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Vatican Monastery Prepares for Benedict XVI’s Return Tomorrow (3272)

Since he resigned from the papacy on Feb. 28, the former pope has been living at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

05/01/2013 Comments (1)
File Photo/CNA

Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where Benedict XVI will retire to a life of prayer.

– File Photo/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican on May 2 by helicopter, coming back the same way he left just two months ago when he resigned as pope.

The return of a former pope is something that has no historical precedent, making everything new for the Vatican’s staff.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican’s Press Office, told Catholic News Agency April 30 that “there will be someone there to welcome Benedict XVI” but he is not yet sure who that will be.

The former pope will arrive by helicopter around 4:30 or 5pm and, after a brief greeting, will head to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, where he will live a life of prayer and meditation.

Since he resigned...READ MORE

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Critics Say Calif. Infertility Bill Violates Children’s Rights (2612)

The president of Catholics for the Common Good says the practice of creating children from sperm and egg donors has consequences and is an injustice to the child.

05/01/2013 Comments (9)
Wayne Hsieh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

California State Capitol

– Wayne Hsieh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California bill ensuring that health-care coverage for infertility treatments would be provided to same-sex couples is a violation of the basic human right for a mother and a father, critics charge.

“What we’re concerned about is sperm and egg donation in general, for the purpose of creating children,” Bill May, president of Catholics for the Common Good, told Catholic News Agency April 30.

He said the practice deprives these children of “knowing and being cared for by their mother or father or both. It’s a violation of a fundamental human right, and it needs to be stopped.”

The bill, AB-460, amends California statute to say that “coverage for the treatment of...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, contraception

Morning-After Pill to Be Made Available Over the Counter (2197)

Pharmacies and retailers with on-site pharmacies will have the drug on shelves, and those wishing to purchase it will have to provide proof of age.

05/01/2013 Comments (3)

WASHINGTON — On April 30, the Food and Drug Administration approved the over-the-counter sale of the morning-after pill Plan B One-Step to all women aged 15 and older.

Plan B One-Step is the name of the drug, made exclusively by Teva Women’s Health, Inc., which acts as an emergency contraceptive that reduces the possibility of pregnancy when taken up to three days after sexual intercourse. It is taken as a single-dose 1.5 mg tablet of levonorgestrel.

Pharmacies and retailers with on-site pharmacies will have the drug on shelves, and those wishing to purchase it will have to provide proof of age. Teva has agreed to have a security tag placed on all Plan B One-Step cartons to prevent...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, catholic

Iraqi Chaldean Catholic Family’s Anguished Exile (3329)

The displaced and persecuted Najib family’s travels have taken them from their ancestral home in Iraq to Syria and now Lebanon.

05/01/2013 Comments (5)
Simon Roughneen

Chaldean Catholic refugees Nohoud Najib (r) and her daughter Nour talk in their apartment in Beirut, Lebanon.

– Simon Roughneen

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A small and spartan apartment above the Mar Elias Church in East Beirut is Iraqi refugee Nohoud Najib’s latest temporary home, a place she hopes will be no more than a way station to resettlement in a Western country.

“We don’t mind where we go, so long as it is safe. Some want to be close to the diaspora, but, for us, that is second,” she says, speaking a decade after the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the subsequent toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime.

The optimism that accompanied the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, soon was drowned in the bloodletting and sectarian mass murders that ensued.

Though Iraq’s Shia Muslims felt the brunt of Sunni militant wrath to a...READ MORE

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SDG Reviews 'Iron Man 3' (13649)

Armored Avenger threequel is entertaining, but slapdash and unsatisfying

05/01/2013 Comments (30)
Walt Disney Pictures

– Walt Disney Pictures

Five years ago, Iron Man blasted into theaters, bringing a new sensibility and vitality to comic-book movies. Iron Man opened the door not only to a new franchise, but a whole universe of Marvel heroes, culminating in last summer’s triumphant mega-blockbuster The Avengers.

That’s a lot for Iron Man 3 — the first post-Avengers film in Marvel’s cinematic universe — to live up to. (The Amazing Spider-Man, which opened last July, doesn’t count, since it’s a Sony film outside Disney-owned Marvel continuity.)

At this point, there’s no doubt that Robert Downey Jr. is up to the challenge. His patented blend of self-deprecating arrogance and neurotic insouciance has made Tony Stark the most...READ MORE

Filed under gwyeth paltrow, movies, robert downey jr, sdg reviews, superheroes

Victory for the Ground Zero Cross (6743)

COMMENTARY

05/01/2013 Comments (9)
Wikipedia/Samuel Li

– Wikipedia/Samuel Li

Symbols matter. What we remember and how a society explains and understands tragedy is of crucial importance. A federal court has recently held that the government can acknowledge the importance of Christianity in reacting to Sept. 11 and that a cross can stand at Ground Zero.

As we have previously reported, Franciscan Father Brian Jordan was sued for violating the First Amendment for his efforts to preserve the so-called World Trade Center Cross. The cross — a cruciform piece of metal discovered in the ruins of the Twin Towers after Sept. 11, 2001 — quickly became for many a meaningful symbol of God’s presence among the wreckage. It has long been considered a historic artifact from the...READ MORE

Filed under 911, faith, religious liberty, sept. 11, 2001, terrorism, twin towers

Nerdy Affection, Franciscan Liturgical Art Can Inspire to Rebuild the Church and Much More! (3478)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

05/01/2013 Comment

Nerdy Affection. Follow the link by Christina Weber of the Catholic Stand website.

Nerdy Affection - Christina Weber, Catholic Stand

Franciscan Liturgical Art Can Inspire To Rebuild The Church – David Clayton, The Way of Beauty

The Most Offensive Anti-Catholic Story You’ll Read Today by Matt Archbold - Big Pulpit

Vatican Fresco Cleaning Reveals Images of Native Americans – Kathy Schiffer, Seasons of Grace

Why People With a Colorful Past Evangelize – Anabelle Hazard Esq, Ignitum Today

Bishop of Nottingham Celebrates Pontifical Mass – Gregor Kollmorgen, New Liturgical Movement

The Latest on Pope Francis - Big Pulpit

How the West has Become and Anti-Culture – Msgr. Charles Pope, Archdiocese of Washington

Kermit Gosnell and the Abortion Industry - Donald R....READ MORE

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Does Washington Care About the Persecution of Christians Around the World? (3705)

Part 2 of an interview with religious-freedom expert Nina Shea.

04/30/2013 Comments (5)

Over the past month, a rash of anti-Christian violence from Nigeria to Pakistan to Syria has highlighted the vulnerable status of this religious group. The U.S. bishops have spoken out on behalf of the beleaguered Christians of Iraq and advocated for U.S. aid for Syrian refugees fleeing a civil war that has featured an increase in violence against a Christian community with ancient roots. Further, the Arab Spring uprisings, which toppled secular autocratic regimes that generally tolerated religious minorities, mark a new and unpredictable era for U.S. foreign policy.

Nina Shea is a longtime expert on international religious-freedom issues. She is the co-author, with Paul Marshall and...READ MORE

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