called on the federal government to amend the rule so that the government can meet obligations to care for these children while … [Read more...]

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Patriarch urges prayer after at least 90 Christians kidnapped in Syria

Rome, Italy, Feb 24, 2015 / 06:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With reports circulating saying that ISIS forces have kidnapped at least 90 Christians from villages in northeast Syria, Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan said prayer is the only possible response. “Let’s pray for those innocent people,” Patriarch Younan told CNA over the phone from Beirut Feb. 24. “It’s a very, let’s say, very ordinary thing to have those people with such hatred toward … [Read more...]

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Swiss Guard: We are ready to defend Pope from ISIS

Vatican City, Feb 24, 2015 / 02:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard says the group of soldiers charged with protecting the Pope is on high alert and ready to act if any threat from ISIS materializes. “We are ready to intervene. Our job is security. and as gendarmes we are well organized. We are ready if anything happens,” said Cristoph Graf. At age 54, Graf is married with two children. Yet he and the other members of the Swiss Guard are willing … [Read more...]

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A brief history of spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia

Vatican City, Feb 24, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- By gathering the members of the Roman Curia for Lenten spiritual exercises this week, Pope Francis is participating in a tradition that stretches back more than 80 years, to the pontificate of Pius XI. The Roman Curia are on retreat Feb. 22-27 on the theme “Servants and prophets of the living God,” preached by Fr. Bruno Secondin, a Carmelite. The spiritual exercises will focus on Elijah and the Church's prophetic role, … [Read more...]

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New religious freedom official: the time for action is now

Washington D.C., Feb 23, 2015 / 07:05 pm (CNA).- The new U.S. religious freedom ambassador wasted no time emphasizing the urgency of his mission as he was sworn in on Feb. 20. Noting that enemies of religious freedom “have grown alarmingly strong” worldwide, Ambassador David Saperstein quoted Dr. Martin Luther King that “we are confronted with the fierce urgency of now” and pledged to promote religious freedom around the globe. “It will not be enough for us to … [Read more...]

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For Thailand’s new cardinal, secularism is the face of the devil

Bangkok, Thailand, Feb 23, 2015 / 05:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The main challenge facing the Church today is secularism, according to Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, who boldly called the phenomenon the devil's face in the modern world. “It is not just a challenge for the Asian Churches … all the world is facing the challenge of secularism,” Cardinal Kriengsak told CNA Feb. 20. “Secularism is the new way the devil presents himself in … [Read more...]

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