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Pope Francis Issues Urgent Appeal for Iraqi Christians (4612)

In an Aug. 7 Vatican statement, the Holy Father called for worldwide efforts to assist those affected by increasing violence.

08/07/2014 Comments (6)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

VATICAN CITY— As Iraq’s largest Christian city fell into the hands of the Islamic State (IS), Pope Francis issued an urgent appeal asking for peace and called for worldwide efforts to assist those affected by increasing violence.

“In light of the very distressing events, the Holy Father renews his spiritual closeness to the many who are experiencing this extremely painful trial,” an Aug. 7 statement from the Vatican read.

“He joins with the heartfelt appeals of the local bishops, asking, together with them and for their troubled communities, that a chorus of incessant prayer may rise from the whole Church to invoke the Holy Spirit for the gift of peace.”

Going on, the statement also...READ MORE

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‘American Dream’ Ends in Deportation for Honduran Moms (1953)

A dangerous month-long journey to the U.S. ends with a swift return to extreme poverty, drug-related conflict and the terror of gang violence.

08/07/2014 Comments (7)
Johanna Kattán/Semanario Fides

A mother holds her child after being deported from the United States back to Honduras.

– Johanna Kattán/Semanario Fides

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Angelica Galvez set off this summer on a grueling, one-month journey to the U.S., fleeing economic hardship in violence-ridden Honduras and seeking a better life for her 6-year-old daughter.

“We traveled by train; we had to sleep on a hill and even beg for money,” she told local Catholic weekly newspaper Fides.

The young mother’s hopes were cut short, however, once she reached El Paso, Texas. She was detained on June 28 for several weeks and later deported, along with seven other women and 22 children.

For Angelica, a journey of 30 days to the U.S. ultimately led to a four-hour flight back to her home country, where drug-related conflict has ripped apart the...READ MORE

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Alabama Governor Disappointed His Abortion-Regulation Law Was Struck Down (2235)

Judge ruled against 2013 law requiring doctors who perform abortion procedures to have hospital admitting privileges.

08/07/2014 Comment

– Wikipedia

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Robert Bentley, Alabama's governor and a trained physician, has expressed disappointment that a law he signed last year requiring abortionists in the state to have hospital admitting privileges was struck down by a federal judge.

“We are extremely disappointed by today’s ruling,” Bentley stated on Aug. 4.

“As a doctor, I firmly believe that medical procedures, including abortions, performed in Alabama should be done in the safest manner possible,” he said, explaining that the law in question “ensures that if a complication arises there is continuity of treatment between doctor and patient.”

“This ruling significantly diminishes those important protections,” he...READ MORE

Filed under abortion regulations, alabama, pro-life laws

Thai Surrogacy Scandal: The Difference Between Begotten and Made (10460)


08/07/2014 Comments (28)
Apichart Weerawong/AP photo

Pattaramon Chanbua, right, kisses her baby boy Gammy at a hospital in Chonburi province, southeastern Thailand, on Aug. 3.

– Apichart Weerawong/AP photo

A surrogacy story has recently made headlines all over the world: David and Wendy Farnell, an Australian couple, contracted with a Thai woman, Pattharamon Janbua, to carry their in vitro fertilization (IVF)-created embryos. Pattharamon gave birth to twins, a boy with Down syndrome and a girl. The Farnells took the girl home to Australia and left the boy, named Gammy, in Thailand.

The Farnells say that they were told that Gammy was going to die, so they left him behind. It is telling that nowhere in the couple’s statements do they mention going back to get him. Pattharamon is now committed to raising Gammy as a part of her family. In an ominous twist to an already tragic predicament, David...READ MORE

Filed under bioethics, catholic church, church teaching, down syndrome, gammy, ivf, rebecca taylor, surrogacy, thai woman, thailand

A 21st Century Knight, a Model of Chivalry; The Pope Francis Effect on Vatican Media and Much More! (3236)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

08/07/2014 Comment

Follow the A 21st Century Knight, a Model of Chivalry by David Clayton link to read more.

A 21st Century Knight, a Model of Chivalry by David Clayton - BigPulpit.com

The ‘Pope Francis Effect’ on Vatican Media – Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture

A Father’s Blessing for a Girls Vocation – Lisa Shefferly-Gillay, Catholic Stand

Book Review: “7 Secrets of the Eucharist” by Vinny Flynn – Quartermaster of the Barque

When Priest Confessor Doesn’t Use Proper Form of Absolution via Fr. Z's Blog - BigPulpit.com

Spiritual Director or Shrink? How to Discern? – Fr. John Bartunek LC ThD, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

Heaven Is For Children – Victor Ajluni MD, Catholic Stand

Former ‘Guardian’ of Vatican Artworks Dies at 85 – Carol Glatz, The Catholic Herald

Choosing the Better Part –...READ MORE

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Obama Silent as ISIS Gains Ground and Iraqi Christians’ Hopes Fade (14400)

As Iraq’s religious minorities face a humanitarian crisis, their advocates in Washington say the Obama administration must provide a blueprint for relief, protection and resettlement.

08/06/2014 Comments (53)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A displaced Iraqi Christian displays a tattoo of Christ on the cross in late June at St. Joseph’s Church in Erbil, Iraq.

– Spencer Platt/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Over the past weekend, jihadist fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — known as ISIS, ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and most recently as IS (Islamic State) — fresh from their brutal expulsion of Christians from Mosul, swept into several northern Iraqi towns, including two with a large community of Yazidis, another religious minority with ancient roots.   

Before the close of the weekend, an estimated 200,000 Yazidis had left their homes in Sinjar for the mountains with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and a smaller group of Christians were also on the move, victims of the militants’ policy of religious cleansing.

The Washington Post has since...READ MORE

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Pope Discusses Mercy of God and Transfiguration of Jesus (3744)

In first general audience after his summer break, the Holy Father reflected on the beatitudes and Aug. 6 feast.

08/06/2014 Comment

Raphael's Transfiguration

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY -- In his first general audience since June, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Church, explaining that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament by giving a new teaching on mercy in the beatitudes.

“At the heart of the New Covenant is our realization that, in Christ, we are embraced by God’s mercy and compassion and that our lives must bear witness to his love for all our brothers and sisters,” the Holy Father stated in his Aug. 6 general audience.

Beginning a catechesis on the Church shortly before breaking for the summer, Pope Francis continued this line of reflection with those gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“Prepared for in the Old Testament and established by...READ MORE

Filed under beatitudes, mercy, jesus, transfiguration

Cardinal O’Malley Criticizes New Massachusetts Buffer-Zone Law (1946)

The Boston archbishop said the state Legislature ‘acted with unseemly haste’ in passing legislation that could restrict the activities of pro-life counselors outside of abortion facilities.

08/06/2014 Comments (6)
Stephen Driscoll/CNA

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston

– Stephen Driscoll/CNA

BOSTON — Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has criticized a new Massachusetts law re-establishing buffer zones around abortion businesses after the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down the old law.

In an Aug. 1 statement, the cardinal warned that “the effect, again, is to make it very difficult for citizens seeking to offer alternatives to women contemplating an abortion.”

The law would forbid anyone from “substantially impeding” access to an abortion facility. If this occurred, police could issue a dispersal order and place the protesters 25 feet away from the entrance or driveway of the building.

After the old “buffer zone” law forbade sidewalk counseling within 35 feet of an...READ MORE

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