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Pope Francis Urges U.N. Intervention in Iraq (1802)

In a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Pope appealed ‘to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now under way.’

08/13/2014 Comments (1)
Aid to the Church in Need

A young Christian refugee

– Aid to the Church in Need

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis called the United Nations to act to end the humanitarian tragedy now under way in Iraq in a letter dated Saturday and delivered Wednesday to its secretary general, Ban Ki-moon.

The letter is the latest of the Pope’s interventions to stop the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.

In Aug. 9 letter, Pope Francis writes that he has been following “the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq” with “heavy and anguished heart.”

There, the Pope said, “Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony.”

The militant...READ MORE

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Survey: Christian Supporters of Same-Sex Unions Show Other Moral Divisions (9304)

Sociologist Mark Regnerus suggested that the sexual morality of many churchgoing Christians ‘shifted years ago.’

08/13/2014 Comments (113)

Mark Regnerus

AUSTIN, Texas — Churchgoing Christians who support “gay marriage” are more likely to approve of commitment-free sexual relations, pornography, adultery, polyamory and abortion than other churchgoers, says one researcher who calls the differences a “massive divide.”

“At a glance, there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage,” University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus wrote in an Aug. 11 essay at the Public Discourse.

“More than seven times as many of the latter think pornography is okay. Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are okay with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, christianity in the united states, human dignity, human sexuality, polyamory, pornoography, redefinition of marriage, same-sex attraction, sociology

Franciscans Determined to Keep Christianity in Holy Land (4481)

There are about 150,000 Christians in the Holy Land. Christians in Gaza now number about 2,500.

08/13/2014 Comments (1)
CNA/Marianne Medlin

Votive candles in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

– CNA/Marianne Medlin

JERUSALEM — Despite the stresses of alternating violence and cease-fires between Hamas and Israel, Franciscans in the Holy Land are committed to helping the region’s Christians remain in their homeland.

“We pray, and we work,” said Franciscan Father Peter Vasko, president of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land. “That’s how we will help preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land. That’s our goal.”

Since 1994, the foundation has run humanitarian programs in education, child care, housing and employment to help Christians remain in the Holy Land, despite pressures like discrimination and violence that encourage them to leave.

There are about 150,000 Christians in the Holy...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, christianity, franciscans, gaza, hamas, holy land, islam, israel

Knights of Columbus Will Match Donations to Aid Persecuted Iraqis (4576)

The Catholic fraternal organization has made an initial donation of $500,000 and will match another $500,000 in donations from the public.

08/13/2014 Comments (2)

A young refugee rests after having fled from ISIS and arriving in Ankawa in the northern part of Erbil, Iraq.

– ankawa.com

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Knights of Columbus has established a matching fund to assist Christians and other religious minorities facing severe persecution or displacement in Iraq and nearby countries.

“The unprovoked and systematic persecution and violent elimination of Middle East Christians, as well as other minority groups, especially in Iraq, has created an enormous humanitarian crisis,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said Aug. 12.

“It has shocked the conscience of the world that people are systematically being purged from the region where their families have lived for millennia simply for their faith,” Anderson continued.

“It is imperative that we stand in solidarity with them in...READ MORE

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Death Penalty Suspended in Ohio as Lethal Drugs Questioned (1931)

Courts will examine the use of lethal injections using a two-drug combination, a technique that took 26 minutes to execute a man in January.

08/13/2014 Comments (2)
CACorrections via Wikimedia

The lethal injection room at San Quentin State Prison, completed in 2010.

– CACorrections via Wikimedia

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following the controversial botched execution of an inmate in Ohio, using a new lethal-injection mixture, a federal judge has decided to halt executions in the state until January 2015.

The ruling, issued by U.S. district Judge Gregory Frost, extends an existing moratorium on executions, which had been set to expire on Aug. 15. The death penalty will now be put on hold until Jan. 15, 2015, as courts examine the use of a two-drug combination for lethal injections.

The ruling will delay four executions scheduled for later this year.

In May, Judge Frost suspended the death penalty until further review in August, following the execution of Dennis McGuire.

McGuire’s...READ MORE

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Spiritual Warfare: Why We Are Losing; Christian Genocide in Iraq; Beauty After Death and Much More! (3325)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

08/13/2014 Comment

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Pope Francis Grants Live Radio Interview to Argentinean Station (1441)

In the 20-minute interview, the Pope encouraged young people to respond to God’s call to selfless love through their vocations to religious or family life.

08/12/2014 Comment
Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

– Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In a 20-minute live interview on an Argentinean radio station on Aug. 8, Pope Francis encouraged young people to fearlessly answer God’s call to selfless love through a vocation.

“Each person has a role; each person has a job to do, a vocation,” the Pope said. “Pray that God sends workers to the harvest, that he sends shepherds.”

“Young people who feel the call of Jesus should not be afraid,” he continued, explaining that life is “not for achieving gains. Life is for giving it away.”

“If someone is feeling that God is asking him to give his life in the priesthood, he should not be afraid. We need to gamble on big things, not on little ones. And if he feels that Jesus is...READ MORE

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Alliance Defending Freedom: First Amendment Protects School Choice (2296)

The religious-freedom-defending legal organization has filed a brief in a Colorado lawsuit involving the Diocese of Colorado Springs and a number of Christian schools and universities.

08/12/2014 Comment
Diocese of Arlington

– Diocese of Arlington

DENVER — Faith-based schools should not be excluded from Colorado’s educational-choice programs, according to a brief filed by attorneys in a case that is due to be heard by the state Supreme Court.

“School districts have a responsibility to provide the best educational choices for parents and their children without discriminating against religious options,” commented Gregory Baylor, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, in an Aug. 5 statement.

Baylor affirmed that religious schools in Colorado “provide an excellent education that meets all state standards. They should continue to be welcomed into programs like this one so that students, the community and the government will all...READ MORE

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