‘Grave, But Not Without Hope’: Iraqi Nun's Full Testimony to Congress

05/15/2015 Comment
Matt Hadro/CNA.

Sister Diana Momeka, OP appeared before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. on May 13, 2015.

– Matt Hadro/CNA.

WASHINGTON — “Grave, but not without hope.” Those words summarize the situation of the future of Christianity in Iraq, and the future of Iraq itself, according to Sister Diana Momeka, a Dominican Sister of St. Catherine of Siena from Mosul, Iraq. She appeared on Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday to testify about the persecution her people have endured at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group that forced more than 120,000 Christians to flee northern Iraq for the safety of the Kurdistan region last summer.

Sister Diana is a refugee in her own country while ISIS occupies the birthplace of Christianity in Iraq: Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. She...READ MORE

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Catholic Relief Services: Caught in the Terror of Nepal’s Latest Quake

05/13/2015 Comment
Catholic Relief Services.

Jennifer Poidatz (above) was in the middle of supervising 37 CRS staff distributing aid in Nepal when the second disaster hit.

– Catholic Relief Services.

KATHMANDU — A terrifying second earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, wreaking new terror and destruction just as the afflicted Himalayan nation had begun to recover from the first. Now emergency relief workers from Catholic Relief Services share another bond solidarity with Nepal’s Catholic Church: they too are survivors.

All 37 CRS staff in Nepal are safe and accounted for, and so far — although lines of communication and transport are badly damaged — the May 12 earthquake appears to have taken far fewer lives than the 8,000 victims of the April 25 quake, even though both tremblors were comparable in their intensity (7.3 and 7.8 magnitudes respectively).

As Wednesday night descended on...READ MORE

Filed under caritas, caritas nepal, caritas network, catholic relief services, crs, crs rice bowl, earthquake, emergency relief, himalayas, kathmandu

Five Key Provisions in New Pain-Capable Abortion Ban: NRLC

05/12/2015 Comment
Shutterstock/Valentina Razumova

– Shutterstock/Valentina Razumova

The new and improved pain-capable abortion ban is set to get its first vote in the House of Representatives on May 13: the second anniversary of notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s murder conviction, and the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. (In case you missed it: House GOP Leaders Announce Pain-Capable Bill Set for Gosnell Anniversary)

The text of the bill has been published, and National Right to Life Committee was kind enough to share a summary of the bill’s new improved features.

From NRLC’s summary of the new late term abortion ban:
The federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) would ban abortion nationwide after 20 weeks fetal age (equivalent to 22 weeks of...READ MORE

Filed under #theyfeelpain, abortion, civil action, incest, kermit gosnell, late-term abortion, may 13, national right to life committee, nrlc, our lady of fatima

BREAKING: House GOP Leaders Announce Pain-Capable Bill Set for Gosnell Anniversary

05/08/2015 Comment
Shutterstock/Valentina Razumova

– Shutterstock/Valentina Razumova

WASHINGTON — After three months of deadlock within their caucus, House GOP leaders have revealed that lawmakers will vote next week on a bill to ban late-term abortions at 20 weeks on the two-year anniversary of notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s conviction.

The Weekly Standard reported Friday morning that GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said his caucus finally had forged a compromise on the rape and incest exception language in the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which seeks to ban abortion at 20 weeks gestation on the basis that scientific evidence shows unborn children feel pain at that age.

House leaders had originally scheduled the bill, sponsored by...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, fetal pain, gop, gosnell, kermit gosnell, late term abortion ban, pain-capable abortion ban, pain-capable unborn child protection act, pro-life

National Catholic Prayer Breakfast: Saving the Family Means Opening the Doors to God

05/07/2015 Comment
National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.

Gov. Gregg Abbott of Texas.

– National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.

WASHINGTON — “If you had gone through all I had gone through, you would never again question the Lord.”

Sitting there in his wheelchair, before a gathering of more than a thousand attendees at Thursday’s National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas shared his own witness as to why Catholics must keep the doors open to God through prayer, trusting him in all hardships public and private.

The theme of this year’s breakfast focused on the family. Abbott acknowledged that Catholics face many storms: from the redefinition of marriage in the courts, to religious liberty battles, to the ongoing fight over legal abortion. But the governor drew on his own personal story to...READ MORE

Filed under bishop richard malone, greg abbott, national catholic prayer breakfast, peter jesserer smith, pope francis, prayer, the family

The King, the Pope, and the President at the National Prayer Breakfast

02/06/2015 Comment

King Abdullah II of Jordan, Pope Francis, and President Barack Obama each had messages for Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, all of which conveyed that the true nature of religion lay in the paths of peace, mercy and justice. But of these three, the president’s message provoked no small degree of controversy by trying to remind Christians of the failures of their past, when they look at religious violence in the world today.

Although neither the Pope nor King Abdullah were present in Washington, but both had a message that proceeded from their respective Catholic and Islamic faiths. [The Pope’s nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò, was present, but King Abdullah, who was scheduled to attend,...READ MORE

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#WhyWeMarch: Scenes from 2015’s National March for Life

01/23/2015 Comments (1)

WASHINGTON — The national March for Life in D.C. is not only a pro-life story, but a Catholic story. Amid the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered in Washington to show their solidarity with the unborn child on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the vast presence and diversity of the Catholic Church could be seen.

Each one came with their own reason for why they marched, and they show a cross-section of the Church that is young, vital, and engaged with their faith and the Church’s teachings on life and human dignity.

Marchers could be seen streaming into Union Station on their way to the March’s rally at the Washington Mall, such as this group of Catholic families from Our...READ MORE

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OneLife LA: What Pro-life Dreams Are Made Of

01/20/2015 Comment

Will thousands march in celebration of the Church’s social teaching on the dignity of human life, in all circumstances, from conception to natural death? The 10,000 people who turned out in Los Angeles for Saturday’s OneLife LA event give a resounding yes to that question.

OneLife LA is a unique pro-life march. While pro-life marches in the U.S. generally focus almost exclusively on the injustice of abortion, OneLife LA took a different approach by celebrating all human life, and encouraging participants to commit to doing something concrete to build a culture of life in their families and communities. Instead of providing a forum for activists and politicians, OneLife LA gave a platform...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, adoption, archbishop gomez, civilization of love, family, foster care, homeless, homeless shelter, human trafficking, john paul ii

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About Peter Jesserer Smith

Peter Jesserer Smith
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Peter Jesserer Smith is the Washington correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He helped cover Pope Francis's historic visit to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in 2014. Later that same year, he covered the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis by traveling to Jordan and Lebanon, representing the Register through Catholic Relief Services's Egan Fellowship. Before coming on board the Register in 2013, he was a freelance writer, reporting for Catholic media outlets as the Register and Our Sunday Visitor. He is a graduate of the National Journalism Center and earned a B.A. in Philosophy at Christendom College, where he co-founded the student newspaper, The Rambler, and served as its editor. He comes originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York State.