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Pope Francis-Queen Elizabeth Meeting: ‘Welcoming, Warm and Friendly’ (6530)

British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker said the nearly 20-minute meeting was very relaxed and informal.

04/04/2014 Comments (4)
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, exchange gifts during an audience with Pope Francis, in the Pope's study during their one-day visit to Rome on April 3.

– Oli Scarff/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — “They clicked in a very warm, personal and non-protocol fashion,” said British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker, when describing Thursday’s meeting between Pope Francis and Queen Elizabeth II.

The encounter, the first between Francis and the British monarch, was very relaxed and informal, compared to the 87-year-old monarch’s previous four visits to the Vatican.

Accompanied by her husband, Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the queen’s motorcade entered the Vatican at 3:20pm, 20 minutes later than scheduled, after a prolonged lunch with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” the queen said on greeting the Holy Father. “We were having a very...READ MORE

Filed under anglican church, catholic faith, christianity, pope francis, queen elizabeth

U.N. Registers Lebanon’s Millionth Syrian Refugee (2175)

Reporters embedded in the Middle Eastern country content the unofficial number is much higher.

04/04/2014 Comments (2)
CNA/Melkite Greek Archeparchy of Furzol, Zahle and the Bekaa

Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley stand in line to receive aid.

– CNA/Melkite Greek Archeparchy of Furzol, Zahle and the Bekaa

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon registered with the United Nations has now passed 1 million, as the organization’s refugee agency stresses the urgent need to fund humanitarian aid.

“The extent of the human tragedy is not just the recitation of numbers,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees representative Ninette Kelley told reporters in Lebanon’s second largest city, Tripoli, April 3.

“Each one of these numbers represents a human life who ... have lost their homes, their family members, their sense of future.”

The U.N. refugee agency officially registered an 18-year-old student from Homs as its millionth refugee in Tripoli. One year ago, the country...READ MORE

Filed under feed the poor, lebanon, religious persecution, syria, united nations

Obama Urged to Create Envoy for Religious Minorities After Papal Meeting (3160)

Of special concern to Rep. Frank Wolf, who wrote the March 27 letter appealing to the president, were those in the Middle East and south-central Asia.

04/04/2014 Comment
CNA/Aid to the Church in Need

'Persecuted and Forgotten' infographic

– CNA/Aid to the Church in Need

WASHINGTON — Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., has called on President Barack Obama to follow up on his meeting with Pope Francis by backing the creation of a special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East and south-central Asia.

“I urge you to put your words into action, lest inaction be perceived as indifference,” Wolf wrote in a March 27 letter to Obama.

“The scope of religious persecution around the world, but especially in the Middle East, is gravely concerning and ought to alarm any person of conscience.”

While the congressman said he did not think a special envoy would on its own solve the “vast” problem of persecution, “it would provide much-needed hope and comfort to...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, president barack obama, religious freedom, religious minorities, religious persecution

Priests Battle the Pouring Dark of Loneliness (18162)

The temptation of loneliness can haunt priests alone at their parishes, but a variety of priestly fraternities are giving them ways of finding community with brother priests to sustain them.

04/04/2014 Comments (23)

– companionsofchrist.org

WASHINGTON — Parish ministry in the 21st century sees most U.S. diocesan priests living alone, working all day to care for the needs of their flock. But stalking many diocesan priests by day, and prowling in the pouring dark of the parish residence by night, is the enemy they call loneliness.

It’s a desperate battle that some priests and bishops are trying to solve.

“You can use the rope to swing by it, or you can hang by it,” Father Brian Carpenter said of the challenge of living alone in an assignment. The priest of the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., is by nature a “raging extrovert,” and he said adjusting to his assignment in rural Owego was “very difficult” for the first three months....READ MORE

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Learn To Control Your Thoughts, The Value of Obedience, Christ and History, Sacred Art and More! (4018)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/04/2014 Comment

Follow Learn to Control Your Thoughts by Fr. Basil W. Maturin of Catholic Exchange to read more.

Christ & History – Don. R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Bible That Traveled to the Moon Now Visits the Vatican – Kathy Schiffer, Seasons of Grace

The Difference Between Hockey, Football & Soccer Is Catholicism – Abram Muenzberg, Ignitum Today

Kudos to Atlanta ‘Bling’ Archbishop Gregory; He ‘Gets It’ – Phil Lawler, The City Gates

What Can a Large White Rabbit Show Us? – Howard Duncan, Catholic Stand

Learn to Control Your Thoughts – Fr. Basil W. Maturin, Catholic Exchange

The Value of Obedience – Dan Burke, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

Married at 25: Too Young or Too Old? – Gene Fant, First Things

Sometimes Need to Say No to Good Things, To Receive Great Things - Heather...READ MORE

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Filmmakers Seek Support for Film on Abortionist Kermit Gosnell (2215)

‘The media have basically ignored his crime and his trial,’ said one of the filmmakers about the abortionist’s 2013 murder conviction.

04/04/2014 Comment

West Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted in May 2013 of first-degree murder in the death of three babies born alive.

– Wikipedia

LOS ANGELES — Three filmmakers are crowdfunding a multimillion-dollar movie about Kermit Gosnell and his late-term abortion facility, stressing the need to bring attention to the morally and politically charged case.

“The media have basically ignored his crime and his trial,” Phelim McAleer, one of the filmmakers, said in the project’s introductory video.

“He ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, where he delivered live, viable babies, and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors,” McAleer continued.

In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of three first-degree murder charges for killing babies who had been born alive. Testimony had indicated that Gosnell...READ MORE

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Military Archbishop Offers Prayers, Support to Fort Hood Victims (2150)

President Obama and Gov. Perry also expressed their condolences and prayers for the victims and their families.

04/03/2014 Comment
Wikimedia Commons

Darnall Hospital at Fort Hood Army Base near Killeen, Texas.

– Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, as well as President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered their condolences and prayers to the victims of a shooting at the Fort Hood Army Base and their families.

Archbishop Broglio expressed his condolences April 3 for the families of those who lost loved ones in the shooting, and he added that, as “believers, we also pray for the repose of the souls of the victims and the assailant.”

He added in his statement that he has also been in contact with the priests serving at Fort Hood.

“The remedy for this senseless violence can only be found in a more profound respect for human life, a deeper...READ MORE

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False Accusations of Sexual Abuse Can Leave Lasting Scars (6974)

Two recent cases, in the U.S. and Ireland, have highlighted how the Church’s commitment to take all accusations against clergy seriously sometimes injures innocent parties.

04/03/2014 Comments (22)
Catholic News Agency

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis

– Catholic News Agency

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A decision last month not to charge Archbishop John Nienstedt in connection with an allegation that he inappropriately touched a boy during a group photo was good news for a Church battered by scandal in recent years.

The determination by the Ramsey County Attorney's Office in Minnesota that there was insufficient evidence to support a charge against the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis was announced March 11, days before another priest, Father Eugene Boland of Northern Ireland, returned to ministry after his acquittal on sexual-assault charges involving a teenage girl.

Both cases raise questions about the nature of such charges and how the process for resolving...READ MORE

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