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St. John Paul II Taught Us That Sanctity Was Possible in the Modern Age (155)

COMMENTARY: A Personal Memoir From Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino

04/01/2015 Comment
2006 AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino

– 2006 AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

In 1992, I was just approaching the end of my sixth year as permanent observer to the United Nations in New York. The then-secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, wanted to transfer me to Brazil.

The Holy See’s Diplomatic Service, like those of most countries, seeks to move its ambassadors after an established period of time to stop them from “‘going native.” Cardinal Sodano, therefore, quite properly wanted me to start packing my suitcase.

Pope St. John Paul II, however, had something to say on the matter: “Martino stays in New York!”

And in New York I stayed … for a further 10 years.

Some people think that Pope John Paul II didn’t take a great deal of interest in ecclesiastical...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal renato martino, communion of saints, permanent observer, pope st. john paul ii, sanctity, vatican diplomacy

Pope on Holy Wednesday: ‘See the Signs of the Resurrection’ (281)

Pope Francis centered his catechesis on the upcoming Easter Triduum on April 1.

04/01/2015 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis, in his general audience address for Holy Week, said that the Christian martyrs of today, by the shedding of their blood, join with Christ in serving the Church through their witness.

“Even today,” the Pope said in off-the-cuff remarks, “there are many men and women, true martyrs, who offer their lives with Jesus to confess the faith only for this reason; it is a service, a service of the Christian witness to the point of shedding blood.”

In his April 1 address, the Holy Father recalled the “heroic witness” of Father Andrea Santoro, a Roman priest and missionary to Turkey, who was shot dead in the back moments before celebrating Mass on Feb. 5, 2006.

“This...READ MORE

Filed under apostles, holy week, pope francis, jesus, jesus of nazareth, mary, mother of god, pope francis, triduum

Religious Liberty and the Secular, Irrational Elite Collide in Indiana (705)

COMMENTARY: What Indiana’s latest legislation means — and what it doesn’t.

04/01/2015 Comments (1)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

The quotation marks say it all. The Indianapolis Star describes the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was recently signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence, as a “religious freedom” bill. Why the quotes?

The reason the scare quotes are there — and the Star is not the only media company that has decided to describe the law in this way — is because of a deep misunderstanding about what this law does and why it is important.

Almost 20 other states have similar laws. They are all modeled on a federal law of the same name, which was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Congress and endorsed by such entities like the ACLU. RFRA was signed into law by President Bill...READ MORE

Filed under anti-religion groups, catholic faith, christianity in the united states, first amendment to the u.s. constitution, gerald j. russello, indiana, religious freedom restoration act, secular elites

Fury Over Indiana’s Religious-Freedom Law Marks Age of Intolerance (1514)

NEWS ANALYSIS

04/01/2015 Comments (18)
Facebook/Mike Pence

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence posted this graphic on his Facebook page.

– Facebook/Mike Pence

INDIANAPOLIS — Douglas Laycock, a leading expert on religious-freedom issues at the University of Virginia law school, is perplexed by the explosive attacks against Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence last week.

The national campaign against the law has escalated over the past couple of days, with the White House, tech business leaders and even the NCAA — which is slated to host the Final Four April 4-6 in Indianapolis — framing the law as a “license to discriminate” against same-sex couples. Critics have vowed to boycott the state until the law is repealed.

Laycock happens to support “marriage equality.” But he stressed that Indiana’s law,...READ MORE

Filed under douglas laycock, indiana, joan frawley desmond, mike pence, religious freedom, religious freedom restoration act rfra, rfra

Cry of the Persecuted Syriac Christians: ‘What Is Our Future Here?’ (1189)

Syriac-Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan tells the Register that the existence of his Church is imperiled in war-wracked Syria and Iraq.

04/01/2015 Comments (3)
Wikimedia Commons

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan

– Wikimedia Commons

Amid the protracted conflict in Syria now entering its fifth year and the uprooting of Christians by the Islamic State in Mosul and the Ninevah Plain in Iraq, the very existence of Syriac Catholics in the region is at stake.

Ignatius Youssef III Younan, patriarch of Antioch for the Syriac Catholic Church, regularly visits his beleaguered faithful in Syria and Iraq to offer them support and to share in their suffering. They pose to him the same questions that overshadow their daily lives: “What is our future here?”

Patriarch Younan spoke with the Register March 25 at the patriarchate in Beirut, Lebanon.

 

As a native of Hassakeh, Syria, how do you view the situation there?

Based on my...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, doreen abi raad, middle east christians, patriarch ignatius youssef iii younan, persecution of christians, syria, syriac catholic church

Vatican Appoints Cardinal Versaldi to Congregation for Catholic Education (1190)

The Holy See also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

04/01/2015 Comments (4)
CNA/Lauren Cater

The facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, as seen from the Vatican.

– CNA/Lauren Cater

VATICAN CITY — Tuesday’s appointment of Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, together with Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki’s commission as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, signals that Vatican financial reform continues and that Curial reform will need time to become effective.

Cardinal Versaldi, 71, has served as president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See since 2011 and was transferred to the Congregation for Catholic Education March 31.

The prefecture has lost many of its competences since the Secretariat for the Economy, the Council for the Economy and the Office for the General...READ MORE

Filed under andrea gagliarducci, catholic church, catholic hierarcy, curial reform, pope francis

Concerns about Cremation, Only Men for the Holy Thursday Mandatum, Pope Francis and Much More! (2637)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/01/2015 Comment

Click on Concerns about Cremation: Strange Practices are Emerging by Monsignor Charles Pope link to read more.

Concerns about Cremation: Strange Practices are Emerging by Monsignor Charles Pope - BigPulpit.com

Demystifying the Pope Francis Enigma – Monsignor Hans Feichtinger, Crisis Magazine

As It Was in the Beginning Is Now, and Ever – Stacy Trasancos PhD, Integrated Catholic Life™

You Can’t Have Jesus Without the Church – Victor Ajluni MD, Catholic Stand

Liturgical PSA: Only Men for the Holy Thursday Mandatum – Ben Yanke, New Liturgical Movement

Pull Your Weight – Ryan Kraeger, Ignitum Today

Why Elton John Is Wrong About Dolce & Gabbana: Synthetic Children – Robert O. Lopez, First Things

Untying the Pope Francis 'Knot', Some Analysis – Fr. Z’s Blog

What’s the Difference Between...READ MORE

Filed under cremation, feasts, holy theological school of halki, memorials, natural law, pope francis, prolife, sexual ethics, solemnities, urn

The Real Enemy of Joy: Selfishness (2676)

COMMENTARY: Have we as a society lost sight of a Teacher whose words and actions mark a path for joy and fulfillment of the human heart that never fails?

03/31/2015 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

For many people, ours is a joyless society for want of good relationships. There is a great deal of physical intimacy today. But there is also a terrible plague of loneliness, regret and unfulfilled hearts, afflicting many of those who are physically intimate with another person, and sometimes with several other people.

Is this a coincidence? Is there a remedy?

I distinguish joy from things that eventually fade like pleasure, distraction or amusement. By “joy,” I mean something that enlivens the heart and enlightens the mind and that brings a deep and lasting sense of fulfillment. While joy bears some relation to the material or external conditions in which we live, it is not reducible to...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, courage international, father paul check, jesus christ, joy, selfishness

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