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Pope Francis Reaffirms Importance of Vatican Bank’s Mission (3212)

NEWS ANALYSIS: The yet-to-be detailed proposal would seem to involve the wider reform of the Holy See’s financial departments.

04/08/2014 Comment
CNA file photo

The Institute for Religious Works is commonly known as the 'Vatican Bank.’

– CNA file photo

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis approved a proposal April 7 on the future of the Institute for Religious Works, commonly known as the “Vatican Bank,” affirming its importance for the good of the Church.

“The IOR will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide,” read a statement from the Holy See Press Office released April 7.

“The valuable services that can be offered by the institute assist the Holy Father in his mission as universal pastor and also aid those institutions and individuals who collaborate with him in his ministry.”

The proposal has not been detailed, but seems to deal with the insertion of the Vatican Bank among...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, institute for religious works vatican bank, pope francis, vatican city

Jesuit Priest Murdered in Syria Witnessed to Christ’s Love (5123)

Father Frans van der Lugt of the Netherlands was caring for the fewer than 30 Christians that remained in a city that was blockaded by the Syrian government nearly two years ago.

04/08/2014 Comments (4)
CNA/Aid to the Church in Need

Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt

– CNA/Aid to the Church in Need

HOMS, Syria — A Jesuit priest who refused to leave his flock in the Syrian city of Homs was murdered by an unknown gunman April 7.

Father Frans van der Lugt, a native of the Netherlands, was caring for the fewer than 30 Christians who remain in the Old City district of Homs, which has been blockaded by the Syrian regime for nearly two years.

“Where people die, their faithful shepherds also die with them,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said April 7 in response to the death of Father van der Lugt.

Father Lombardi said the slain priest “died as a man of peace” and acted “with great courage in an extremely dangerous and difficult situation.”

Father  Ziad Hillal, a fellow Jesuit...READ MORE

Filed under catholic missions, christian persecution, jesus christ, middle east, society of jesus, syria

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Religious-Freedom Photography Case (3081)

The Christian photographers were found guilty of discrimination and ordered to pay nearly $7,000 in compensation for declining to photograph a same-sex 'commitment ceremony' in 2006.

04/08/2014 Comments (14)
Courtesy of Alliance Defending Freedom

Elaine Huguenin, co-owner of Elane Photography in Albuquerque, N.M.

– Courtesy of Alliance Defending Freedom

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to weigh in on a case involving a small Christian-owned photography business that declined on religious grounds to shoot a same-sex commitment ceremony in 2006.

The court announced its decision April 7. It did not give a reason for declining to hear the case.

“Only unjust laws separate what people say from what they believe,” said senior counsel Jordan Lorence of Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, owners of Elane Photography.

“The First Amendment protects our freedom to speak or not speak on any issue without fear of punishment,” he added in an April 7 statement.

“We had hoped the U.S....READ MORE

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Four Things Catholics Do that Rightly Scandalize Non-Catholics, Immigration Reform and Much More! (5129)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/08/2014 Comment

Follow Four Things Catholics Do that Rightly Scandalize Non-Catholics link by Brantly Millegan to read more.

Four Things Catholics Do that Rightly Scandalize Non-Catholics by Brantly Millegan - BigPulpit.com

Foot Fetishes & Holy Thursday (Bishop Morlino Vindicated) - Lætificat

My Decision to Wear a Veil - Birgit Jones, Catholic Stand

Immigration Reform Becomes a Catholic ‘Pro-Life’ Cause - John L. Allen Jr.

The Intolerance of Homosexual Activists – DarwinCatholic, The American Catholic

Marriage, Reason & Religious Liberty: About Sex, Not to Do with Race - Ryan T. Anderson

Humanitas Program Offers Catholic Liberal Arts at University of Kansas by Kelly Conroy - BigPulpit.com

Media Goes Silent As Abuse Allegations Fall - David F. Pierre Jr., TheMediaReport.com

The Silencing of Sister Jane -...READ MORE

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Argentine Archbishop Defends Baptism of Child With Lesbian Parents (4037)

The girl had a right to be baptized, the prelate said, and he denied reports that he had met with the same-sex couple and authorized their reception of the sacrament of confirmation.

04/08/2014 Comments (20)

CORDOBA, Argentina — Archbishop Carlos Nanez of Cordoba, Argentina, explained that the recent baptism of a baby who is being raised by her biological mother and the woman’s lesbian partner is not an endorsement of their lifestyle.

Rather, he said in statements to CNA, the case “is like that of any other person who asks for baptism.”

“The one who is receiving baptism is the girl. It is her right,” he underscored.

His comments came in response to the baptism of Umma Azul at the cathedral of Cordoba on April 5. Azul is the biological daughter of Soledad Ortiz, a woman who contracted a civil marriage with her same-sex partner Kartina Villarroel under Argentinian law last year.

Denying media...READ MORE

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Married Man’s Ordination Reveals Unusual Prohibition on Eastern Catholics (20973)

Despite a call from the Second Vatican Council to recover their traditions, Eastern Catholics in the U.S. must ask for permission to ordain married men to the priesthood due to a 90-year-old policy.

04/07/2014 Comments (56)
Courtesy St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral, St. Louis

Father Wissam Akiki with his wife, Manal, and their daughter, Perla, at her first Communion.

– Courtesy St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral, St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — Surrounded by his wife, daughter and the bishops of his Church, Father Wissam Akiki made history in February as the first married man in 90 years to enter the priesthood for the Maronite Catholic Church in the U.S.

But for Catholics of most Eastern-rite Churches in the U.S., including the Maronites, the fact the priest is a married man isn’t that extraordinary: What’s extraordinary is that they have to ask the Vatican for permission to ordain married men in the first place.

Eastern Catholic bishops of the Ukrainian, Ruthenian and Melkite traditions have been cautiously ordaining married men to the priesthood in the United States since Blessed John Paul II relaxed decades-old...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Recognizes Three New Saints of the Americas (3028)

The trio of missionaries, who helped build the Church in the New World, were named saints of the universal Church by the process of ‘equivalent canonization.’

04/07/2014 Comment
CNA/EWTN NEWS

St. Jose de Anchieta, 'Apostle of Brazil'

– CNA/EWTN NEWS

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis last week inscribed among the saints three blesseds who were from Europe but were called to the New World by their missionary vocations.

At an April 3 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis extended the liturgical cult of three blesseds to the universal Church, a process known as “equivalent canonization.”

The three are St. Francois de Laval de Montmorency, the first bishop of Quebec; St. Jose de Anchieta, “the apostle of Brazil”; and St. Marie of the Incarnation, founder of Quebec’s Ursuline convent.

St. Jose de Anchieta founded several Brazilian cities, including Sao Paulo. He was born in...READ MORE

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Twenty Years After Genocide, Church Helps Rwanda Heal (2183)

Some remarkable stories of reconciliation, such as the one between a genocide survivor and the neighbor who murdered her husband, inspire hope for Rwanda's future.

04/07/2014 Comment

MP3 8

Credit: Michelle Bauman/CNA

Rwanda genocide survivor Viviane N'Habimana (l) stands in a gesture of solidarity with Boniface Hakizimana, the man who killed her husband.

– Credit: Michelle Bauman/CNA

KIGALI, Rwanda — Boniface Hakizimana lives in a rural area of Southern Rwanda. He lives peacefully with the widow next door, Viviane N'Habimana. They help each other and support each other when difficulties arise.

At first glance, this arrangement might not appear extraordinary. However, this harmonious relationship is anything but typical, because Hakizimana is responsible for the murder of N’Habimana’s husband 20 years ago.

April 7, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide. The causes of the violence were complex — fueled by decades of ethnic tension dating back to Belgian colonialism and fostered through hate-filled propaganda broadcast by political...READ MORE

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