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Hotel Chain Cuts Pornography TV Channels to Fight Human Trafficking (5848)

Committed to fighting the sex trade, billionaire Petter Stordalen said his hotel chain is making a stand against the scourge of smut.

09/06/2013 Comments (9)
George Hodan

– George Hodan

WASHINGTON — Citing connections to human trafficking, a major Scandinavian hotel chain has announced that it is eliminating pornography television channels from its hotel rooms.

“The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels doesn't support or condone this,” said Petter Stordalen, the owner of Nordic Hotels.

A Norwegian billionaire and philanthropist, Stordalen announced that he is removing pay-per-view pornography channels from his chain’s 171 Scandinavian hotels and replacing them with contemporary art.

He said he decided to stop selling the material after he started to...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Outlines Syria Peace Plan (24758)

The Holy See's six-point program outlines path to avoid additional bloodshed in the Middle-Eastern country.

09/06/2013 Comments (23)
usccb.org

– usccb.org

VATICAN CITY — In the latest move showing Pope Francis’ determination to prevent further bloodshed in Syria, the Holy Father has sent a letter to leaders of the G20 group of nations who are meeting in Russia, urging them “to lay aside the futile pursuit” of a military solution to the conflict and instead renew their commitment to dialogue and negotiation.

News of the Pope’s appeal came as the Vatican briefed the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See Sept. 5, during which the Holy See issued a rare and detailed six-point program for peace as an alternative to the use of violence.

In his Sept. 4 letter, addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is chairing this year’s G20...READ MORE

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Will Taxpayer Dollars Fund Congressional Abortions? (4895)

The U.S. Catholic bishops warn a new federal rule could subsidize abortions for congressional members and staff joining the new state health exchanges.

09/06/2013 Comments (14)
usccb.org

USCCB logo

– usccb.org

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Catholic bishops have expressed alarm that a proposed government regulation fails to make clear that laws banning federal funding of abortion will be respected in congressional health-care plans.

The new rule proposed by the federal government makes no “mention of any limitation with respect to abortion coverage” for members of Congress and their staff, stated a letter from representatives of the U.S. bishops to the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Existing laws require that no federal funds be used to purchase health-care plans that cover abortions for congressional members or staff, except in the cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the...READ MORE

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The Bell Tolls One Last Chance for St. Ann’s Church (6406)

Slated for demolition, a 19th-century neo-Gothic church gets an 11th-hour reprieve, but time is running out to find a new buyer.

09/06/2013 Comments (18)
Martin Ederer

– Martin Ederer

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The soaring neo-Gothic edifice of St. Ann’s Church — deemed too expensive to be repaired, and too unsafe to let stand by the Buffalo Diocese — has found an 11th-hour reprieve from the wrecking ball, thanks to the efforts of a devoted group of parishioners.

But time is running out for St. Ann’s, as diocesan officials and local preservationists try to find a developer that will save this city’s icon of immigrant faith from destruction.

Built by German immigrants in 1886, St. Ann’s ranks among Buffalo’s most beautiful churches. The church reflects the Gothic beauty of churches from immigrants’ native Germany, with towers that once stood 200-feet tall, high vaulted...READ MORE

Filed under bishop richard malone, catholic architecture, catholic church, church finances, diocese of buffalo, n.y., stewardship

Vatican Peace Vigil Will Be Biggest in Decades (6007)

Tomorrow’s vigil in St. Peter’s Square for peace in Syria will be a response to Pope Francis’ appeal for a global day of prayer and fasting.

09/06/2013 Comments (4)
Vatican Radio/Facebook

Pope Francis delivers his Sept. 1 Angelus remarks, during which he called for a day of global prayer and fasting on Sept. 7 for peace in Syria.

– Vatican Radio/Facebook

VATICAN CITY — A five-hour prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square for peace in Syria, initiated by Pope Francis and to be held this Saturday, will be the largest the Vatican has seen in years, according to the Holy See’s press director.

“I’ve been here for 23 years, and I remember gatherings for peace in Assisi, but I don’t remember anything with this dimension in St. Peter’s Square,” Father Federico Lombardi told a gathering of journalists Sept. 5.

He recalled a peace gathering in Italy and prayer vigils held after the Sept. 11 attacks, but none were of the degree that this will be, he said.

Pope Francis made a global petition on Sept. 1 asking that everyone, regardless of religion or...READ MORE

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10 Ways to Put MegaChurches Out of Business; Pope: Day of Fasting, Prayer for Syria and Much More! (5360)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

09/06/2013 Comments (3)

10 Ways to Put MegaChurches Out of Business. Follow the link by Dr. Taylor Marshall to read more.

10 Ways to Put MegaChurches Out of Business by Dr. Taylor Marshall - BigPulpit.com

Pope Francis: Day of Fasting and Prayer For Syria - Kate Edwards, Australia Incognita

Top Ten Reasons Syria Differs From Iraq - Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Football: More Than Just a Game - Rachel Lu, Crisis Magazine

White House Spokesman Spokesman Jokes about Islamic Attacks on Christians - Matthew Archbold, Creative Minority Report

Pope Benedict XVI Cured My Cancer - Marco Tosatti, Vatican Insider

5 Fallacies You Need to Know! - Matt Fradd, Catholic Answers

Franciscan Friars: Catalysts of Conversion - 21 Century Pilgrim

On Pride, Something Jesus told St. Catherine of Siena...READ MORE

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Priest-Martyr Vladimir Ghika Continues to Inspire Romania’s Catholics (7787)

The beloved Romanian monsignor, who died in prison in 1954 following two years of torture, was beatified Aug. 31 in Bucharest.

09/05/2013 Comments (6)
Anton Balint, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest

Blessed Vladimir Ghika

– Anton Balint, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest

BUCHAREST, Romania — The life of a saint can be part parable, part thriller and, often, part nightmare — but always 100% inspiration.

A beloved Romanian priest, Vladimir Ghika, was beatified Aug. 31 before 10,000 people at a Mass in Bucharest celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, together with Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris, Romania’s sole cardinal, Lucian Muresan, and more than 200 other priests and bishops.  

Msgr. Ghika’s sacred story reads like a novel with a tragic ending. 

Descended from French and Romanian nobility, Ghika was born on Christmas in 1873 in Constantinople, where his father was serving as...READ MORE

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Bringing the Gospel to the Burgeoning Catholic Latino Population in the U.S. (7571)

In person interview with Diana Richardson Vela, president of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders

09/05/2013 Comments (7)

Diana Richardson Vela is the president of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL), which seeks to form Latino leaders in their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, engaging them to work with their local bishops in reaching out to the Latino community. 

Vela previously served as the executive director of Guadalupe Radio, the first Catholic radio station in the Los Angeles area, and she has been a board member of the Right to Life League of Southern California. She and her husband, Rodrigo, now lead the Phoenix Chapter of CALL, and they have one child.

Vela was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, by her American mother and Mexican father, and she graduated from...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church in the united states, catholic faith, immigration, jesus christ, our lady of guadalupe, pope francis, u.s. conference of catholic bishops

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