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Ecuador Quake Victim Sister Clare Inspires Hometown: ‘She Died as She Lived, Helping’ (2360)

Church leaders in Derry, Northern Ireland, describe how the Irish nun’s life and death has impacted the tight-knit local Catholic community.

04/28/2016 Comments (1)
EWTN Facebook

Sister Clare loved being a nun. She died helping others.

– EWTN Facebook

DERRY, Northern Ireland — Sister Clare Crockett, who died during the recent earthquake in Ecuador, wasn’t exactly a martyr for the faith, but she did die steeped in the ministry she loved.

Shortly after her death on April 16, in the 7.8-magnitude quake, details of the young Irishwoman’s efforts to save others emerged.

The 33-year-old was killed, along with five Ecuadorian postulants, when the quake struck.

Her heartbroken family, from Derry in Northern Ireland, take some consolation from the fact that she died as she lived: witnessing to the Gospel imperative to love people as God loves them.

The family have been keeping a low profile, praying for the repatriation of her remains. Her...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, ecuador, sister clare crockett, women religious

Cardinal Wuerl: ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Presents ‘Extraordinary Challenge’ (1531)

Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on love in the family presents a special challenge to laypeople to evangelize, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington said Wednesday at The Catholic University of America.

04/28/2016 Comments (14)
CUA Twitter

– CUA Twitter

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on love in the family presents a special challenge to laypeople to evangelize, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington said Wednesday at The Catholic University of America.

One finding of the recent synods on the family was that “we have a lot of catechesis to do, a lot of sharing the faith,” Cardinal Wuerl said April 27 in his address to university students and professors on Amoris Laetitia and the synods that led up to its publication. The exhortation presents both a “beautiful gift” and an “extraordinary challenge” to the Church, the cardinal maintained.

Catechesis is needed because many people “only have a vague idea” of Church teaching on...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, cardinal wuerl, catholic, family, marriage and the family, pope francis

Mass Incarceration Takes Huge Toll on U.S. Society, But Experts Say There Is a Better Way (913)

The economics of mass incarceration are terribly inefficient to keeping crime down, socially destructive and not absolutely necessary, says a White House report.

04/28/2016 Comments (7)
pixs4u via www.shutterstock.com.

– pixs4u via www.shutterstock.com.

WASHINGTON — Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal-justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system.

“This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues facing our country,” Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law, said at a Monday press conference introducing the report “Economic Perspectives on Incarceration and the Criminal Justice System.”

“What better way to bring people together than to look at those at the periphery of our society and say: What can we do together to need them?” Arthur Brooks, president of the American...READ MORE

Filed under american enterprise institute, brennan center for justice, incarceration, justice reform, mass incarceration, prison, prison reform, recidivism, white house

Woman Bulldozed and Buried Alive as New Wave of Persecution Hits Church in China (2803)

Congregants were forced to watch as Ding Cuimei, the wife of their pastor, was buried alive by a bulldozer crew sent to destroy the church building.

04/28/2016 Comments (2)
esfera via www.shutterstock.com

Flag of the People's Republic of China

– esfera via www.shutterstock.com

BEIJING — Two members of a Chinese church demolition crew have been detained by police after they allegedly killed the wife of a Christian pastor, who had attempted to halt the destruction of the church.

Bob Fu, president of China Aid, a non-governmental organization that advocates for religious liberty in China, said that Christianity has become a “major target” in culture and is treated as “a political and security threat to the regime,” he told CNA.

“Bulldozing and burying alive Ding Cuimei, a peaceful and devout Christian woman, was a cruel, murderous act,” Fu said in a previous statement from China Aid.

“This case is a serious violation of the rights to life, religious freedom and...READ MORE

Filed under beijing, china, china aid, christian persecution, church in china, open doors usa, people's republic of china, religious freedom, religious liberty, religious persection

Pro-Life in Africa: ‘What We Hold in Common Is This Value for Family’ (2090)

Obianuju Ekeocha, founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, shares her continent’s long-held values.

04/27/2016 Comments (1)
Courtesy of Obianuju Ekeocha

Obianuju Ekeocha above and, below, at a mission in Ghana.

– Courtesy of Obianuju Ekeocha

WASHINGTON — Obianuju Ekeocha is the founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, an initiative dedicated to the promotion and defense of the sanctity of life, marriage, motherhood and families. A lifelong Catholic, she was born and raised in Nigeria. She is a biomedical scientist in hematology and works at a hospital in the United Kingdom. At a United Nations question-and-answer session earlier this month on best practices for maternal health in Africa, Ekeocha clashed with a U.N. delegate from Denmark, who promoted the U.N.’s policy of “reproductive health,” primarily contraception and abortion, in African countries, which Ekeocha referred to as “neo-colonialism.” Most of the African...READ MORE

Filed under church in africa, culture of life africa, culture of life vs culture of death, family, obianuju ekeocha

Pope Francis Green-Lights Beatification of Albanian Martyrs, Others (1181)

In addition to the Albanian martyrs, the Holy Father also advanced 11 other saints’ causes, including another group of martyrs and that of an 18-year-old young woman.

04/27/2016 Comment
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Albanian and papal flags ahead of papal visit in September 2014.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Tuesday gave the green light for the beatification of 38 Albanian martyrs, all of whom were killed by the country’s atheistic, communist regime between 1945 and 1974.

In an April 26 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis officially acknowledged the martyrdom of Archbishop Nikollë Vinçenc Prennushi of Durrës and his 37 companions.

Archbishop Prennushi, who was a member of the Order of Friars Minor, was jailed by the communist regime in the 1940s and died in prison as a result of torture in 1949. The rest of his companions shared a similar fate: murdered by the regime over almost 30 years.

The...READ MORE

Filed under causes of saints, congregation for the causes of saints, saints

Pope Francis: ‘The Heart of the Samaritan Was in Tune With the Heart of God’ (937)

Compassion is ‘an essential characteristic of God’s mercy,’ the Holy Father said at April 27 general audience.

04/27/2016 Comments (1)
Instagram.com/Franciscus; Wikipedia/Public domain

Above, Pope Francis blesses a young man. Below, Maximilien Luce, The Good Samaritan

– Instagram.com/Franciscus; Wikipedia/Public domain

VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis said that just because someone is an expert in God’s law and a strict adherent to the rules doesn’t necessarily mean he knows how to love and serve others.

“It’s not automatic that whoever frequents the house of God and knows his mercy knows how to love his neighbor. It’s not automatic,” the Pope said April 27.

“You can know the Bible, you can know all the liturgical norms, you can know theology, but ‘to know’ is not automatically ‘to love,’” he said, explaining that “to love has another path, with intelligence, but it has something more.”

While knowledge and worship are good, they are false unless they are “translated into service of others,”...READ MORE

Filed under christian love, good samaritan, jesus, pope francis

Stopping the Persecution of Christians Aim of New York Event (1062)

The congress will take place April 28-30 at several New York City venues. The Holy See’s permanent observer mission to the United Nations is among the conference sponsors, as is the group In Defense of Christians.

04/27/2016 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

NEW YORK — This week’s #WeAreN2016 Congress aims to call on the world to stop the persecution of Christians and other minorities. Victims of persecution and leaders from around the world will speak about the need for action in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere.

“Christians account for 80% of persecuted minorities,” the congress’ website said. “They are victims of the deliberate infliction of conditions of life that are calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part. They are being murdered, beheaded, crucified, beaten, extorted, abducted and tortured.”

The congress cited other atrocities, like enslavement, forcible conversion to Islam and sexual violence against...READ MORE

Filed under middle eastern christians, persecution of christians

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