Daily News

Could Pope Francis Travel to Ukraine? (1212)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has invited the Holy Father to visit his embattled nation.

02/26/2015 Comments (3)
ctv.va

Pope Francis addresses the bishops of Ukraine Feb. 20 during their ad limina visit to the Vatican.

– ctv.va

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has sent a letter inviting Pope Francis to visit Ukraine, though the Vatican diplomatic service has not yet responded, Ukraine's Embassy to the Holy See told CNA on Wednesday.

The embassy forwarded the letter to the Vatican Secretariat of State Feb. 18, two days before the ad limina meeting of Ukrainian bishops with Pope Francis.

Bishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Vladimir the Great of Paris told Radio Liberty Feb. 25 he was aware of the letter and that the Pope had a “positive reaction” to it.

On the other hand, diplomatic sources warned CNA Feb. 25 there would still be a long way to go before a papal trip to Ukraine...READ MORE

Filed under andrea gagliarducci, catholic news agency, papal visit, pope francis, ukraine

As Christian Hostages in Syria Spike, Turkish Border Closed to Refugees (1035)

The number of hostages has increased to at least 250 after continued attacks on Christian villages.

02/26/2015 Comments (1)
Wikipedia

Soldiers stand guard outside at a Syrian refugee center on the Turkish border, about 50 miles from Aleppo, Syria, in August 2012.

– Wikipedia

ROME — The number of ISIS hostages in Syria has increased to at least 250, after continued attacks on Christian villages and civilians fleeing to the Turkish border have been stranded when not allowed to cross.

“There are 200 families who were running away and trying to escape to Turkey, but the border is closed for Syrians. No Syrian can cross into Turkey,” Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo told CNA Feb. 26.

Archbishop Hindo oversees the Syrian Archdiocese of Hassake, which is located in the Al-Hasakah region of Syria. The region sits between the country’s borders with both Turkey and Iraq.

He spoke to CNA in French over the phone with a patchy connection from his diocese in Syria, where...READ MORE

Filed under catholic news agency, christian persecution, isis, refugees, syria, turkey

Archbishop Cordileone Holds Firm on Teacher Contracts (1845)

The San Francisco shepherd's initiative to strengthen schools’ Catholic mission will proceed.

02/26/2015 Comments (17)
CNA/Lauren Cater

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco

– CNA/Lauren Cater

SAN FRANCISCO — Forcefully rebutting press reports to the contrary, the Archdiocese of San Francisco affirmed Feb. 24 that its shepherd, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, remains committed to adding new provisions to archdiocesan teacher contracts.

The proposed contract language calls on teachers to avoid public statements or actions that oppose Catholic teaching on a range of issues.

“The archbishop has not repealed anything,” Jesuit Father John Piderit, the moderator of the Curia and the vicar for administration for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said in a statement posted Feb. 24 on the archdiocesan website.  “He is adding explanations, clarifications and material on Catholic social...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop salvatore cordileone, bishop robert vasa, catholic education, catholic identity, joan frawley desmond, san francisco, santa rosa

Royals’ VP Grateful to Serve Christ the King (3375)

Despite Kansas City’s tough loss to the Giants in the 2014 World Series, Toby Cook sees many positives on the threshold of the 2015 season.

02/26/2015 Comments (2)
Kansas City Royals baseball club

Toby Cook of the Kansas City Royals

– Kansas City Royals baseball club

On Oct. 29, the Kansas City Royals lost the deciding game of the World Series to the San Francisco Giants by only one run. While Royals’ fans were deeply disappointed at the final score, the mere fact that the team was there at all is noteworthy, since they hadn’t been to the World Series — or even the postseason — since 1985.

Toby Cook, the Royals’ vice president of community affairs and publicity, sees not only these and other baseball positives, but also the many faith-related ones that surround the team. The 47-year-old father of five has been a Royals’ fan since the age of 8, and he believes his longtime association with the team was brought about by God not only for baseball and...READ MORE

Filed under catholic converts, catholic faith, jesus christ, kansas city royals, major league baseball, san francisco giants, the bible, trent beattie, world series

A Middle East Without Christians? Advocates Call for Action Before It’s Too Late (1277)

A nonprofit group organized a ‘Day of Action,’ imploring U.S. Christians to pray and sacrifice ‘in the spirit of Lent’ and give to charities that help Middle-Eastern Christians.

02/26/2015 Comments (2)
CNA/Mosa’ab Elshamy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

– CNA/Mosa’ab Elshamy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

WASHINGTON — Middle-Eastern Christian communities face extinction, and the results for the stability and peace of the region would be devastating, said an advocacy group asking Americans to speak out on their behalf.

“They have been there since the time of Christ, and they are now arguably in the time of their greatest need,” said Kristina Olney of the advocacy group In Defense of Christians. “We are basically seeing history erased.”

In Defense of Christians is a nonprofit that raises awareness of the plight of Middle-Eastern Christian communities threatened by sectarian conflict and the Islamic State group.

The advocacy group organized a “Day of Action” for those communities on Feb. 25,...READ MORE

Filed under international terorism, isis, islamic state group, matt hadro, middle east, middle east christians

Remembering John Willke, One of the Pro-Life Movement's 'Most Influential Activists' (1071)

'There is no way to quantify the contributions Jack Willke, along with his wife, Barbara, made to the right-to-life movement,' said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.

02/26/2015 Comments (5)
CNA/Life Issues Institute Inc.

Dr. John Willke, a pro-life physician and advocate, who died Feb. 20.

– CNA/Life Issues Institute Inc.

CINCINNATI — Pro-life leaders marked the death of Dr. John Willke by praising his adamant stand against legalized abortion and his tireless dedication to helping women and their unborn children.

“The right-to-life movement has lost one of its most influential activists,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said Feb. 23. “But we know that Dr. Willke’s legacy of education and activism will live on in the countless men and women who were inspired to join the fight for life because of his efforts.”

Willke died Feb. 20 at the age of 89. He practiced as an obstetrician before beginning to work against abortion in the 1960s. He and his wife helped motivate pro-life groups working...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, catholic news agency, john willke, obstetrics, pro-life

Defending Catholic Teaching Lands Marquette Professor in Limbo (5646)

NEWS ANALYSIS: The controversial censuring and suspension of political-science professor John McAdams reveals the inner workings at a major Jesuit university.

02/25/2015 Comments (25)

What does one have to do to get fired from a Catholic university these days? The answer, or so it must seem to tenured political science professor John McAdams, an evangelical Protestant, is to insist that it hold fast to the teaching on which it was founded.

The precise incident that lead to McAdams being suspended — and on the verge of being fired — by Marquette University, the Jesuit institution where he had taught since 1977, is far from simple and ties together secretly recorded phone conversations, hate mail, departmental complaints, accusations of “homophobia,” perennial public dissent from the magisterium and a student refusing on principle to continue a certain course. None of...READ MORE

Filed under benjamin harnwell, jesuits, marquette university, same-sex 'marriage', society of jesus, tenure

Vatican: Pope’s ‘Mexicanization’ Comment Not Intended to Offend (944)

In a private email to a friend, Pope Francis used the term to warn that Argentina was in danger of experiencing a drug-trafficking problem similar to Mexico’s.

02/25/2015 Comments (4)
Wikipedia

Mexican Marines participate in a raid in July 2012 targeting members of the Los Zetas drug cartel.

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Wednesday issued a statement clarifying a private comment made by Pope Francis to a friend, warning that his native Argentina was in danger of a “Mexicanization” by drug traffickers.

“The Pope did not in any way intend to offend the Mexican population, for whom he holds special affection, nor to underestimate the commitment of the Mexican government in its fight against narco-trafficking,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told journalists in a statement.

Controversy broke out in Mexico following the publication of the Pope’s comments, which prompted a protest from Mexican citizens, who claimed that Francis was stigmatizing the country and being...READ MORE

Filed under argentina, catholic news agency, mexico, pope francis

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