Will the US greet first Latino Pope by kicking out Junipero Serra?

Rome, Italy, Apr 20, 2015 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the U.S. prepares for Pope Francis' trip later this year, one Vatican official says efforts to remove the statue of Spanish missionary Blessed Junipero Serra from the capital offers a poor welcome for history's first Latin American pontiff.   California's recent vote to replace the statue of the Franciscan missionary from the National Statuary Hall is “shocking,” especially ahead of Pope Francis' … [Read more...]

CRS deliberating over vice president in same-sex civil marriage

Oklahoma City, Okla., Apr 20, 2015 / 04:19 pm (CNA).- A communications official with Catholic Relief Services said that the organization is aware that one of their vice presidential employees is in a same-sex civil marriage, and is in deliberations about it. “Rick Estridge has served CRS for 16 years and currently holds the position as our vice president of overseas finance. Rick is in a same sex civil marriage,” said CRS senior manager for communications Tom Price. “At … [Read more...]

Twenty years after bombing, Oklahoma City archbishop calls for mercy to temper justice

Oklahoma City, Okla., Apr 20, 2015 / 04:13 pm (CNA).- As the Oklahoma City community continues to heal two decades after the horrific bombing that claimed the lives of 168 people, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley said he hopes people find mercy as well as justice in response to unspeakable acts of violence. “The demand for vengeance diminishes all of us,” he said in a column for Sooner Catholic. Archbishop Coakley said that like most Americans, he remembers where he was the day of … [Read more...]

New San Diego bishop: Don’t remove Junipero Serra from US Capitol

San Diego, Calif., Apr 20, 2015 / 10:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Robert McElroy, the new head of the San Diego diocese, has criticized a proposal to remove the statue of pioneering California missionary and soon-to-be saint Father Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol. Bishop McElroy told journalists on Wednesday that Fr. Serra is a “foundational figure” of California history. He noted that Fr. Serra is one of the few Hispanics honored in the U.S. Capitol and represents a state … [Read more...]

International religious freedom bill hopes to fight terrorism, promote security

Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2015 / 04:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A bill boosting promotion of religious freedom abroad could deter terror groups like ISIS, protect vulnerable minorities and foster global security, advocates say. The bill is “an important first step in improving the ability of our nation to advance religious freedom globally,” stated Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, in an April 10 letter to … [Read more...]

Pope: Doomed migrants were looking for happiness

Vatican City, Apr 19, 2015 / 08:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis led a moment of prayerful silence on Sunday for the hundreds of migrants killed off the coast of Lampedusa, saying they were like us in their search for happiness.“They are men and women like us, our brothers who seek a better life: hungry, persecuted, wounded, exploited, victims of war,” the Pope said in off-the-cuff remarks. “They were looking for happiness.”The Pope was speaking during his … [Read more...]

HHS mandate loses again: Supreme Court order protects Pennsylvania Catholic groups

Washington D.C., Apr 18, 2015 / 04:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court has continued its trend of decisions stopping enforcement of a federal contraception mandate against religious employers with moral objections. On April 15, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued an order barring the federal government from enforcing the mandate against Catholic Charities affiliates, Catholic schools and social service organizations in the dioceses of Erie and Pittsburgh. “Every time … [Read more...]