Vatican appointments may signal new role for state secretariat

Vatican City, Mar 6, 2014 / 08:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Recent appointments are beginning to show a pattern of how Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia will be carried out, with a seemingly diminished role for the Secretariat of State. For the first time, the president of the cardinals’ commission overseeing the Institute of Religious Works, or Vatican bank, is not chaired by the Secretary of State. On March 4, the cardinals’ commission of the Institute for Religious … [Read more...]

Spanish bishop issues letter on abortion

Madrid, Spain, Mar 6, 2014 / 07:53 pm (CNA).- Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla of San Sebastian in Spain has released a new pastoral letter on abortion that answers questions and encourages open discussion on the issue. “We cannot accept 4000 abortions each year in the Basque Country,” Bishop Munilla said. In his letter – which he presented to Pope Francis during an ad limina visit to the Vatican – the Spanish bishop responded to specific questions about abortion and … [Read more...]

Churches critical to development of South Sudan, author says

Washington D.C., Mar 6, 2014 / 04:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With unique knowledge and solidarity with the people, churches play an essential role in helping cultural development in South Sudan, said an author familiar with the region. “I think it’s crucial for people to understand that South Sudan is fundamentally dependent on the churches,” said Gabriel Meyer, a Catholic journalist and author who has written and lectured extensively on the region. Development in South … [Read more...]

Path of self-denial brings joy, fruitfulness, Pope reflects

Vatican City, Mar 6, 2014 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily Pope Francis spoke of the Christian “style,” explaining that in order to be authentic, it must follow the path of Jesus in denying oneself, taking up the Cross, and practicing humility. “And this style will save us, will give us joy and make us fruitful, because this path of denying oneself is there to give us life,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse on … [Read more...]

Research finds link between oral contraception, multiple sclerosis

Washington D.C., Mar 6, 2014 / 03:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new study, researchers analyzed the data found in women's health records over four years, discovering a connection between the use of oral contraception and the contraction of multiple sclerosis. “It’s not clear what role (hormones) play in the development of the disease, but it’s clear that two to three times more women than men have MS,” Dr. Kerstin Hellwig stated in comments on Dr. … [Read more...]

Frontline episode on Church scandals one-sided, critic says

Washington D.C., Mar 6, 2014 / 01:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The PBS Frontline documentary series’ recent episode “Secrets of the Vatican” largely covered old scandals in a one-sided way, said Scot Landry, executive director of Catholic Voices USA. Landry said Frontline should have called the episode “Re-hashed church scandals presented as new.” “The whole episode was tragically one-sided and short of appropriate context,” he told CNA March 5. He … [Read more...]

Pope Francis to Roman priests: cry for your people

Vatican City, Mar 6, 2014 / 11:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with the priests of Rome, emphasizing the importance of mercy in pastoral ministry and explaining that to be a priest means being close to one's flock. “The tears of a priest…Do you cry, or is this a clergy that has lost its tears? Do you cry for your people? Do you battle with the Lord for your people, like Abraham fought?” the pontiff asked the clergy present in the March 6 morning … [Read more...]