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‘Brutal’ German Raid on Home-Schooling Family Shocks Advocates (10168)

The forced removal of four children from their parents with SWAT-style tactics is denounced by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

09/04/2013 Comments (51)
HSLDA

Members of the Wunderlich family with HSLDA founder Mike Farris (second from left).

– HSLDA

FRANKFURT, Germany — German officials seized four home-schooled children last week, provoking strong objections from U.S. home-schooling advocates who say the country’s ban on home education violates human rights.

“The right to home school is a human right,” said Mike Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). “Germany has grossly violated these rights of this family.”

On the morning of Aug. 29, HSLDA reports, 20 social workers, armed police officers and special agents took four children from the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, who were educating their children in violation of the national ban on home schooling.

The children's ages range from 7 to 14....READ MORE

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Melkite Leader Says U.S. Attacks on Syria Would Worsen the Conflict (6714)

Patriarch Gregorios III Laham argues only a peace conference, not military intervention, can bring an end to the fighting in Syria.

09/04/2013 Comments (11)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Patriarch Gregorios III Laham

– Alan Holdren/CNA

WASHINGTON — The leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has argued that, despite reported chemical attacks in Syria, foreign military intervention is a destructive option that will only worsen the ongoing civil war.

“I am adding my voice to all the statements made by most of my brother Eastern patriarchs, several episcopal conferences, the archbishop of Canterbury, and especially His Holiness Pope Francis and his representative at the United Nations in Geneva,” said Melkite Patriarch Gregorios III in an Aug. 30 statement.

“I state categorical rejection by Syria’s Catholic Churches, including the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in Arab countries and those of the expansion, of any...READ MORE

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New Vatican Secretary of State Praised as a ʻMessenger of Peaceʼ (7827)

Archbishop Pietro Parolin gets high marks from Venezuela's top Church leader for how he handled many diplomatic challenges.

09/03/2013 Comment
Alan Holdren/CNA

Dome of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Cit

– Alan Holdren/CNA

CARACAS, Venezuela — Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the new Vatican secretary of state, is getting praise from a Venezuelan cardinal, who said the archbishop was a “messenger of peace” in the South-American country.

“I think the Holy Father Francis has made a great appointment,” said Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas.

“Archbishop Parolin is a well-prepared bishop with a great capacity to work,” the cardinal said. “He is a very intelligent man, with extensive experience in the Church’s international affairs; and here in Venezuela he did great work in service to the Church and to the Venezuelan people.”

During his time as apostolic nuncio to Venezuela, Archbishop Parolin was a great...READ MORE

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Report: Pope Francis Says John Paul II to Be Canonized April 27 (36487)

The Vatican has yet to confirm this date, which will likely include the canonization of Pope John XXIII. The papal spokesman says the official announcement will be made after the Sept. 30 consistory.

09/03/2013 Comments (31)
Wikimedia Commons

– Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has yet to make the date official, but Pope Francis has already let it be known in a private conversation that Blessed Pope John Paul II will be canonized on April 27, 2014.

A reliably informed source close to the Vatican asked Pope Francis about the date recently, to which the Pope replied with a laugh: “I can tell you now if you like. It will be April 27.”

“I was surprised by his frankness, but he took a step back, laughed and then told me the date,” the source said. “He was surrounded by top officials who didn’t seem to mind.”

Among those within earshot was Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the pontifical household, who will be partly responsible...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, communion of saints, congregation for the causes of saints, pope francis, pope john paul ii, pope john xxiii, vatican city

Priest Shares God’s Love on Ohio’s Death Row (6789)

The chaplain of Chillicothe’s prison finds a powerful lesson of God’s forgiveness bringing the condemned to heaven.

09/03/2013 Comments (1)
Wikipedia

A lethal injection table

– Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio priest says his ministry to prisoners on death row has strengthened his conviction in the power of God’s forgiveness, even among prisoners who feel like “pariahs.”

“People preparing for death are the same, whether they are in a hospice setting or a prison. They live each day, trying to find a reason for hope,” Father Lawrence Hummer told CNA.

“When they discover the power of the forgiveness of sins, which comes by faith in the power of Christ to forgive, to heal and to save, they begin to focus more on where they are going than on where they have been,” the priest said.

He said he tells death-row prisoners and ordinary inmates “the same thing I tell...READ MORE

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What Makes Catholic Education Catholic? (27023)

COMMENTARY

09/03/2013 Comments (6)

“Catholic education” seems like a known commodity. How can we have serious questions about it, given the array of Catholic schools in this country? Surely, the history of Catholic education has clarified the matter. Unfortunately, things aren’t so simple.

Recently, Kolbe Academy-Trinity Prep — a classical, liberal arts K-12 school in Napa, Calif. — asked me to participate in a faculty in-service discussion. Given that it was the start of the school year, I took the opportunity to re-examine the mission of Catholic education.

There are three basic issues in Catholic education: What is education? What is Catholic education? And how do the “education part” and the “Catholic part” fit...READ MORE

Filed under catholic schools, education, mark brumley

U.S. State Department Demands Iran Release Captive American Pastor (5668)

Secretary Kerry called on Iran's government to prove it wants to improve relations with the world by releasing pastor Saeed Abedini and others.

09/03/2013 Comments (1)
American Center for Law and Justice

Pastor Saeed Abedini with his wife and children.

– American Center for Law and Justice

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has renewed calls for Iran's government to release U.S. citizen Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor serving an eight-year sentence on religion-related charges.

“The United States respectfully asks the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to work cooperatively with us in our efforts to help U.S. citizens,” Secretary Kerry said in an Aug. 28 news release, to “return to their families after lengthy detentions.”

“These men belong at home with those who love them and miss them,” Kerry said.

In his statement, Kerry also asked for the release of Amir Hekmati, a U.S. citizen imprisoned on espionage charges, and for help in finding U.S....READ MORE

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Pope Picks Highly Credentialed Diplomat for Vatican Secretary of State (16380)

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the youngest secretary of state since 1930, has more than 25 years of experience in Vatican diplomacy.

09/03/2013 Comments (1)
Osservatore/ Wikipedia

Archbishop Pietro Parolin

– Osservatore/ Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has chosen an accomplished Italian Vatican diplomat as the new Vatican secretary of state, replacing Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is stepping down on account of his age.

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who currently serves as the Pope’s representative to Venezuela, will become what is considered to be the closest equivalent of a Vatican “prime minister,” presiding over the running of the Curia, the Holy See’s diplomatic service and relations with states.   

At just 58 years of age, he will be the youngest secretary of state since Eugenio Pacelli, who was appointed in 1930 at the age of 53 and later became Pope Pius XII. Archbishop Parolin will take over from...READ MORE

Filed under holy see diplomacy, pietro parolin, pope francis, vatican secretary of state

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