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The Passion of the Church in the Middle East (6577)

EDITORIAL: The stirring prayer of the 21 Egyptian Copts as they prepared for their execution at the hands of Islamic State militants was “Jesus, help me.”

02/27/2015 Comments (10)

One of the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were executed this month in Libya by Islamic State militants.

– YouTube

“Jesus, help me.”

Pope Francis paused during his address last month before a group of Catholics from Scotland to recall the stirring prayer of the 21 Egyptian Copts as they prepared for their execution at the hands of Islamic State militants: “Jesus, help me.”

“They were killed simply for the fact they were Christians,” Pope Francis said, according to a report from Vatican Radio.

“The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard.”

Amid the horror of the Islamic State’s campaign of religious cleansing, the Pope underscored the truth that Catholics, Orthodox and Copts have shared the same fate and a newfound unity as they enter into the passion of...READ MORE

Filed under islam, jesus, martyrs, persecuted christians, isis, isil, islamic state,, pope francis, prayer

The End of the Analogy of Being, Fr. Robert Barron on Atheism and Philosophy, and Much More! (4465)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/27/2015 Comment

Click on The End of the Analogy of Being by Stephen H. Webb of First Things link to read more.

The End of the Analogy of Being by Stephen H. Webb of First Things - BigPulpit.com

Father Robert Barron on Atheism and Philosophy - Jean M. Heimann, Catholic Fire

A Culture of Chastity in Creating a Healthy Society – Jason Godin, Fathers for Good

Spirituality Made Simple, But Not Easy! – David Torkington

Saint Katharine Drexel, the Power of Spiritual Poverty and Submission – Thomas Van, Catholic Culture

How Saint Columba Brought Catholicism and Civilization to Scotland – Michael Durnan, Aleteia∝

The Holy Family: A Surprising Education – Jessie Tappel MS, Truth and Charity Forum

“To Build a Fire” by Jack London: Hanging Humanity by a Thread – Sean Fitzpatrick, The Civilized Reader


Filed under analogy, analogy of being, atheism, being, catholicism, chasity, duchy of savoy, faith, fr. robert barron, holy family

Want to Thank God in Public School? A Kentucky Bill Would Make Free-Expression Laws Clear (2083)

A bill advanced by a Kentucky senator would codify students’ rights to religious and political speech at public schools, but the state ACLU opposes the move.

02/27/2015 Comments (1)
Wikipedia/Dwight Burdette

Kentucky's Bell County High School halted its tradition of public prayers before football games in 2011, following a legal threat from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

– Wikipedia/Dwight Burdette

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Protections for students’ religious and political speech in Kentucky’s public schools could be strengthened if lawmakers in the Kentucky State Capitol advance a bill that is supported by the state’s Catholic bishops’ conference.

“We think, by codifying mostly constitutional principles that have been articulated by the courts, it gives a very clear black-and-white picture of what you can and cannot do when it comes to students’ religious and political expression,” said Jason Hall, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky.

The conference has endorsed the bill, S.B. 71, authored by Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, which passed the Senate on Feb. 19 in a...READ MORE

Filed under aclu, albert robinson, bell county high school, kentucky, peter jesserer smith, public schools, religuous liberty, school prayer

Pope: Lenten Retreat ‘Succeeded in Sowing Seeds’ (1429)

The Holy Father commented on Curia spiritual exercises at their conclusion.

02/27/2015 Comment

ROME — After a weeklong spiritual retreat outside of Rome, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to the priest who led the reflections, saying that although it’s not easy to preach to priests, seeds have been planted.

“On behalf of all of us, I, too, would like to thank the father for his work among us during the spiritual exercises,” Francis said after his return to Rome on Feb. 27.

“It’s not easy to give exercises to priests, right? We’re a bit complicated, all of us, but you succeeded in sowing seeds,” he said, and he prayed that these seeds would continue to grow.

“May the Lord make these seeds that you have given us grow, and I also hope that myself and all the others can leave here...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, lent, retreats, spiritual exercises

Faith vs. Fashion: Muslim Woman Spars With Abercrombie in Major Court Case (2491)

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in the case involving a teenager whose job application was rejected because she wears a headscarf.

02/27/2015 Comments (19)
Hernan Pinera via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

– Hernan Pinera via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

WASHINGTON — When an employer’s hiring standards conflict with a prospective employee’s religious practice, would the employer be guilty of discrimination for not hiring?

That is the question currently before the Supreme Court, which held oral arguments Feb. 25 in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. Abercrombie chose not to hire Samantha Elauf, a Muslim teenager who applied for a retail job with the chain retailer, claiming that her use of a headscarf violated the company’s policy of no headdressing for employees.

“I learned that I was not hired by Abercrombie because I wear a headscarf, which is a symbol of modesty in my Muslim faith. This was shocking to me,” Elauf stated after the...READ MORE

Filed under abercrombie & fitch, becket fund, catholic news agency, eeoc, justice samuel alito, religious liberty, u.s. supreme court

Father Serra, the Synod and Sanctity (4477)

Archbishop Jose Gomez discusses his busy road as L.A.’s shepherd.

02/26/2015 Comments (20)
CNA/Los Angeles Archdiocese-Victor Aleman

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles

– CNA/Los Angeles Archdiocese-Victor Aleman

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles leads the largest archdiocese in the nation. He is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration and has spearheaded the Church’s campaign to enact comprehensive immigration reform. He was elected by his fellow bishops to be one of four delegates to the upcoming ordinary synod, where Pope Francis and bishops from around the world will address a range of issues related to marriage and the family.

On Feb. 20, during an interview with Joan Frawley Desmond, the Register’s senior editor, Archbishop Gomez reacted to the news that a federal judge had blocked President Barack Obama’s executive order to stay the...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop jose gomez, joan frawley desmond, los angeles, onelife la, vocations

Could Pope Francis Travel to Ukraine? (2366)

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

02/26/2015 Comments (3)

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 (2063)

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

02/26/2015 Comments (1)

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

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