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Court Ruling on Philippines RH Bill Met With Mixed Responses (2176)

Church leaders applauded the country’s Supreme Court for striking down parts of the law, but lamented that other elements were upheld.

04/10/2014 Comment

MANILA, Philippines — While disappointed that the country’s Supreme Court has upheld a controversial “reproductive health” law, the Catholic bishops of the Philippines voiced gratitude that the ruling also strengthened parental rights and religious freedom.

“Although the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the RH law, it has truly watered down the RH law and consequently upheld the importance of adhering to an informed religious conscience, even among government workers,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen Dagupan, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

He added in his April 8 statement that the court “stood on the side of the rights...READ MORE

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Serving the Lord ‘Concretely’ by Serving the Poor (2843)

Moved by the message of Pope Francis, Catholics across the country are helping the needy in inspired and ingenious ways.

04/10/2014 Comment

– Facebook/HopefortheHomeless,Inc

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The men who call Emmanuel House emergency shelter home in one of Providence’s poorest areas are invited to an April 22 garden party on Earth Day — a party they’ll celebrate in their own backyard.

Just like last April’s party, the residents will kneel in the newly tilled, compost-enriched brown soil, in a space that was once a preschool playground, to sow donated tomato, cucumber, collard green, potato, green pepper and zucchini plants, in the hope that bounty will grace their efforts once more. The watering, weeding and care of the garden by the homeless men produced fresh vegetables all summer long for their table and those of their neighbors.

“Last year, we harvested...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Warns Against the Dictatorship of Narrow Thinking (5736)

A closed mind leaves no room for listening to God’s will, the Holy Father said, urging Christians to pray.

04/10/2014 Comments (16)
Lauren Crater/CNA

– Lauren Crater/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In his daily homily, Pope Francis warned the faithful against idealizing their own way of thinking and encouraged them to be vigilant in prayer, noting that a closed mind leaves no room for God.

“Even today there is a dictatorship of a narrow line of thought,” which kills “people’s freedom, their freedom of conscience,” the Pope said in his April 10 Mass.

Speaking to those present in the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, Pope Francis launched his homily by reflecting on the day’s first reading, taken from Genesis, in which God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, but that he and his descendants would have to observe the covenant with the Lord.


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Good Friday and the Two Mobs, The Mystical Witness of Silence, Bishop Jurgis and Sr. Jane and More! (3418)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/10/2014 Comment

Follow Good Friday and the Two Mobs by Jeff McLeod of Catholic Stand to read more.

Good Friday and the Two Mobs - Jeff McLeod, Catholic Stand

The Mystical Witness of Silence – Colin O’Brien, Aleteia

Welcome to The Reign of 'Gay' by Rachel Lu of Crisis Magazine - BigPulpit.com

The Oxford Push to Screen Embryos for Intelligence – Dr. Gerard Nadal, Catholic Lane

Bishop Jugis Backs Sister Jane – Don. R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Overprotective Parenting Is Unchristian – Fr. Matthew Schneider LC, Project YM

The Satanic Poets – Jason Liske, Unblack

Christian Revival in Islamic North Africa – Rebecca Hamilton, Public Catholic

Fr. Z On the Silencing of Sister Jane – Don. R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Christ in an Age of Technique - James Kalb, The...READ MORE

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John Paul II Still Inspires Vocations (3353)

His namesake seminary in Washington, D.C., dedicates a new wing as the Church prepares for the Polish pope’s canonization.

04/09/2014 Comments (1)
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington prays with Blessed John Paul II seminarians in August 2012.


– Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington prays with Blessed John Paul II seminarians in August 2012.

WASHINGTON — After Ben Petty converted to the Catholic faith, he made a pilgrimage to Poland to visit the homeland of John Paul II.

“What drew me there was John Paul II himself. Through his vocation as a priest and a philosopher, he tried to make the truth about the most important things manifest,” Petty told the Register.

On April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday, John Paul II will be canonized in a ceremony that is expected to draw millions of pilgrims to the Vatican from across the globe.

Ben Petty won’t be one of those pilgrims: The 33-year-old former Protestant is in his first year of pre-theology studies at the Blessed John Paul II Seminary in the Archdiocese of Washington, and he will be...READ MORE

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Special Adviser Appointed to the Vatican’s ‘Central Bank’ (1669)

One of his duties will be to assist in reorganization of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

04/09/2014 Comment


VATICAN CITY — The Secretariat for the Economy appointed Franco Dalla Sega as ad interim special adviser to the extraordinary section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

“Aside from assisting the secretary of APSA in the conduct of the activities of the section, Dalla Sega will be assigned specific tasks and projects and may be asked for specific advice on the reorganization of APSA in accordance with the broader revision of the economic-administrative structure of the Holy See,” the secretariat announced in an April 5 communiqué.

Dalla Sega, 53, is a lecturer at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan and a member of the oversight council of Intesa...READ MORE

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Notre Dame Honors Pro-Life Congressman, Wife With Evangelium Vitae Award (3141)

Rep. Chris and Marie Smith both were recognized by Notre Dame for their efforts to build a culture of life at home and abroad.

04/09/2014 Comments (3)
Courtesy of the University of Notre Dame

(L-R) Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., Marie Smith and O. Carter Snead, director of the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame

– Courtesy of the University of Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — In an April 5 ceremony, the University of Notre Dame honored prominent U.S. pro-life Congressman Chris Smith and his wife, Marie, who is also a pro-life advocate, with its 2014 Evangelium Vitae Medal.

In a speech thanking the university for the recognition, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said that pro-life individuals have the responsibility to “speak truth to power, no matter the sacrifice or cost.”

Real change “will only be achieved by persevering prayer, fasting and hard work,” he said. “It falls to us to promote and establish a sustainable culture of life both here and overseas.”

Since 2011, the Evangelium Vitae Medal has been awarded annually by Notre Dame’s Center for...READ MORE

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Pope Begins New Catechesis on Gifts of the Holy Spirit (4393)

At his weekly general audience, the Holy Father instructs that the faithful should examine whether the Holy Spirit is active in their lives.

04/09/2014 Comments (4)
Elise Harris/CNA

– Elise Harris/CNA

VATICAN CITY — During his general audience this week, Pope Francis began a new catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, drawing specific attention to wisdom and noting that it illuminates our actions and draws us closer to God.

“We need to ask ourselves if our lives have the flavor of the Gospel; if others perceive that we are men and women of God; if it is the Holy Spirit that moves our lives,” the Pope insisted in his April 5 address.

Speaking to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear the weekly discourse, the Holy Father announced, “Today, we begin a series of catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

Observing, “The Spirit is himself the ‘gift of...READ MORE

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