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Postulators Reflect on Humanity of John Paul II, John XXIII (340)

The soon-to-be-canonized popes were not without human limitations, but both displayed saintly characteristics that were evident from a young age.

04/23/2014 Comment
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Father Giovangiuseppe Califano (l) and Msgr. Slawomir Oder (r) with Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi at the Holy See Press Office on April 22.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

VATICAN CITY — The postulators of the canonization causes for both John Paul II and John XXIII told journalists at the Vatican that the soon-to-be-saints also had faults that show their “humanity.”

At the Holy See Press Office April 22, Msgr. Slawomir Oder and Father Giovangiuseppe Califano discussed both the innate signs of holiness as well as the limitations of the popes.

Msgr. Oder recalled that John Paul II “was a man with blood in his veins,” and as such “had no problem in showing his feelings” — sometimes “he was angry, which demonstrated his humanity.”

The Polish priest noted that, in one of his trips, Pope John Paul II was told to use a bulletproof vest. However, the pope...READ MORE

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Arizona Law Allows Unannounced Inspections at Abortion Centers (258)

The new law removes special rules for abortion facilities that exempted them from the health-and-safety requirements imposed on other medical providers.

04/23/2014 Comment

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill that ended special health-inspection rules for abortion facilities, an action proponents say will help prevent dangerous conditions that women do not face at other regulated medical providers.

“This law ensures abortion clinics are subject to the same inspection standards as all other medical facilities in the state,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which helped write the law.

“Abortion-clinic inspections matter, and it is unconscionable that they would be exempt from commonsense health-and-safety standards,” she said.

Herrod added Brewer’s signing of the bill into law was “another tremendous...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, arizona, human dignity, kermit gosnell, planned parenthood

Remembering a Family Friend: Father Karol Wojtyla (1065)

Wanda Poltawska’s daughter recounts their special relationship with St. John Paul II.

04/23/2014 Comments (1)
Poltawska family archives

Father Karol Wojtyla (c) at Catherine Poltawska’s first Communion on June 21, 1959. Her mother, Wanda, is on the far left, younger sister Ania is beside Father Wojtyła, and Andrzej Poltawski is at the right with his mother.

– Poltawska family archives

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since the story went to press in the print edition.

ROANOKE, Va. — At the time of his death in 2005, St. John Paul II had no close blood relatives, yet the vast crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the time of his funeral revealed that this spiritual father had touched the lives of countless people across the globe.

Ania Dadak was among the mourners at the funeral Mass conducted by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and she was to return to St. Peter’s Square for the canonization of the Church’s first Polish pope on April 27. While the faithful knew John Paul II as a spiritual shepherd who spoke out against a “culture of death” and advanced the...READ MORE

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Pope Gives Easter Treats to Hospitalized Children (704)

The Holy Father sent chocolate eggs during Holy Week to the children in the oncology unit at Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital.

04/22/2014 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

ROME -- Pope Francis sent 150 Easter eggs to the Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital as an Easter gift to children hospitalized with cancer.

According to hospital officials, a van from the Vatican filled with chocolate eggs arrived at the facility during Holy Week, and the eggs were given to the children in the oncology unit.

The Bambino Gesu Hospital, known as “the Pope's Hospital,” was founded in 1869 and is the oldest pediatric hospital in Italy.

Families in Italy traditionally give chocolate eggs to their children during Easter. The eggs are often elaborately decorated and specially packaged at bakeries and candy shops.

Pope Francis met with children at the hospital during a Christmas...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, easter

Strength and Solidarity at the 118th Boston Marathon (1001)

Last year’s tragedy provides motivation for some of the 36,000 participants in the world’s oldest annual marathon.

04/22/2014 Comments (2)
Courtesy of Elizabeth Lay

Timothy Vafides competes in the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21.

– Courtesy of Elizabeth Lay

BOSTON — Laurie Kearney, 47, of San Diego had already planned to run in the Boston Marathon for the 19th time before the terrorist bombs exploded a year ago — abruptly ending the iconic event with bloodshed, death and terror.

However, she said the attack motivated some of her San Diego friends to qualify for this year’s marathon “as a show of strength and support that the bad guys weren’t going to take away this race.”

Indeed, on a warm and sunny Easter Monday, the 118th Boston Marathon was held as scheduled, in part through the endurance of some 36,000 participants, the legions who cheered them on and law enforcement, medical personnel and volunteers who worked to ensure a safe day.

And...READ MORE

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Philippines Issues New Stamps of Blessed John Paul II, John XXIII (552)

The country’s postmaster said a large delegation of Filipinos is heading to Rome for the canonization ceremonies.

04/22/2014 Comments (1)
CNA/Philippine Postal Corp.

Detail of a Philippines' stamp commemorating the April 27 canonization of Pope John Paul II.

– CNA/Philippine Postal Corp.

VATICAN CITY — Following the presentation of a new stamp of Pope Francis, Philippine Postmaster Maria De la Cruz revealed that the country will also release stamps honoring Popes John Paul II and John XXIII for their canonizations.

“You see, Pope John Paul is also very popular in the Philippines,” De la Cruz said April 16, after the official presentation of the new stamp of Pope Francis.

Recalling her experience attending World Youth Day as a child, De la Cruz explained, “You feel you want to cry when you see the Holy Father. It’s tears of joy, really. So now we are coming out with those two stamps” for the canonizations this week.

Speaking of the significance of the Pope to the...READ MORE

Filed under canonization, catholic faith, communion of saints, philippines, pope francis, pope john paul ii, pope john xxiii

Pope Francis Names Coptic Priest Second Personal Secretary (4566)

Msgr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaid had been translating the Holy Father’s general audiences into Arabic.

04/22/2014 Comments (1)
Wikimedia Commons

Seal of the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria

– Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN  CITY — Msgr. Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, a priest of the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria, has been made second personal secretary to Pope Francis.

The position is among the Pope’s closest collaborators, and this marks the first time that an Eastern Catholic priest has been appointed to the position.

The vacancy filled by Msgr. Lahzi Gaid March 17 was created when Msgr. Alfred Xuereb was transferred from his position as Pope Francis’ personal secretary to being prelate secretary general of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Msgr. Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz, who had been second to Msgr. Xuereb and is a priest of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, is now first secretary to the Pope, and Msgr....READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, coptic patriarchate of alexandria, pope francis

The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made, Fr. Barron v. Bart Ehrman: No Contest and Much More! (2152)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/22/2014 Comments (1)

Follow the The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made link by Elise Ehrard of Crisis Magazine to read more.

The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made by Elise Ehrard of Crisis Magazine - BigPulpit.com

Book Review: Killing Jesus – Fr. David Friel, Views from the Choir Loft

Father Barron v. Bart Ehrman: No Contest – Don. R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

John Paul II & The Blessed Sacrament – Jason Evert, The Catholic World Report

The Joys of a Praying Family – Michelle Fritz, Catholic Stand

The Five-Fold Argument for the Resurrection – Joe Heschmeyer, Strange Notions

A Day Without Him – Rebecca Frech, Ignitum Today

The Question of Suffering, the Response of the Cross – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Ignatius Insight Scoop

Spiritual Adolescence – Vicki Burbach, Roman Catholic Spiritual...READ MORE

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