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Eve of Destruction for Iraq’s Christians? (6296)

As Islamist forces race to seize Baghdad, the fate of an ancient Christian community hangs by a thread.

06/17/2014 Comments (2)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A female refugee makes a phonecall outside her tent June 13 at a temporary displacement camp set up next to a Kurdish checkpoint in Kalak, Iraq.

– Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

BAGHDAD — With lightning speed, Islamist militants have seized swathes of northern Iraq, forcing hundreds of thousands to take flight and threatening the destruction of Iraq’s Christian remnant, as they drive on relentlessly toward Baghdad.

Hardened by the past three years of fighting in Syria’s civil war, Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have poured forces into Iraq as part of their plans to establish a new Islamic caliphate in the region. ISIS forces overran Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, in early June, as more than 30,000 U.S.-trained Iraqi army and police forces threw down their weapons, abandoned their posts and fled.

ISIS, now flush with cash from...READ MORE

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Syriac Catholic Patriarch: ‘We Are Devastated From the Situation in Mosul’ (2818)

Patriarch Younan of Antioch warns that Islamist violence is emptying the Middle East of its Christian population.

06/17/2014 Comment

Patriarch Ignatius Youssef Younan of Antioch

Patriarch Ignatius Youssef Younan of Antioch is the leader of the Syriac Catholic Church. He spoke June 17 with EWTN News Nightly producer Kathryn Elliott from Lebanon, where he has been living for the past five years.


Islamic militants have marched on Mosul and many major cities in Iraq. What does this mean for the Christian population there, and what’s your response?

We are devastated from the situation happening in Mosul for the past few days. Mosul is one of the cities where Christians lived for thousands of years. In recent times, it has had about 20 churches — Chaldean, Syrian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic and Orthodox churches with monasteries. Now, that city is empty of all its...READ MORE

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Christian Faith Animates World Cup Star Clint Dempsey (2401)

The U.S. captain scored a goal during the first minute of the team’s opening World Cup game yesterday against Ghana.

06/17/2014 Comment

Clint Dempsey celebrates after scoring the first goal for the U.S. national soccer team in its June 16 World Cup match against Ghana.

– ussoccer.com

RIO DE JANEIRO — U.S. soccer fans went wild on Monday as team captain Clint Dempsey scored a goal during the first minute of the club’s opening World Cup game against Ghana.

The goal is among the quickest in World Cup history and the fastest scored by an American during the World Cup games, adding to numerous records by the acclaimed player, who is also the first American to score in three different World Cups.

Perhaps less well known is the role that Dempsey’s Christian faith plays in his life.

“My faith in Christ is what gives me confidence for the future. I know that through both good times and bad, he is faithful and will watch over me,” he told Sports Spectrum in an article...READ MORE

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Arizona Community Mourns, Remembers Slain Priest (3902)

Parishioners and friends of Father Kenneth Walker packed St. Catherine of Siena Church in Phoenix for his requiem Mass.

06/17/2014 Comments (4)
Mary Rezac/CNA

Mourners gather at St. Catherine of Siena parish in Phoenix on June 16.

– Mary Rezac/CNA

PHOENIX — The 105-degree heat did not deter parishioners and friends of Father Kenneth Walker from packing St. Catherine of Siena Church in Phoenix to standing-room only for his requiem Mass Monday, June 16.

The nearly two-hour Mass, celebrated in the extraordinary form, began at 10am, but priests, religious sisters and faithful began filling the pews nearly two hours beforehand to pray for the beloved priest.

A Rosary was recited at 9am, followed by a solemn silence broken only by tears.

Father Walker, 28, was shot and killed on June 11 during an attempted burglary at the rectory of Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix, where he served as associate pastor. Father Joseph Terra, pastor...READ MORE

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Nancy Pelosi Echoes Calls for San Francisco Archbishop to Snub June 19 March for Marriage (20494)

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone rejects demands that he cancel his plans to address the march.

06/17/2014 Comments (112)


SAN FRANCISCO — Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has echoed demands from California political leaders that her bishop, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, cancel his attendance at the June 19 March for Marriage in Washington.

Archbishop Cordileone, the U.S. bishops’ point man on marriage, is scheduled to give an address at the March for Marriage, sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage. And in a June 16 statement responding to calls for him to drop out of the event, he made it clear that his pastoral office required him to attend.

Pelosi, the House minority leader, issued her request in a June 13 letter that was subsequently made available to the San Francisco...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop salvatore cordileone, catholic faith, catholic social teaching, human dignity, march for marriage, national organization for marriage, pope francis, publicly dissenting catholics, redefinition of marriage

Archbishop Gänswein: Thread of Diplomacy Links Popes Francis and Benedict (2949)

Apostolic journeys connect the two pontiffs.

06/17/2014 Comments (3)
CNA/Daniel Ibañez

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the papal household, speaks to the press June 5.

– CNA/Daniel Ibañez

ROME — The prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to Benedict XVI recounted how the current and previous popes are connected by their diplomacy during apostolic journeys.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein spoke at the June 5 conference “The Pope’s Journeys: Between Diplomacy and Communication,” held at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and noted what is common to Benedict XVI and Francis, even though their diplomacy has been interpreted according to their differing characters.

The conference was an occasion for presenting Sull’aereo di Papa Benedetto (The Plane of Pope Benedict), a recent work by Italian journalist Angela Ambrogetti, which gathers Benedict’s press...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop georg ganswein, cahtolic faith, pope emeritus benedict xvi, pope francis, the papacy

Bosnia Event Looks at Religious Violence in Light of World War I (1580)

The years of World War I kicked off an unprecedented era in violence against humanity.

06/17/2014 Comments (2)
CNA/Elise Harris

Speakers at the Oasis-sponsored conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia, June 16.

– CNA/Elise Harris

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — International leaders within the Catholic Church gathered in Sarajevo, Bosnia, to discuss the consequences of the First World War, particularly its effect on terrorism and religious violence.

Convened by Oasis, an international organization seeking to foster greater dialogue between Christian and Muslim communities, the June 16-17 conference holds the theme of “The Temptation of Violence: Religions Between War and Reconciliation.”

Commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of WWI in 1914, the conference is being held in Sarajevo as a reminder of where the war officially began with the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholics and muslims, genocide, human dignity, world war i

Does Pope Francis Support Conscious Evolution, Who Died and Made You Pope and Much More! (3722)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

06/17/2014 Comment

Follow Does Pope Francis Support Conscious Evolution? by Fr. Dwight Longenecker link to read more.

Does Pope Francis Support Conscious Evolution? by Fr. Dwight Longenecker - BigPulpit.com

Does the Bible Really Teach That Premarital Sex Is Wrong? - Matthew Olson, Answering Protestants

Who Died and Made You Pope? – Matthew Tyson, Ignitum Today

Incredible Strength at Only 58 Pounds – Maryann Gogniat Eidemiller, OSV Newsweekly

Pope Francis on Businessmen and Beggars – Don. R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

The (Second) Coming Biblical Backlash – Jeffrey Weiss, Aleteia

Evangelizing Jehovah’s Witnesses – Trent Horn, Catholic Answers

The Murder Of Merrie England - Stephen Brady, StAR

Why Saint Thomas Becket was Martyred – Randall B. Smith PhD, Crisis Magazine

Religious Liberty and...READ MORE

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