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New Baby? Chicago Archdiocese Has Working Moms and Dads Covered with 12 Week Paid Leave (1550)

The archdiocese sees the new policy as both pro-family, and ‘an attractive feature’ in keeping strong, talented employees.

05/19/2016 Comments (13)
OakleyOriginals via Flickr

Brand new parents and baby in their first week together.

– OakleyOriginals via Flickr

CHICAGO — With the conviction that pro-family policies are critical for a healthy Church, the Archdiocese of Chicago will soon start offering its employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

The policy, which will go into effect June 1, was announced in the archdiocesan newspaper, the Catholic New World.

It will cover both mothers and fathers working at least 26 hours per week who have just had a child or adopted a child.

Previously, women at the archdiocese were able to pay for maternity leave through sick time and vacation days. Employees were allow to accrue sick time, and after about three years generally had enough time accumulated for six weeks of leave.

Even this policy was more...READ MORE

Filed under blaise cupich, chicago archdiocese, family leave, paid leave, pope francis, pro-family, pro-life, pro-marriage, synod on the family

Cardinal Sarah: Utopia Without God Will Always Fail (8293)

The West African cardinal warned against ‘demonic idolatry’ in a rousing address at the 12th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

05/18/2016 Comments (15)
National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Twitter

Cardinal Robert Sarah at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on May 17.

– National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Twitter

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Robert Sarah delivered a stirring defense of the beauty of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and the family and warned 1,300 Washington-area Catholics, “Today we are witnessing the next stage of the effort to build a utopia without God.”

Cardinal Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was the keynote speaker at the 12th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington. He said that when societies try to create utopias without God, “Good becomes evil, beauty is ugly, love becomes the satisfaction of sexual primal instincts, and truths are all relative.”

The Guinean cardinal’s remarks were...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal sarah, catholic, little sisters of the poor, national catholic prayer breakfast, paul ryan, prayer

Pope: ‘To Ignore the Poor Is to Despise God’ (2741)

‘God’s mercy toward us is linked to our mercy toward others,’ Francis warns on May 18. ‘No messenger and no message can replace the poor we meet on the journey, because in them we meet Jesus himself.’

05/18/2016 Comments (16)

VATICAN CITY — If we don’t show mercy to others, we shouldn’t expect to get it from God, Pope Francis said May 18. Stressing that turning a blind eye to the poor might make life on earth easier, the eternal result will be much different, the Pope was forceful in his point.

“To ignore the poor is to despise God! We must learn this well: To ignore the poor is the despise God,” the Pope said at his general audience.

He spoke to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his general audience, continuing his ongoing catechesis on mercy, as understood through Scripture.

Francis focused his speech on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, a poor beggar who laid outside the...READ MORE

Filed under caring for the poor, christian charity, jesus, mercy of god

Italian Bishop Decries Civil-Unions Bill, Stresses Papal Defense of Natural Family (1184)

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, emphasizes that the bishops 'underscore the Pope’s statements.'

05/18/2016 Comments (2)
Bohumil Petrik/CNA

Italian Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco in Cortile di Damaso, Vatican City, before meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on May 16, 2015.

– Bohumil Petrik/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In a powerful speech Tuesday at the opening of the Italian bishops’ general assembly, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa decried the civil-unions bill passed in the nation’s parliament last week, emphasizing that Pope Francis himself always advocates for the natural family.

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference peppered his May 17 speech with several lengthy quotes from Francis and lamented that the Pope’s affirmations of the family are so often ignored in the mainstream press.

The annual gathering of the Italian bishops, May 16-19, is on the topic of “Renewal of the Clergy.” Pope Francis began the assembly with a brief speech on the priesthood on Monday, followed...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, church teaching on marriage, civil unions, family, pope francis

Sister Constance of the Little Sisters of the Poor: ‘The Gospel Brings Us Lasting Joy’ (785)

At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, nun says the sisters find happiness and peace in following Christ and serving those in need.

05/18/2016 Comments (4)
Kathryn Lopez Twitter

Sister Constance Veit at the May 17 prayer breakfast in Washington.

– Kathryn Lopez Twitter

WASHINGTON — If you are a Christian, your life should not be a perpetual Lent. This was the message of the communications director for the Little Sisters of the Poor at a Catholic prayer breakfast on Tuesday.

“Don’t let anything rob you of the joy of the Gospel. Dare to be of good cheer,” Sister Constance Veit said at the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on May 17.

An archbishop had counseled her with those words during the sisters’ ongoing HHS mandate case against the federal government, a case that was sent back to the circuit courts by the Supreme Court on Monday.

The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast has been held annually in Washington since 2004, with an attendance of...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, joy of the gospel, little sisters of the poor, national catholic prayer breakfast, prayer, sister constance veit

International Religious Liberty Law Gets Big Updates from House Lawmakers (1031)

The bill, which now goes to the Senate for passage, is named for Frank Wolf, a former congressman who continues to be an advocate for religious freedom worldwide.

05/17/2016 Comments (2)
CNA.

– CNA.

WASHINGTON — A significant upgrade to a landmark religious freedom law passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday afternoon.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., the bill’s author, outlined what is at stake abroad for religious freedom in a statement: “The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of international religious freedom, a crisis that continues to create millions of victims; a crisis that undermines liberty, prosperity and peace; a crisis that poses a direct challenge to the US interests in the Middle East, Russia, China and sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.”

The 2015 Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act passed the House May 16 by unanimous voice vote. It had strong...READ MORE

Filed under frank wolf, international religious freedom, religious freedom, religious liberty, rep. chris smith, r-n.j.

Professional Soccer Player Returns to His Fans in Chile — as a Priest (1302)

Fans in the Latin-American country were delighted to reunite with the Catholic priest who once brought them fame on the soccer pitch and now gave them the Eucharist.

05/17/2016 Comments (1)
José Carvajal via CNA

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck

– José Carvajal via CNA

SANTIAGO, Chile — With a Mass celebrated in the chapel where he used to pray, former soccer star Chase Hilgenbrinck was reunited recently with the faithful, friends and fans — not as a soccer star, but as a priest.

Before he was Father Hilgenbrinck, the American was a successful pro-soccer player who spent four seasons in Chile before returning to the United States. He played for the New England Revolution team before experiencing a call to the priesthood and leaving behind his soccer career to enter seminary.

In 2014, he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., where he currently serves.

After being away from Chile for nine years, Father Hilgenbrinck recently returned to...READ MORE

Filed under chile, football, priesthood, soccer, vocation stories, vocations to the priesthood

Pope: ‘Everyone Must Have the Freedom to Externalize His or Her Own Faith’ (1127)

In new interview with French paper, Francis discusses religious liberty, migration, dialogue with Islam and the SSPX and separation of Church and state.

05/17/2016 Comments (8)
Instagram.com/Franciscus

– Instagram.com/Franciscus

VATICAN CITY — In a new interview focused heavily on migration and dialogue with Islam, Pope Francis touched on growing concerns surrounding the hot-button topic of religious freedom.

While he admitted that secular governments espousing a separation of Church and state have shown more success throughout history, the Pope also stressed that such policies must be strict in ensuring religious freedom for all.

“The right to conscientious objection must be recognized within each legal structure because it is a human right,” the Pope said in a May 9 interview with French newspaper La Croix.

“States must be secular. Confessional states end badly. That goes against the grain of history,” he...READ MORE

Filed under church and state, faith, islam, pope francis, religious liberty, sspx-vatican dialogue

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