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Bangladesh Bishop Calls for Peace Amid Pre-Election Violence (1396)

Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario described a climate of ‘hatred’ in an interview the day after Christmas.

01/03/2014 Comment

DHAKA, Bangladesh — As Bangladesh experiences widespread strikes and violent protests in the run-up to its parliamentary elections, the bishop of the nation's capital is encouraging a peaceful contribution from local Christians.

“The situation is very tense. For months, we have been experiencing strikes, blockades, violent conflict, terrorist attacks, arson and hatred here in Bangladesh. There have been deaths, and hundreds of people have been injured,” Archbishop Patrick D'Rozario of Dhaka told the charity Aid to the Church in Need in a Dec. 26 interview.

“I am asking all Christians in the country and elsewhere to pray for peace and reconciliation in Bangladesh. … Our prayers are not...READ MORE

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California Community Grieves Loss of Murdered Pastor (14693)

Police have made an arrest in the case of Father Eric Freed, who was found in his rectory on New Year’s Day.

01/03/2014 Comments (38)

Father Eric Freed

– saintbernards.org

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The people of Humboldt County, located on California’s north coast, are grieving the loss of Father Eric Freed, a “wonderful” pastor, who was murdered early on New Year’s Day.

“Amid sadness, anger and disbelief, we would like to give thanks to God for tremendously blessing the parishioners of St. Bernard’s Catholic parish with Father Eric Freed. Though his life on earth was unfairly taken away, we remember that the greatest gift of all cannot be taken, which is eternal life with God,” Laura Martinez, a parishioner at Father Freed’s St. Bernard parish in Eureka, Calif., wrote on the parish’s website.

“May the Lord rest his soul. This tragedy reminds us how fragile...READ MORE

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Vatican to Propose Syrian Cease-Fire at Jan. 13 Meeting (3063)

The Vatican official hosting the meeting says a cease-fire is vital to facilitate humanitarian aid and to halt the persecution of Christians.

01/03/2014 Comments (1)
Wikimedia Commons

Bombed-out vehicles in the city of Aleppo during the Syrian civil war

– Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is to propose an urgent cease-fire in Syria at a Vatican-hosted meeting of diplomats and foreign-policy experts later this month.

In an interview with Vatican Radio Jan. 2, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that is holding the Jan. 13 meeting, said a cessation of hostilities was vital “in order to allow humanitarian aid, to create humanitarian corridors that at the moment don’t exist, and the cessation of persecution against Christians and so-called interreligious martyrdom.”

Syria’s Christians fear they are being targeted systematically by Islamist rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, and there...READ MORE

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A True Story of an Angel's Visit, The 4 Best Beards in the History of Christendom and More! (4423)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/03/2014 Comment

A True Story of an Angel’s Visit. Follow the link by Jennifer Wing Atencio to read more.

A True Story of an Angel’s Visit by Jennifer Wing Atencio - BigPulpit.com

The 4 Best Beards in the History of Christendom – Melissa Keating, Focus Blog

Our Anniversary Mathematical Miracle – Stacy Trasancos PhD

The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity – Fr. John A. Hardon SJ, Ignatius Insight Scoop

The Common Core: A Train Wreck Coming for Catholic Schools – The Motley Monk, The American Catholic

5 Ways to Maintain Hope - Marge Fenelon, Catholic Lane

Pope Francis Calls for Third Vatican Council by Siobhan Benitez of Ignitum Today - BigPulpit.com

Interview with Catholic Architect & Professor Duncan Stroik – Aleteia

Desolation of Peter Jackson - God & Caesar


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The Six-Million-Person Pope (2210)

That’s the number of people who attended Pope Francis’ Vatican events in 2013.

01/02/2014 Comments (3)

Crowd of pilgrims assembled in St. Peter's Square to hear Pope Francis' Jan. 1 Angelus prayers.


VATICAN CITY — More than 6.6 million people have taken part in events with Pope Francis at the Vatican since his election to the papacy, the Prefecture of the Papal Household has estimated.

In the nine months since Pope Francis’ March 13 election, more than 2.7 million people have attended the Pope’s Angelus and Regina Coeli prayers. About 2.3 million have attended liturgical celebrations in St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square. Some 1.5 million people have attended Pope Francis’ general audiences, while 87,400 have attended private audiences with the Pope.

The figures only concern activities at the Vatican and are approximations based on the number of requests to participate...READ MORE

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Rep. Chris Smith Targets ‘Big Three Obamacare Abortion Lies’ (6190)

The co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus details how the Affordable Care Act is not compatible with federal prohibitions against abortion funding.

01/02/2014 Comments (10)
Wikimedia Commons

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.

– Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — Two days before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., pointed out what he called the “Big Three Obamacare Abortion Lies of the Year.”

Despite the Obama administration’s assertions that the health-care law is compatible with federal prohibitions against abortion funding, Smith said the Affordable Care Act violates the Hyde Amendment, forces consumers to pay abortion surcharges for their health-insurance coverage, and makes it nearly impossible for people to find out what plans cover abortion.

“Abortion isn’t health care — it kills babies and harms women,” said Smith, who is the co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus,...READ MORE

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Father Coughed So I Didn't Go to Communion; An Irish Romance; God Is The Artist and Much More! (2571)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/02/2014 Comment

Ask Father: Father Coughed So I Didn’t Go to Communion. Follow the link from Fr. Z's Blog to read more.

Ask Father: Father Coughed So I Didn’t Go to Communion from Fr. Z's Blog - BigPulpit.com

An Irish Romance – Tracy O’Dwyer, Regina Magazine

God Is The Artist - Mariella Hunt, Ignitum Today

3 Resources to Help Teach Chastity to Your Kids – Matt Fradd

Make the Sign of the Cross & Go In! - Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Family Breakdown Should be a Concern to Us All – Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith, The Catholic Herald

The Books We Preach By – Br. Henry Stephen OP, Dominicana

Musician & Pilgrim: Matt Maher Interview – Bonnie Engstrom, Reading Catholic

Vibrant Isn’t About Busy: Organizing Parish Life for Discipleship – Colleen R. Vermeulen, Homiletic & Pastoral Review


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Pope Francis: Quality of Life in Rome ‘Depends on All of Us’ (2983)

The Holy Father noted that Rome is a place where the ‘majestic environment’ of artistic beauty contrasts strongly with the ‘social hardships’ faced by many.

01/02/2014 Comments (2)
Elise Harris/CNA

– Elise Harris/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In his homily during evening prayer on New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis focused on the theme of time well spent and urged the citizens of Rome to better their city in the upcoming year.

“It is the last day of the year. What will we do, how will we act, next year to make our city a little better?” he asked the congregation gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 31 in anticipation of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

Thinking of “this city of Rome,” he said, “what has happened this year? What is happening, and what will happen? How is the quality of life in this city? It depends on all of us.”

“The face of a city is like a mosaic whose pieces are all the people who...READ MORE

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