A Middle East without Christians: advocates call for action before it’s too late

Washington D.C., Feb 25, 2015 / 04:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Middle Eastern Christian communities face extinction, and the results for the stability and peace of the region would be devastating, said an advocacy group asking Americans to speak out on their behalf. “They have been there since the time of Christ, and they are now arguably in the time of their greatest need,” said Kristina Olney of the advocacy group In Defense of Christians. “We are basically seeing history … [Read more...]

Ancient Roman pilgrimage revs-up spiritual aspect of Lent

Vatican City, Feb 25, 2015 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- For pilgrims in Rome, Ash Wednesday marked not only the start of the Church’s Lenten season, but also a traditional Lenten pilgrimage that helps offer a more spiritual outlook on the journey toward Easter. “It’s incredible. It’s an experience I never thought I would be able to have. It’s still hard to believe – I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not just back in the states, I’m not … [Read more...]

Vatican: Pope’s ‘Mexicanization’ comment not intended to offend

Vatican City, Feb 25, 2015 / 11:02 am (CNA).- The Vatican on Wednesday issued a statement clarifying a private comment made by Pope Francis to a friend warning that his native Argentina was in danger of a “Mexicanization” by drug traffickers. “The Pope did not in any way intend to offend the Mexican population, for whom he holds special affection, nor to underestimate the commitment of the Mexican government in its fight against narco-trafficking,” Vatican spokesman … [Read more...]

The story of a Czech priest who testified to a miracle – and was killed for it

Rome, Italy, Feb 25, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A priest who witnessed to a miracle in communist Czechoslovakia in the 1940s was tortured and beaten to death for refusing to recant what his parishioners had seen. And now Catholics from the country are honoring his heroic virtue and pushing for him to be recognized as a martyr. At a recent gathering in Cihost' commemorating the priest's brutal death, his current successor at the parish church says he's grateful for efforts … [Read more...]

Vatican retirees needn’t worry for their pensions

Vatican City, Feb 25, 2015 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Thanks to a two-year increase to retirement age and other financial interventions, the Vatican's pension fund is consistent and the the funding ratio of the pension fund is 95 percent, the Holy See stated Feb. 20. The release was issued “since for some months, and amplified by press reports, alarming data has been circulating regarding the situation of the Vatican Pensions Fund and on the sustainability of honouring the … [Read more...]

A UK bishop’s plea: speak up on marriage before it’s too late

Shrewsbury, England, Feb 25, 2015 / 12:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Inside a small English church dedicated to St. Columba, a congregation of Catholics gathered, sitting in the midst of 2,500 years of marriage. As they celebrated marriage as a blessing to society, they also received a warning: speak up on behalf of marriage now, before doing so becomes taboo. Bishop Mark Davies of the Diocese of Shrewsbury celebrated Mass on Feb. 14 for over 50 couples who were commemorating their anniversaries … [Read more...]

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...]