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Pope Francis Sets Busy Slate for 2014 (7995)

The Holy Father’s agenda includes a trip to the Holy Land, the canonization of two of his predecessors and a consistory to create new cardinals.

01/07/2014 Comments (8)
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Francis celebrates Mass Jan. 6 at St. Peter's Basilica.

– Franco Origlia/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY —  Pope Francis has a packed agenda for 2014, including a consistory to create new cardinals, a trip to the Holy Land and the canonizations of Blessed Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.

The papal year begins, as usual, with a distinctly international emphasis, when the Holy Father gives his annual “survey of the world” to diplomats from 180 countries accredited to the Holy See.

Many of the concerns he raised in his address and blessing urbi et orbi (to the city of Rome and the world) on Christmas Day will figure highly in the Jan. 13 address, in particular the conflict in Syria and the current peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. Francis is also expected to...READ MORE

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The Crusades: Urban Legends & Truth; Hidden Medieval Manuscripts Found by New Tech and More! (5307)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/07/2014 Comment

The Crusades: Urban Legends & Truth. Follow the link by Doug Beaumont of Strange Notions to read more.

The Crusades: Urban Legends & Truth by Doug Beaumont of Strange Notions - BigPulpit.com

Bible Study: Wisdom 14:22-31; History Repeating Itself – Teófilo de Jesús, Vivificat

Treason, Good Catholic Historical Fiction – Devin Rose, Ignitum Today

Hidden Medieval Manuscripts Found by New Tech – Thomas L. McDonald, God and the Machine

Vatican Hires Pro-Homosexual P. R. Firm – The Motley Monk, The American Catholic

Hatred of Nature: Hatred of Sex - Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine

Reincarnation & Human Dignity – Fr. John Bartunek LC, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

Taking a “People First” Approach to Same-Sex Attraction – Joe Heschmeyer, Shameless Popery

A Catholic Priest...READ MORE

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Reported Papal Limit on ‘Monsignor’ Could Be Return to Older Tradition (5461)

Professor James Hitchcock says the title was intended to be awarded only to senior priests who were believed to be qualified to serve as bishops.

01/06/2014 Comments (3)
Wikimedia Commons

Generic coat of arms of a chaplain of His Holiness

– Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN CITY — Commenting on Pope Francis allegedly restricting the honorary title of “monsignor” to priests over the age of 65, one historian has suggested that the move could be a return to traditional practice.

On Jan. 4, the Italian daily La Stampa reported that, “henceforth, the only pontifical honor that will be conferred on ‘secular priests’ will be that of ‘Chaplain to His Holiness,’ and this will be conferred only on ‘worthy priests’ who are over 65 years of age.”

James Hitchcock, professor emeritus of history at St. Louis University, told CNA/EWTN News Jan. 6 that the honorary title had been one given “almost always to senior priests, very few in number.”

“It meant, in...READ MORE

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Why Christians Are Crucial to the Middle East’s Future (5560)

Religious freedom expert Thomas Farr says protection of persecuted Christian communities is key to stability and development of the war-torn region.

01/06/2014 Comment

Thomas Farr is the director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center and a visiting associate professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. A former American diplomat, he is a leading authority on international religious freedom.

In December, the Religious Freedom Project hosted a Rome-based conference titled "Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives."

"From Cairo and Damascus to Tehran and Beijing, religious freedom is under siege. Ironically, it is Christianity — a faith that contributed decisively to the rise of religious liberty — that now finds itself...READ MORE

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Archbishop Chaput Calls Contribution to Controversial Philly Priest’s Bail ‘Just’ (1792)

Philadelphia’s shepherd said that Msgr. Lynn is still prohibited from functioning publicly as a priest and that the archdiocese will continue to wipe out any possibility of sexual abuse from its personnel.

01/06/2014 Comments (4)
File photo/CNA.

Archbishop Charles Chaput.

– File photo/CNA.

PHILADELPHIA — Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has explained his decision to provide 10% of the bail money for Msgr. William Lynn, whose conviction for child endangerment was overturned last week.

Msgr. Lynn was secretary of clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese from 1992 to 2004 under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. The priest was convicted in 2012 on one count of child endangerment for failing to protect children from a sexually abusive priest.

That conviction was unanimously overturned Dec. 26, 2013, by Pennsylvania's appellate court as “fundamentally flawed.” [See the Register’s story for details.]

He was released Jan. 2, after serving 18 months in prison, on $250,000...READ MORE

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Little Sisters’ Case Reflects Administration’s Bully Tactics (10695)


01/06/2014 Comments (45)

– littlesistersofthepoor.org

Just sign on the dotted line, Sister; it’s just a piece of paper. Don’t worry about your faith.

That’s the position the government has put the Little Sisters of the Poor in, because it is enforcing the HHS contraceptive mandate against an order of nuns that provides free health care for the aged. The government has threatened the order with substantial fines if they don’t comply, which could cripple their ability to continue to help the poor.

In a moment of clarity, Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stayed the imposition of the mandate against the religious sisters Dec. 31, giving the U.S. Justice Department a deadline of 10am Jan. 3 to respond. At deadline, the Justice...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Journey of the Magi Symbolizes Humanity’s ‘Destiny’ (2946)

In following one star’s light to Bethlehem, the Holy Father said, the Wise Men were really seeking the ‘great Light of Christ.’

01/06/2014 Comments (1)
Kyle Burkhart/CNA

The Magi ride through St. Peter's Square during a parade held after Pope Francis' Jan. 6 Mass for the feast of the Epiphany.

– Kyle Burkhart/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In his homily for the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis described how our lives are a continuous search to encounter “the Light” of Jesus, urging that we be “cunning” in our defense against darkness.

“The destiny of every person is symbolized in this journey of the Magi of the East,” the Pope said in his Jan. 6 homily. “Our life is a journey, illuminated by the lights which brighten our way, to find the fullness of truth and of love, which we Christians recognize in Jesus, the Light of the World.”

Addressing those gathered inside of St. Peter’s Basilica for the special Mass celebrating the solemnity, Pope Francis stated that, in “following a light,” the Three Kings...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Announces Pilgrimage to Holy Land (2289)

The announcement of the pilgrimage, which will take place May 24-26, was made on the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s historic Holy Land pilgrimage.

01/06/2014 Comments (2)
Wikimedia Commons

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

– Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has announced that he will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this coming May to mark a key moment in Catholic and Orthodox Christian relations.

“In this atmosphere of joy, typical of this Christmastime, I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 (of) next May, God willing, I will carry out a pilgrimage in the Holy Land,” he said after the Jan. 5 Sunday Angelus to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis will meet with the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, during his May pilgrimage. Along with representatives of “all the Christian Churches of Jerusalem,” the two leaders will celebrate an ecumenical meeting at the site of the Holy...READ MORE

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