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Pope Urges Lawmakers to Embrace Faith Over ‘Theology of Duty’ (5123)

The Holy Father encouraged the approximately 500 Italian parliamentarians who attended a March 27 Mass to follow the path of salvation offered by Christ.

03/28/2014 Comments (2)
CNA photo

– CNA photo

VATICAN CITY — Saying Mass for some 500 Italian parliamentarians Thursday, Pope Francis warned them of the corruption of the heart, imploring them not to slip from the theology of faith to a theology of duty.

Describing the religious leaders whom Christ encountered, Pope Francis said March 27, “they resisted the salvation of the Lord’s love and thus slipped away from the faith, from a theology of faith to a theology of duty.”

Because of the large number of parliamentarians who had asked to participate in a daily Mass with him, Pope Francis said Mass for them in St. Peter’s Basilica rather than in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Chapel. Roughly half of Italy’s parliament attended the Mass.


Filed under catholic faith, jesus christ, lent, living the faith, politicians, pope francis

Pope Didn’t Give President a Free Pass on Religious Freedom (28842)

Catholic commentators note that, despite President Barack Obama’s efforts to downplay the issue, Pope Francis insisted on raising religious liberty during their discussions yesterday.

03/28/2014 Comments (36)
Official White House photo by Pete Souza

Pope Francis and President Obama shake hands at the conclusion of their March 27 meeting at the Vatican.

– Official White House photo by Pete Souza

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis’ 52-minute meeting with President Barack Obama on March 27 capped a week of intense media speculation about the likely winners and losers of the high-profile exchange between a popular pope and a U.S. commander in chief seeking to reverse sagging poll numbers and contain crises abroad.

The meeting was scheduled two days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a pair of free-exercise cases filed against the Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate, and religious-freedom activists feared the White House would use the meeting to blunt public criticism of its controversial law.

Meanwhile, in the run-up to the meeting, the White House and its...READ MORE

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Congressmen Support Legal Challenges to HHS Mandate (2682)

Pro-life members of both parties spoke out in support of the Green and Hahn families as the Supreme Court heard their arguments in defense of their religious-liberty rights.

03/28/2014 Comments (5)
Addie Mena/CNA

Paul Clement, counsel for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, speaks to the press March 25 outside the Supreme Court.

– Addie Mena/CNA

WASHINGTON — Pro-life members of the House of Representatives spoke out in support of the Green and Hahn families after they argued in front of the Supreme Court in defense of their religious-liberty rights.

“To tell people that their conscience is irrelevant and that they must follow the federal government’s conscience rather than their own is completely antithetical to the American principle of freedom of religion and the First Amendment,” said Chris Smith, R-N.J., in a March 25 statement.

The HHS mandate’s “attack on conscience rights will result in government-imposed discrimination against those who seek to live according to their faith,” he continued.

Smith, who is co-chair of the...READ MORE

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Fighting the Wrong Battles? Could Be a Sign of Spiritual Sloth; 7 Great Movies for Lent and More! (6951)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/28/2014 Comment

Follow the Are You Fighting the Wrong Battles? It Could Be a Sign of Spiritual Sloth link via Saint Etheldreda's Place (SEP) to read more.

Are You Fighting the Wrong Battles? It Could Be a Sign of Spiritual Sloth via Saint Etheldreda's Place (SEP) - BigPulpit.com

The Pope’s Über Secret Plan To Save Marriage From The Germans? – Patrick Archbold, Creative Minority Report

7 Inspiring Movies for Lent – Shaun McAfee, Ignitum Today

Converting the Culture Is Not Easy – George Weigel, Aleteia

Marriage Is Not a Fairy Tale – Leticia Adams, Catholic Stand

Hey Millennials, Can We Talk? – Rachel Lu, Aleteia

Catholic “Baby Machines” – Chris Ricketts, Ignitum Today

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos: Filling in the Intellectual Gaps – Fr. Robert J. Spitzer SJ, The Catholic World Report

Whither the University of Notre Dame? – Don. R....READ MORE

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Schedule for Pope’s Holy Land Visit Released (2428)

The historic trip, during which the Holy Father plans to meet in Jerusalem with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, will take place May 24-26.

03/27/2014 Comment

– patriarchate.org

VATICAN CITY — The Holy See has officially published the itinerary for Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to the Holy Land, during which he is slated to travel to Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

During the May 24-26 trip, he will meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. When the papal visit was announced by Pope Francis himself during his Jan. 5 Sunday Angelus address, he revealed that the principal goal of the trip is “to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras I that occurred … 50 years ago today.”

In January 1964, Pope Paul VI traveled to the Holy Land. He met with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on the Mount of Olives...READ MORE

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The ‘Noah’ Movie Controversies: Questions and Answers (127171)

The Register’s film critic offers perspective on the arguments and allegations around the new movie about the story of the flood.

03/27/2014 Comments (66)

The punning headlines write themselves: “Noah Awash in Flood of Controversy.” “Deluge of Criticism Inundates Filmmakers.” In the weeks preceding the release of Noah, controversy has swirled around the film — and will no doubt continue to do so in the weeks ahead.

Does Noah replace the biblical theme of judgment of sin with environmental themes? Is Noah a radical environmentalist? Does the movie mention God at all? Is the director an atheist? Why are there giant rock monsters? And so on.

I touched on some of these questions in my review of the film (and my interview with writer-director Darren Aronofsky and co-writer Ari Handel). Others kept coming up in the combox. Eventually, I decided...READ MORE

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Pope Francis, President Obama Discuss Religious Freedom, Life Issues and Immigration Reform (11232)

The 52-minute meeting also touched upon human trafficking and conflict resolution.

03/27/2014 Comments (17)
AP photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis March 27 at the Vatican. Their historic first meeting comes as Obama’s administration and the Church remain sharply divided on issues of abortion, contraception and same-sex ‘marriage.’

– AP photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis discussed the right to religious freedom, life, conscientious objection and conflict resolution with President Barack Obama today.

The 52-minute meeting in the library of the apostolic palace was “cordial,” the Vatican said in a statement, and views were exchanged “on some current international themes.”

“In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between church and state, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance of the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform,” the statement said.

It also said it was “hoped that, in...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, evangelii gaudium, human rights, pope francis, president barack obama, religious freedom

1,000 Children Ask Pope Francis to Speak Against Parents’ Deportation in Obama Summit (2609)

The letters come from children of immigrants without legal papers whose families may be separated by President Barack Obama's deportation policies.

03/27/2014 Comments (10)
Catholic Coalition for Immigration Reform

Jersey Vargas (bottom, center) meets Pope Francis after the general audience at St. Peter's Square on March 26, 2014.

– Catholic Coalition for Immigration Reform

VATICAN CITY — A group of U.S. immigration-reform advocates participated in Wednesday’s general audience at the Vatican, giving the Pope letters from children who face being separated from their parents by deportation.

The group, which traveled from Los Angeles and was blessed by the city’s Archbishop Jose Gomez, hoped to encourage Pope Francis to advocate for them during his impending meeting with President Barack Obama.

The group chose 10-year-old Jersey Vargas, the daughter of undocumented immigrants, as their representative to the Pope. Vargas was born in the U.S., and her father is currently imprisoned in Indiana and at risk of being deported.

At the end of the March 26 audience,...READ MORE

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