Pope points mission societies toward young churches

Vatican City, May 17, 2013 / 09:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met this afternoon with the directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies and encouraged them to help “the young churches” that operate in difficult and sometimes hostile circumstances. After reminding them not to forget the universal and missionary nature of their work, Pope Francis underscored the importance of helping those in “the young churches, which often operate in a climate of difficulty, … [Read more...]

Pope’s plan to visit Bonaria shrine thrills pastor

Cagliari, Italy, May 17, 2013 / 05:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Father Giovannino Tolu said his heart began racing when he heard that Pope Francis will the visit the shrine he oversees on the Italian island of Sardinia, making it the fourth time he has received a pontiff. Pope Francis announced at the end of his May 15 general audience that he will travel to the city of Cagliari in September to venerate Our Lady of Bonaria at the basilica of the same name. “Can’t you hear my heart … [Read more...]

Pro-life groups claim to be among IRS targets

Washington D.C., May 17, 2013 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Along with its targeting of conservative political groups for extra scrutiny, Internal Revenue Service employees also reportedly singled out pro-life leaders for intimidation. As the IRS scandal continues to grow, news surfaced that two pro-life groups, Coalition for Life of Iowa and Christian Voices for Life, were withheld approval of tax exempt status. “For both of those organizations there were inquiries from the IRS, … [Read more...]

Gay adoption bill could downsize Catholic agencies

Chicago, Ill., May 17, 2013 / 02:04 am (CNA).- As a new bill aims to bar federal funding of adoption services that do not place children with gay couples, an Illinois Catholic leader warned a similar law there downsized faith-based agencies. The Every Child Deserves a Family Act was introduced May 7 in the U.S. House, with bi-partisan backers. Under the bill, adoption agencies receiving federal funding may not delay or deny foster parenthood on the basis of sexual orientation, gender … [Read more...]

Vatican representative at UN pleads for end to Syria ‘bloodbath’

New York City, N.Y., May 17, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA).- The apostolic nuncio to the United Nations urged those with influence over the warring parties in Syria to encourage them to end the violence and seek peace.Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, who heads the Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the U.N., said the Vatican desires to see Syria’s return to “that peaceful and harmonious coexistence which has been the hallmark of Syrian society for centuries.”He cited … [Read more...]

‘Chasm’ exists between Pope, liberation theology

Rome, Italy, May 16, 2013 / 08:04 pm (CNA).- Even though Pope Francis is deeply concerned for the poor and has been praised by liberation theologians, there is a stark divide between the pontiff and them, according to a Vatican analyst. “There is a chasm between the vision of the Latin American liberation theologians and the vision of this Argentine pope,” Sandro Magister wrote May 16 in the Italian publication “L'Espresso.” This is despite perceptions that … [Read more...]

Catholic professor says IRS audit deterred her criticisms of Obama

New York City, N.Y., May 16, 2013 / 05:18 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic professor says that an IRS audit that may have been politically motivated made her much less likely to criticize President Barack Obama in her writings.“They asked who paid me – and wanted to know who they were,” Anne Hendershott, a sociology professor at King’s College in New York City, said of the Internal Revenue Service officials who oversaw her audit in 2010.The audit affected her … [Read more...]