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Amid Increased Persecution, Christianity Growing in ‘Global South’ (5001)

A representative from the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimated that one in five Christians currently live in countries where they are likely to be persecuted.

12/06/2013 Comments (2)
CNA/Aid to the Church in Need

Anti-Christian slogans on St. Cyril Church in Cairo in August.

– CNA/Aid to the Church in Need

WASHINGTON — Researchers say the Christian population is growing in regions that experience anti-Christian persecution, though this threatens their ability to contribute to societies.

“Persecution is growing because Christianity is growing in the places where people are persecuted,” said Todd Johnson of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Speaking during a Dec. 5 media call, he characterized anti-Christian persecution as “growing fast.” His research estimates that one in five Christians, 500 million people, currently live in countries where Christians are likely to be persecuted. By 2020, their numbers are expected to rise to 600...READ MORE

Filed under africa, asia, catholic faith, christian persecution, jesus christ, middle east, perseverence amid trial, south america

Asian Bishops Encourage Bible-Inspired Apostolates (2345)

‘Crossing the Borders: Renewed Biblical Apostolate’ is a seminar that is going on through Dec. 7 in the Thai city of Pattaya.

12/06/2013 Comments (1)
CNA/Antonio Gonsalves

Asian bishops' federation's 2013 biblical seminar in Thailand

– CNA/Antonio Gonsalves

PATTAYA, Thailand — The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences is hosting a seminar on apostolates inspired by the Bible and the New Evangelization this weekend, drawing clerics, religious and laity from across the continent.

“The main crux is to reawaken the missionary challenge of the word,” Father Jacob Theckanath, executive director of the bishops' conference, told CNA, explaining “Crossing the Borders: Renewed Biblical Apostolate,” being held Dec. 5-7 in the Thai city of Pattaya, located 90 miles southeast of Bangkok.

The seminar marks the release of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) on  the New Evangelization; Father Alberto Rossa,...READ MORE

Filed under apostolate, asian bishops' conference, bible literacy, catholic faith, evangelii gaudium, jesus christ, new evangelization, pope benedict xvi, pope francis, verbum domini

Pope Francis Creates Commission on Sexual Abuse (4333)

The Holy Father’s advisory group of cardinals recommended the move at its Dec. 5 meeting.

12/06/2013 Comments (10)

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston addresses a Dec. 5 press conference in the Vatican.


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has agreed to the creation of a special commission for the protection of children from sexual abuse.

The Holy Father’s decision to set up the new body came in response to a suggestion from the eight-member council of cardinals who concluded a three-day meeting at the Vatican Dec. 5.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the council, told reporters this afternoon that the creation of the commission continues “decisively along the lines undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI.”

The new body for the protection of minors will have the aim of “advising Pope Francis on the Holy See’s commitment to the protection of children and in pastoral care for victims of...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Create Commission on Sex Abuse of Minors, Ex-Anglicans Leaving the Ghetto and More! (3448)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/06/2013 Comment

Pope Francis to Create Commission on Sex Abuse of Minors. Follow the link to read more.

Pope Francis to Create Commission on Sex Abuse of Minors – BigPulpit.com

Ex-Anglicans Break Out of the Ghetto – William Oddie PhD, The Catholic Herald

Science Was Born of Christianity: Why It Matters? – Stacy Trasancos PhD

Historic, Beautiful, Catholic: Savannah, Georgia – Amy Proctor, Regina Magazine

Reflections on Generosity – Cristina Montes, Ignitum Today

The Ongoing Saga of “the Hermeneutic of Continuity” - Peter Kwasniewski, New Liturgical Movement

Down Argentine Way – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

A Case for Child Solitude - Rick Becker, Catholic Exchange

Cardinal Dolan, Can You Please Clarify? – Christ Ricketts, Ignitum Today

Down the Ladder of...READ MORE

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Notre Dame, Focus Lawsuits Challenge HHS Contraception Mandate (2704)

Notre Dame’s president warned that the government forcing religious institutions to violate their beliefs would mark 'the end of genuinely religious organizations.'

12/05/2013 Comments (3)
Kahunapule Michael Johnson via Flickr

The University of Notre Dame

– Kahunapule Michael Johnson via Flickr

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Lawsuits from the University of Notre Dame and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (Focus) are challenging the HHS mandate for forcing them to violate Catholic teaching or face crippling fines.

Notre Dame’s president, Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, said the university’s lawsuit is about the freedom to “live out a religious mission” with broader significance than a debate about contraception.

“For if we concede that the government can decide which religious organizations are sufficiently religious to be awarded the freedom to follow the principles that define their mission, then we have begun to walk down a path that ultimately will undermine those...READ MORE

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Advent and Christmas 2013 at the Vatican (4970)

Pope Francis will continue the liturgical traditions established by his papal predecessors.

12/05/2013 Comments (3)
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State, participating with two children at a Dec. 2 benefit concert at the Vatican for the Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital.

– Franco Origlia/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ first Advent and Christmas at the Vatican look set to be much like his predecessors,’ but with the possibility of a few surprises.

As in previous years, it will be liturgically intense, with no clear change in custom.

According to the liturgical schedule published Nov. 28 by Msgr. Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, Pope Francis will begin the Christmas season in the usual way by celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on Dec. 8 at Rome’s Spanish Steps, where he will pray before an image of the Blessed Mother.

On Dec. 21, the Pope will visit the Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital in Rome. Announcing the visit at a...READ MORE

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Legion of Christ Acknowledges Abuse Committed at Connecticut Seminary (7071)

The sexual abuse of a minor by Legionary Father William Izquierdo occurred while he served as instructor of novices in Cheshire, Conn., between 1982 and 1994.

12/05/2013 Comments (17)

ROME — The Legion of Christ has expressed its “deep sorrow” after internal investigations revealed that a Legionary priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a minor.

The charges against Legionary Father William Izquierdo involve a novice when Father Izquierdo served as instructor of novices in Cheshire, Conn., between 1982 and 1994.

Legionary Father Luis Garza, North American territorial director of the congregation, was informed of the case in July 2012, the Legion said, and added that a third party and independent investigation of the allegation then took place that concluded in August of this year, ruling that the allegation was true.

In a Dec. 5 statement, Father Garza...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal velasio de paolis, catholic faith, father marcial maciel, general chapter, legionaries of christ, sex abuse scandal

Sacrosanctum Concilium and the ‘Reform of the Reform’ (4100)

For the 50th anniversary of Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Australian Bishop Peter Elliot reflects on its authentic interpretation.

12/05/2013 Comments (6)

As a former Anglican, Auxiliary Bishop Peter Elliott of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, brings a unique perspective to the liturgical reforms that have taken place in the Catholic Church since the promulgation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

Bishop Elliott is the author of Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year and Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, both published by Ignatius Press, and he will be presenting a workshop on Sacrosanctum Concilium in January 2014, at Australia’s national liturgical conference. He responds here to questions from Register correspondent Judy Roberts on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of...READ MORE

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