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Building the Church in Arabia Is About More Than Just Buildings (3047)

Bishop Camillo Ballin of the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia talks about plans for the newest Catholic church in the region and the challenges of building a unified Catholic community across ethnic groups and languages.

03/20/2014 Comments (2)
Addie Mena/CNA

Bishop Camillo Ballin, vicar apostolic of northern Arabia

– Addie Mena/CNA

King Isa Al Khalifah of Bahrain has given land to the Catholic Church to construct a 2,500-seat church in the Middle Eastern island nation, to be called Our Lady of Arabia. Bishop Camillo Ballin, the apostolic vicar of the northern Arabian Peninsula, traveled to the United States this month to raise a portion of the $30 million needed for the construction of the church.

Bishop Ballin spoke with Register correspondent Christopher Crawford on March 14 in Washington about the challenges facing the Church in the Muslim-dominated region.


Please start by telling our readers about the history of the Church in northern Arabia.

Many people have started to come from India, Asia, the...READ MORE

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Young Nun Wows Judges on Italy’s ‘The Voice’ (27821)

Sister Cristina Scuccia startled the judges with her religious habit and the quality of her March 19 televised rendition of Alicia Keys’ song ‘No One.’

03/20/2014 Comments (21)

ROME — Sister Cristina Scuccia is a 25-year-old member of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family who has appeared on The Voice of Italy, a reality show akin to America's The Voice or American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent.

Sister Cristina surprised the four judges on The Voice of Italy March 19 with both her talent and her habit.

The judges on the show begin with their backs turned to the performer, and they turn around only if they like what they hear.

As the judges turned to face Sister Cristina, their astonishment was visible at seeing a young nun singing Alicia Keys’ No One.

A native of Sicily, Sister Cristina arrived at the show accompanied by four sisters from her community, as...READ MORE

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Arkansas Judge Strikes Down Heartbeat-Based Abortion Ban (3765)

U.S. district Judge Susan Webber Wright said the law was unconstitutional, on the grounds that only a doctor can determine whether or not an unborn child can live outside of its mother.

03/20/2014 Comments (8)

– Shutterstock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  — A U.S. district court’s ruling against Arkansas’ fetal heartbeat-based abortion restrictions disappointed pro-life advocates, but they said the effort still helps the unborn.

State Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, who sponsored the legislation, said that, despite the ruling, the law was still “a win for the pro-life movement” because of its other provisions.

“When people have to face the reality that there’s a living heartbeat in their womb, that will make them rethink about taking the life away from their baby,” he told The Associated Press.

Jerry Cox, president of the Arkansas-based Family Council, said advocacy for the law was still worthwhile.

“I believe the only...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, arkansas, fetal viability, pro-life

Interfaith Leaders Launch Effort Against Human Trafficking (2464)

The Global Freedom Network was officially formed by Catholic, Anglican and Muslim leaders March 17.

03/20/2014 Comment

Amsterdam's red-light district is a magnet for human trafficking.

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY — Catholic, Anglican and Muslim leaders have launched an anti-human-trafficking network that hopes to eradicate the crime by 2020 through the mobilization of religious communities.

“It’s not politically correct to call this modern slavery a crime against humanity, but we want to arrive at that in national and international law,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Bishop Sanchez was one of several religious leaders who signed a new agreement March 17 at the Vatican Press Office to collaborate in the fight against human trafficking through the new organization called the Global...READ MORE

Filed under anglican communion, catholic church, human trafficking, interfaith unity, islam

U.S. Bishops Designate National Shrine to John Paul II (2405)

In anticipation of the late pope’s April 27 canonization, the action has been taken to reflect ‘the love of Catholics in America for John Paul II.’

03/20/2014 Comment

– jp2shrine.org

WASHINGTON — Ahead of Blessed John Paul II’s April 27 canonization, the U.S. bishops have named a Washington-based facility as a national shrine to commemorate the beloved pope.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, said the action reflects “the love of Catholics in America for John Paul II.”

“This national shrine is truly America’s fitting tribute and remembrance of his legacy,” said the archbishop, who signed a March 19 decree recognizing the shrine.

Patrick Kelly, the shrine’s executive director, voiced gratitude for the designation, saying the shrine is “dedicated to a great saint who bore courageous witness to the love of God and the...READ MORE

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Cardinal O’Malley: ‘The Church Will Not Change Her Teaching on Marriage’ (17660)

The archbishop of Boston discusses Pope Francis’ first year, the work of the council of cardinals and the pastoral challenge of assisting divorced-remarried Catholics.

03/20/2014 Comments (53)
Flickr/George Martell-Pilot New Media

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston

– Flickr/George Martell-Pilot New Media

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has had a cardinal’s-eye view — shared by only a very select few — of the key events of the first year of Pope Francis’ papacy.

Cardinal O’Malley has devoted much of his vocation to ministering to Hispanic immigrants and working with the Church in Latin America, and he participated in the March 2013 conclave that elected Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. Appointed subsequently to the eight-member council of cardinals formed to advise the Holy Father, the Boston archbishop has now taken on a more visible role in the global Church, working closely with Pope Francis on Church reforms and announcing the formation of a new Vatican commission to address pastoral issues...READ MORE

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Chicago Cardinal in Hospital with Flu-Like Symptoms (1456)

Cardinal George was admitted last Friday, after physicians found during a routine checkup that he was dehydrated.

03/20/2014 Comments (1)
Paolo Tiranti/CNA

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago speaks at a news conference in Rome on Feb. 27, 2013.

– Paolo Tiranti/CNA

CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has been in the hospital at Loyola University Medical Center since Friday, after physicians found during a routine checkup that he was dehydrated.

“Cardinal George is expected to be released from the hospital later this week,” the Chicago Archdiocese said March 18.

“He asks that people continue to pray for him as he continues to keep people in his prayers.”

He is being treated with an antibiotic and is receiving intravenous fluids.

Earlier in the month, he announced to his local Church that cancer in his right kidney, which had been dormant for more than a year, is “showing signs of new activity.”

“While I am not experiencing symptoms of...READ MORE

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Fr. Barron: What Helps Protestants Become Catholic; Transitioning to Religious Life and Much More! (5116)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/20/2014 Comment

Follow the link by Fr. Robert Barron: What Helps Protestants Convert to Catholicism via the Catholic Fire blog to read more.

Fr. Robert Barron: What Helps Protestants Convert to Catholicism via Catholic Fire - BigPulpit.com

Transitioning to Religious Life: One Postulant’s Story – Rebecca Hamilton, Public Catholic

The Rise of Secular Religion – God & Caesar

6 Things that Led This Evangelical to the Catholic Church – Brantly Millegan, Aleteia

Book Review: Consuming the Word by Scott Hahn – Matthew Higgins, Ignitum Today

Sacred Music of Nicholas Wilton & Paintings of Fra Angelica – Views from the Choir Loft

One Year Anniversary of Pope Francis - BigPulpit.com

Slash & No Burn: New Icon of Our Lady of Czestachova – David Clayton, By Way of Beauty

Suffering from Mental Illness with the Saints – Anna Rose Meeds,...READ MORE

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