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A Call for Prayers and Rubber Boots After Deadly West Virginia Floods (324)

West Virginia has seen its worst natural disaster in decades, and the state’s Catholic bishop is calling on the Church for help.

06/29/2016 Comment
Wikipedia

The Weirton-Steubenville bridge connecting West Virginia and Ohio

– Wikipedia

Charleston, W. Va. — Heavy storms dumped more than nine inches of rain in much of West Virginia last week, with the resulting floods killing at least 25 people and damaging or destroying thousands of homes and businesses.

It’s the worst flooding the state has seen in at least three decades. A federal disaster has been declared in three of the hardest-hit counties, while a state of emergency has been declared in 44 of the state’s 55 counties due to the floods.

Bishop Michael Bransfield of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the only Catholic diocese in the state, offered Mass on Sunday for the victims of the flood and released a statement calling for prayers.

“We pray for those affected...READ MORE

Filed under catholic charities, floods, natural disaster, west virginia, west virginia has seen its worst natural disaster in decades, and the state’s catholic bishop is calling on the church for help.

Pope Prays for Turkey and Asks the Lord to ‘Convert the Hearts of the Violent’ (347)

The Holy Father also spoke of the holy witness of Sts. Peter and Paul at his June 29 Angelus.

06/29/2016 Comment
Elise Harris Twitter

June 29 Angelus at the Vatican

– Elise Harris Twitter

VATICAN CITY — During his Angelus address Wednesday, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims of Tuesday’s deadly attack on an Istanbul airport, asking that God would convert the hearts of those who choose violence.

“Dear brothers and sister, yesterday in Istanbul there was a heinous terror attack, which has killed and wounded many people. Let us pray for the victims, for their families and for the dear Turkish people,” the Pope said June 29.

Late Tuesday night, three suicide bombers blew themselves up in the entrance terminal of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, killing more than 40 people and wounding hundreds of others, The Associated Press reported.

Ataturk airport is Europe’s third...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, prayers for peace, sts. peter and paul, turkey

Pope’s Armenia Voyage Advances East-West Unity (617)

The June 24-26 visit to the world’s first Christian state culminated in a joint declaration calling for ‘more decisive collaboration’ in theology, prayer and promotion of Christian values.

06/29/2016 Comments (1)
L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II pray at the Armenian Apostolic Cathedral in Gyumri, Armenia, on June 25.

– L'Osservatore Romano

YEREVAN, Armenia — Pope Francis’ intense three-day apostolic voyage to Armenia was, in his own words, an “unforgettable” and “greatly desired” visit to the world’s first Christian state, which further cemented warm ecumenical relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church and brought the Pope closer to the Armenian people.

The June 24-26 trip culminated in a joint declaration between Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and the Holy Father, who committed themselves to “more decisive collaboration” in theology, prayer and promotion of Christian values.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters at the end of the visit that ecumenical relations were the “major point” of the...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, catholic unity, catholicos karekin ii, edward pentin, pope francis

‘Ominous Sign’: Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Washington Pharmacy Case (1861)

‘If this is a sign of how religious-liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead,’ Justice Samuel Alito said, ‘those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.’

06/29/2016 Comments (10)
CNA/Marcus Quigmire via Flickr CC BY SA 2.0

– CNA/Marcus Quigmire via Flickr CC BY SA 2.0

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a conscience-rights case raised by pro-life pharmacy owners came with a stark warning from the three dissenting justices who voiced concerns about the future of religious liberty in the United States.

“This case is an ominous sign,” said Justice Samuel Alito. “If this is a sign of how religious-liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.”

Alito wrote a dissent — joined by Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts — after the Supreme Court denied an appeal to hear a conscience-rights case on June 28. The case challenged Washington state rules that required...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, contraception, religious liberty, u.s. supreme court, washington

Mercy Unites Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Pope Francis Says (663)

Francis received the delegates of Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I during their visit to Rome for the celebration of the June 29 Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

06/29/2016 Comments (1)
L’Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis with the delegation of the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople in Vatican City on June 28.

– L’Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY — Catholic and Orthodox Churches find unity in God's mercy and in the responsibility to spread the Gospel, Pope Francis said Tuesday to a delegation of the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople.

“Acknowledging that the experience of God's mercy is the bond uniting us means that we must increasingly make mercy the criterion and measure of our relationship,” the Holy Father said during the June 28 audience at the Vatican.

“If, as Catholics and Orthodox, we wish to proclaim together the marvels of God’s mercy to the whole world, we cannot continue to harbor sentiments and attitudes of rivalry, mistrust and rancor.”

“For Divine Mercy frees us of the burden of past conflicts and...READ MORE

Filed under ann schneible, church unity, ecumenical patriarch bartholomew, pope francis, st. paul, st. peter

Pan-Orthodox Council: Russian Absence Saves Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Status — for Now (2177)

NEWS ANALYSIS: The historic council ended Sunday, leaving more questions than answers.

06/29/2016 Comments (5)
Gokhan Tan/Getty Images

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople attends the Divine Liturgy at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul with Pope Francis on Nov. 30, 2014.

– Gokhan Tan/Getty Images

KOLYMBARI, Crete — It has been a tough week for globalists, even on the island of Crete.

The weeklong “Holy and Great Council of Orthodox Churches” concluded on June 27, with the release of a message and broad encyclical that, mainly, asserts its vitality, relevance and primacy as the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church” — the English translation even refers, twice, to the Orthodox Catholic Church.

Holy See diplomats can be relieved that the document represents no setback for ecumenical relations, a Vatican priority for more than 50 years.

In the Holy Father’s words — delivered as he flew home from Armenia, a nation with a predominantly Orthodox local Church, although one in...READ MORE

Filed under catholic-orthodox relations, ecumenical patriarchate, pan-orthodox council, russian orthodox church, victor gaetan

Pope Emeritus Benedict: 65 Years a Priest (2197)

COMMENTARY: Reflections of an unexpected encounter with the pope emeritus.

06/28/2016 Comments (4)
CNA/Mary Shovlain

Pope Emeritus Benedict addresses Pope Francis June 28 on the eve of his 65th anniversary as a priest.

– CNA/Mary Shovlain

On June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrates the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination. It will be a day of pairs: the twin princes of the apostles — Peter and Paul; the two priests marking 65 years, as Benedict XVI will be joined by his older brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, also ordained on the same day; and the celebration in the Vatican on the vigil of the feast, June 28, included two “popes,” as it were, the Pope and the pope emeritus, as Pope Francis paid tribute to his predecessor.

What is there to say on such an occasion? Too much, really, for a short reflection, as Joseph Ratzinger is the greatest Catholic theologian of his generation...READ MORE

Filed under father raymond j. de souza, pope benedict xvi, pope francis, pope john paul ii, priesthood

Benedict XVI Celebrates 65 Years of Priesthood, Expressing Thanks (2443)

On June 28, the retired pontiff shared gratitude for his vocation and the ‘goodness’ of Pope Francis: ‘Your goodness is a place in which I feel protected.’

06/28/2016 Comments (3)
CNA Twitter

On June 28, Benedict XVI gives Pope Francis a book of his homilies, published to commemorate his 65th anniversary as a priest.

– CNA Twitter

VATICAN CITY — On Tuesday, Benedict XVI gave his first public speech since his final day as pope, expressing gratitude for a lengthy priesthood and for Pope Francis’ “goodness,” which he said moves him deeply.

Speaking to Pope Francis and the College of Cardinals gathered inside the Vatican’s small Clementine Hall for the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination, Benedict said the Greek word Efkaristomen (“Let us give thanks”) expresses “all that there is to say” for the occasion.
 
“Thank you, thank you, everyone! Thank you Holy Father — your goodness, from the first day of your election, every day of my life here, moves me interiorly, brings me inwardly more than the Vatican Gardens.”...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, pope francis, priesthood, vatican

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