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Pope Francis’ Holy Land Visit to Focus on Ecumenism With Orthodox (4264)

The Holy Father Pope Francis has shown an ecumenical sensitivity since his election last March.

01/08/2014 Comments (10)
Courtesy Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Pope Francis will meet with Patriarch Bartholomew I in May.

– Courtesy Israel Ministry of Tourism

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to be held in May, will center on his encounter with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Eastern Orthodox archbishop of Constantinople, and their discussions on ecumenism.

Announcing the trip Jan. 5, Pope Francis said its “principal goal” is “to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras I, that occurred … 50 years ago today.”

That encounter was the beginning of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and led to a joint declaration issued in 1965, which declared the two leaders’ desire “to overcome their differences in order to be again ‘one,’ as the Lord Jesus...READ MORE

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Abortion Standoff Between Santa Clara University President and Faculty (8902)

Faculty at the Jesuit university have called for a full restoration of ‘elective’ abortion coverage, but the university’s president is standing firm.

01/08/2014 Comments (45)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The faculty and president at Santa Clara University (SCU) are locked in a battle over abortion, and the university’s board of trustees has been asked to make the final call on the president’s decision to bring SCU health plans into closer alignment with the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life.

The faculty senate voted 215 to 89 in mid-December to approve a resolution declaring “invalid” the action taken by SCU’s president, Jesuit Father Michael Engh, to bar the university from paying for elective abortion in its health plans. A total of 627 faculty members at SCU were eligible to vote.

Juliana Chang, SCU faculty senate president, told the Register...READ MORE

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Voters More Inclined to View Marriage as a Religious Institution, Poll Finds (1683)

The Rasmussen Reports national survey also indicates marriage is highly valued in the U.S.

01/08/2014 Comments (5)
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– Shutterstock

TRENTON, N.J. — A new survey shows an increase in likely U.S. voters who see marriage as a religious institution, with a majority now holding this view.

Rasmussen Reports’ Dec. 22 national survey of 1,000 U.S. likely voters found that a majority — 53% of respondents — said marriage is a religious institution. This is an increase from 48% in October. Another 40% saw marriage as a civil institution, down from 45% in October.

About 77% of respondents said they are married or have been at some point in their lives. This correlated to their views of the institution.

About 57% of ever-married respondents said marriage is a religious institution, while the never-married tended to see it as...READ MORE

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Biblical Baby Names Set to Make a Comeback in 2014 (5928)

Names like Naomi and Caleb are on the rise, as part of what one expert describes as a return ‘to original values and traditions.’

01/08/2014 Comments (4)
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– Shutterstock

DENVER — A baby-name website has predicted that more parents will be choosing traditional biblical names for their children this year, a trend that one expert says is a sign of people's renewed hope in their faith.

“Biblical names surging back into our culture is a great turn for the better. After many years, it shows that people are feeling stronger about their faith and that they have hope once again,” Lucie Wisco, editor of social baby-naming website Belly Ballot, told CNA.

The site is set up so that anyone with Internet access can share the choices for their soon-to-be-born baby with friends and family via social media. Friends and family then vote on their favorites, and when the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, the bible, traditional values

Pope Francis: The Path of Humility Leads Christians to Jesus (5328)

The Holy Father said John the Apostle gives us a ‘simple’ method to determine which spirits come from God and which ones come from the Antichrist.

01/08/2014 Comments (10)
CNA/Elise Harris

– CNA/Elise Harris

VATICAN CITY — In his daily Mass homily for Jan. 7, Pope Francis touched on the importance of discerning what comes from God and what is false, stating that the way of Jesus Christ is always one of “humility.”

“That is the path of Jesus Christ: abasement, humility, humiliation as well,” the Pope said Jan. 7. “If a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, it is from Jesus.”

Focusing on John’s words “remain in the Lord” from the day’s first reading, Pope Francis told those gathered in the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse that this expression is a “counsel for life.”

John, Pope Francis noted, displays for us “one of the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, humility, jesus christ, john the apostle, pope francis

Study: Birth-Control Pill and Abortion Spike Breast-Cancer Risk (16427)

Doctors in India report a tenfold increased risk of breast cancer with oral contraceptive use and sixfold higher risk after an abortion.

01/08/2014 Comments (30)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

NEW DELHI — A new study of women in India reveals that having used birth-control pills elevates the risk of developing breast cancer nearly tenfold, and having had an abortion increases their risk of breast cancer more than sixfold.

The study, published in the most recent issue of the Indian Journal of Cancer, matched 320 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer with 320 healthy women of similar age, economic and social status and medical background, and it found that “the risk of breast cancer was 9.50 times higher in women having a history of consumption of oral contraceptive pills.”

Doctors at the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition Unit at the All India Institute of...READ MORE

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Daily Bodily Penances: Examples & Tips; Religious Vocations: The Call and Much More! (3703)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/08/2014 Comment

Daily Bodily Penances: Examples & Tips. Follow the link by Taylor Marshall, PhD, to read and learn more.

Daily Bodily Penances: Examples & Tips by Taylor Marshall, PhD - BigPulpit.com

Religious Vocations: The Call – Jean M. Heimann, Catholic Fire

A Stay-At-Home-Mom’s Lament: Who’s Evangelized? – Sherry Antonetti, Catholic Stand

Sacrificing Religious Life on the Altar of Egalitarianism – Br. Justin Hannegan, Crisis Magazine

Evangelii Gaudium: Ordination of Women – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

The Never Ending Thirst for Beauty – Sequoia Sierra, Aleteia

Distance Learning with Holy Apostles College & Seminary – Shaun McAfee, Ignitum Today

Reformed Pastor Jason Stellman Comes Home – Russ Rentler MD, Crossed the Tiber

The Spirit of Fear & the Spirit of Love – Jason...READ MORE

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Carmelite Sisters Receive Voice Mail, Then Follow-Up Call, From Pope (2117)

New Year’s Eve phone message made the cable-news cycle. Spanish nun says the following conversation with the Holy Father focused on ‘hope, because sadness leads to spiritual sloth and hopelessness.’

01/07/2014 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY — On New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis called a community of Carmelite sisters in Lucena, Spain, to wish them a happy new year, and when they didn’t answer, he left a message saying that he would call back.

"What are the nuns doing that they can't answer?" the Pope jested in his Dec. 31 message to the nuns. "I am Pope Francis. I wish to greet you in this end of the year. I will see if I can call you later. May God bless you!"

According to CNN, the community gave the audio of Pope Francis’ message to COPE, a Spanish radio network that is partially owned by Spain’s Episcopal Conference, because they wanted to share his words “with the world.”

Upon receiving the Pope’s...READ MORE

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