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Pope’s Historic Prayer Deeply Moves Jerusalem Bishop (2384)

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali is praying the meeting between the Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew will lead to greater graces for the body of Christ.

05/30/2014 Comment
CNA/Paul Fifield

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem speaks with CNA on May 26.

– CNA/Paul Fifield

JERUSALEM — The auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem described the recent prayer shared between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I as a moving event, predicting future blessings from the encounter.

“Really, it was moving. It was very moving and emotional,” Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem told CNA May 25, explaining that he had never witnessed anything like it before.

“The humility of the Pope, the friendship which was born between the Pope and the patriarch of Constantinople, the atmosphere, the nature of people present at the Holy Sepulcher: It was historical in all ways.”

Bishop Shomali, who was present during the communal prayer at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher May 25 during the...READ MORE

Filed under christian unity, ecumenical patriarch bartholomew i, holy land, jesus christ, pope francis, prayer

SDG Reviews ‘Maleficent’ (21532)

Hollywood’s latest revisionist fairy tale is a warmed-over Frozen, with less interesting characters and a startlingly dark subtext.

05/30/2014 Comments (66)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one (or if you don’t want to be spoiled on the film, which I think you probably should be).

This revisionist take on a classic fairy tale gives us not one but two heroines, who share a special bond: an older one with magical powers and a young princess innocently devoted to the first.

At times their relationship is strained; the older one — an archetypal witch-villainess in the traditional story, though she’s rehabilitated here — even smites the young princess with her powers, dooming her to eventually fall into a deathlike state.

The young princess grows up isolated and alone due to her parents’ efforts to protect her from the other heroine’s powers....READ MORE

Filed under angelina jolie, disney, fairy tales, family films, movies, sdg reviews

Canadian Politics: Pro-Lifers Need Not Apply (4897)

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau stated in early May that only pro-abortion candidates are welcome in his party.

05/30/2014 Comments (6)
Wikimedia Commons

Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau

– Wikimedia Commons

OTTAWA, Canada — While Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau’s recent edict that all future Liberal candidates must be pro-abortion rights and vote pro-abortion may have further limited the political landscape for pro-lifers with parliamentary ambitions as well as for voters, former Liberal ministers of parliament (MPs) and Catholic leaders encourage Canadian Catholics to understand Trudeau’s flawed logic and get vocal.

Former long-serving Liberal MP Tom Wappel, who was elected to Canada’s parliament as a Toronto-area Liberal MP in 1988 and for five subsequent terms, even though he never hid his pro-life views, said he is insulted not only by Trudeau’s exclusion of differing...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Offered Glimpse of Unity Amid Deep Divisions in Holy Land (4632)


05/29/2014 Comments (3)
Lauren Cater / CNA

Pope Francis waves as he arrives at Manger Square in Bethlehem on May 25.

– Lauren Cater / CNA

WASHINGTON — On May 25, after Pope Francis finished his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he was expected to drive directly to Bethlehem, where he would serve as the chief celebrant at a papal Mass.

Instead, the Pope stopped at the security wall that divided Israel from the West Bank, and he got out of his car to stand quietly in silent prayer. Then he leaned forward to touch his head to the wall, close to where a scrawl of graffiti described the looming barrier as a symbol of Israel oppression.

A phalanx of news photographers captured the moment, and Palestinian authorities said the Pope’s gesture would be commemorated in a portage stamp. Meanwhile, the intense local and...READ MORE

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Ohio Catholic School Contracts Controversy Dismissed as Overblown (3464)

An archdiocesan spokesman discounts media criticism, noting that most teachers are happy with the contract’s guidelines about conforming to Catholic principles.

05/29/2014 Comments (13)

CINCINNATI — The Archdiocese of Cincinnati says criticism of its updated school contracts for teachers amounts to hype from third parties, noting that teachers themselves have been largely pleased and receptive.

“What the principals keep telling ... our superintendent is that it’s a non-issue in most of these parishes,” said Dan Andriacco, communications director for the Cincinnati Archdiocese.

“Our sense is: It’s quite a tempest in a teapot,” he told CNA in a May interview.

As part of its efforts to revitalize the Catholic identity of its schools, the local Church has issued a new contract for its school teachers for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The new guidelines specify that the...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’ Pilgrimage Focused on Human Plight, Not Political Negotiations (3033)

COMMENTARY: During his just-concluded Holy Land voyage, the Holy Father sought to restore dignity to the marginalized.

05/29/2014 Comments (2)
CNA/Stephen Driscoll

– CNA/Stephen Driscoll

Many times in my journeys throughout the Middle East, I have heard individuals cite a proverb: “You cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs.” Invariably, this is the response to my objections to various forms of violence in the region, whether by terrorists or governments. The proverbial wisdom is an attempt to explain the situation of violence (broken eggs) and express the hope for an improvement (an omelet).

Yet, central to Pope Francis’ message is a firm rejection of such a logic of violence as the only future for the Middle East. During his May 24-26 Holy Land pilgrimage, he highlighted by his words and gestures that the weak and vulnerable are not eggs to be broken, but...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, human dignity, israel, jesus christ, jordan, middle east, palestine, pope francis

Author Discusses ‘The Vatican According to Francis’ (14528)

Massimo Franco contends the Holy Father is more orthodox than many of his critics believe.

05/29/2014 Comments (13)

VATICAN CITY — What impact is a Latin-American pope having on a Roman Curia heavily influenced by Italians? Massimo Franco, a senior correspondent with Italy’s daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, shares his perspective in a new book called Il Vaticano Secondo Francesco (The Vatican According to Francis).

Drawing on a number of high-level sources within the Vatican and Buenos Aires, Franco aims to show how Pope Francis’ vision of Catholicism is having a positive impact in the heart of the Vatican.

In an interview with the Register, the Italian author explains why he believes Francis has come to save the Roman Curia from “moral default” after recent scandals, how his attempts at Curial...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, pope francis, roman curia

European Commission Rejects Pro-Life Citizens’ Initiative (2481)

The international coalition known as One of Us sought to ban funding of research that destroys human embryos.

05/29/2014 Comments (2)

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Commission has rejected the pro-life citizens’ initiative One of Us, which sought to ban European Union (EU) funding for research and other activities that destroy human embryos.

The leadership committee of One of Us expressed "deep disappointment" in the decision, which it characterized as a "veto" that is "contrary to ethical and democratic requirements."

"Such veto power is illegitimate and anti-democratic, since, politically, it is the European Legislature that may give a verdict on the content of the initiative and not the commission," the committee said May 28.

Otherwise, it said, the citizens’ initiative process would be "meaningless."


Filed under adult stem-cell research, catholic faith, cord-blood stem-cell research, embryonic stem-cell research, european union, human dignity, pope francis

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