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Brazilian Bishops Reject Abortion as Response to Zika Virus (794)

It’s the first response from a bishops’ conference to the campaign to utilize the mosquito-borne disease as a tool to promote abortion rights throughout predominantly Catholic Latin America.

02/05/2016 Comments (1)
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mother Daniele Santos feeds her baby Juan Pedro, 2-months-old, who was born with microcephaly, on Feb. 3 in Recife, Brazil. In the last four months, authorities have recorded thousands of cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants. Below, city workers fumigate a city block in an effort to eradicate the mosquitos that transmit the Zika virus on Feb. 2 in Recife.

– Mario Tama/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Brazilian Conference of Catholic Bishops has repudiated efforts to use public alarm over the Zika virus epidemic to advance abortion rights in South America’s most populous nation.

In a Feb.4 statement, the conference made clear that reports of a causal link between the mosquito-borne Zika virus outbreak in Brazil and a surge in cases of microcephaly, a type of birth defect with potentially serious consequences for the child, did not justify a stepped-up campaign to loosen legal restrictions to abortion.

The Brazilian bishops strongly opposed the new push to promote abortion, particularly, “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, brazil, contraception, joan frawley desmond, latin america, world health organization, zika

David Daleiden’s Legal Team Fights Back on Planned Parenthood Undercover Video Charges (807)

‘What we want is an apology,’ Daleiden’s lawyer comments as the Center for Medical Progress leader, and his undercover colleague Sandra Merritt, are booked and post bond in Houston.

02/05/2016 Comments (1)
Eric Kayne/Getty Images

Pro-llfe activist David Daleiden speaks to the media after appearing in court at the Harris County Courthouse on Feb. 4 in Houston.

– Eric Kayne/Getty Images

HOUSTON — Pro-life activist David Daleiden, his colleague Sandra Merritt and their attorneys are fighting back against the criminal indictments that a Texas grand jury returned against them last week for their undercover investigation of the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast facility in Houston.

Daleiden and Merritt appeared this week at Houston Criminal Court, where they booked and posted bond. Afterward, they stood outside the courthouse with their attorneys and addressed dozens of sympathetic pro-lifers who cheered and held signs.

“David and his team have done nothing wrong. They have not violated the laws of the state of Texas,” said Peter Breen, special counsel with the Thomas More...READ MORE

Filed under brian fraga, center for medical progress, david daleiden, planned parenthood, sandra merritt

European Parliament: ISIS Perpetrating Christian Genocide in Middle East (762)

Such a declaration is significant because it calls for members of the United Nations Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court, which would officially investigate to see if genocide is taking place.

02/05/2016 Comments (4)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

Strasbourg, France — The European Parliament on Thursday declared that genocide is taking place in the Middle East against Christians, Yazidis and other ethnic and religious minorities at the hands of the Islamic State.

A resolution adopted by the parliament states that “so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ commits genocide against Christians and Yazidis and other religious and ethnic minorities.”

The vote followed last week’s genocide resolution passed by the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe. That council is a leading human-rights body and longtime partner with the European Union on human-rights concerns.

A genocide declaration is significant because it calls for members of the United Nations...READ MORE

Filed under christian genocide, middle east christians, persecution of christians

Mercy and Movies: Lenten Viewing for the Year of Mercy (2735)

Lent is a season for fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, and Pope Francis, like Benedict XVI, has emphasized almsgiving. In this Year of Mercy, here are spiritual viewing recommendations that emphasize responding to the needs of those around us.

02/05/2016 Comments (3)

Pierre Fresnay as St. Vincent de Paul in Monsieur Vincent (1947)

For this Jubilee Year of Mercy, in his Lenten message, Pope Francis reminded the faithful of his call, in the papal bull declaring the Year of Mercy, for this Lent to “be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 17).

Perhaps it’s fitting that Lent comes so early this particular year, to better prepare us to live the rest of the Jubilee with greater zeal. (For me it’s a special gift as I prepare for diaconal ordination in June.)

For the last two years on Ash Wednesday, celebrating Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina, Pope Francis reminded the faithful, as his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II had often done, of...READ MORE

Filed under almsgiving, fasting, lent, movies, sdg reviews, steven d. greydanus

Historic Meeting: Pope Francis to Talk With Russian Orthodox Patriarch in Cuba (826)

Feb. 12 will be the first time a pope has met with the patriarch since the Eastern Churches split with Rome during the Great Schism of 1054.

02/05/2016 Comments (3)
Wikipedia

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — On Friday, the Vatican announced that, while on his way to Mexico, Pope Francis will stop in Cuba to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in the first meeting between a pope and a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since the Great Schism 1,000 years ago.
 
“The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on Feb. 12 next,” a joint Feb. 5 press release from the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church read.
 
Kirill, patriarch of Moscow and all Russian and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, will arrive in Havana Feb. 11 for...READ MORE

Filed under catholic-orthodox dialogue, pope francis

Fake Priest Arrested in Los Angeles (518)

Erwin Mena was arrested by Los Angeles police for allegedly impersonating a Roman Catholic priest and on suspicion of grand theft.

02/05/2016 Comments (3)
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Department

Erwin Mena

– Courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Department

LOS ANGELES — For months, Erwin Mena donned vestments, called himself “Padre” and convinced Southern-California Catholics that he was a priest, police say.

He was good at it, too, reportedly. He attended seminary in El Salvador for a time years ago, before dropping out, so he was able to convincingly officiate Masses, funerals and even — at least — one wedding. He had a likeable personality and said all the right things.  

On Tuesday, he was arrested by Los Angeles police for allegedly impersonating a Roman Catholic priest and on suspicion of grand theft. Mena allegedly conned parishioners into buying thousands of dollars’ worth of fake tickets to see Pope Francis in the fall, and he...READ MORE

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Atlanta Falcon Reveals Secret to Beating the Carolina Panthers (796)

Linebacker Paul Worrilow explains the Super Bowl team’s only loss.

02/05/2016 Comment
Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Paul Worrilow in 2014

– Wikipedia/Creative Commons

With 17 wins and only one loss this season, the Carolina Panthers are favored to win Super Bowl 50 over the Denver Broncos. However, the one team to have beaten the Panthers — the Atlanta Falcons — knows exactly what it would take for an upset by the Broncos.

The Falcons’ 20-13 victory over the Panthers in their second-to-last game of the regular season was the latest surprise in the career of Paul Worrilow, a Falcons’ middle linebacker. The 25-year-old Wilmington, Del., native was not offered a Division I scholarship out of high school, nor was he drafted out of college — despite being named an All-American. However, Worrilow left the University of Delaware without any anxiety over a...READ MORE

Filed under faith and football, super bowl, trent beattie

Truth: Not What You Think; Ransoming for Christ: The Story of Two Daring Religious Orders and More! (1239)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/05/2016 Comment

Click on Truth: Not What You Think by Kevin Aldrich of Catholic Stand to read.

Truth: Not What You Think – Kevin Aldrich, Catholic Stand

The Spirit and The Eucharist – The Wild Goose

Habits and Helplessness – Erin Cain, Ignitum Today

U.N. Report Reveals ‘Staggering Violence’ Committed by I.S.I.S. in Iraq – The Catholic Herald

What’s the (Catholic) Word on the Street? – Chloe Mooradian, Epic Pew

Ransoming for Christ: The Story of Two Daring Religious Orders – Stephen Beale, Catholic Exchange

How to Deal with Suffering, Suffering of Any Kind – Jeffrey A. Mirus Ph.D., Catholic Culture

U.S. Catholic Bishops Urge Parents to Fight School’s Transgender Policy – The Catholic Herald

Apostolic Succession Is Assurance of Truth – James L. Papandrea, Catholic Answers

The...READ MORE

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