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Bridging the Gap: Search Continues for New U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See (4482)

Finding a candidate acceptable both to the Obama administration and to the Vatican is proving an uphill task.

02/14/2013 Comments (1)
U.S. Embassy to the Holy See/Facebook

Miguel Diaz, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See from 2009-2012, presents his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI.

– U.S. Embassy to the Holy See/Facebook

VATICAN CITY — As the Obama administration continues to search for a new ambassador to the Holy See, it faces an uphill task to find a suitable candidate, especially among the ranks of potential Catholic appointees.

Ever since the previous ambassador, Miguel Diaz, announced he was leaving the post shortly before President Barack Obama’s re-election, many have been speculating about who will fill his shoes.

The Holy See sees the appointment as a crucial one — a test for the kind of relations the administration wishes to have with the Catholic Church in President Obama’s second term. “It’s a significant choice for us, as it shows the extent of their interest in this relationship,” a...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, u.s. ambassador to the holy see, vatican city

During Last Mass, Pope Benedict Urges Return to God (1701)

Benedict XVI’s homily was his last as the head of the Church after he announced this week that he will be resigning on Feb. 28.

02/14/2013 Comment
Stephen Driscoll/CNA

Pope Benedict XVI distributes ashes during Ash Wednesday Mass.

– Stephen Driscoll/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI encouraged people across the globe to wholeheartedly return to God during his last public Mass today as pontiff of the Catholic Church.

“May the invitation to conversion, to ‘return to God with all our heart,’ resonate strongly in us, accepting his grace that makes us new men and women, with the surprising news that is (found in) participating in the very life of Jesus,” Pope Benedict said at St. Peter’s Basilica on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13. Mass was held at 5pm local time.

Benedict XVI’s homily was his last public homily as the head of the Church after he announced on Monday that he will be resigning on Feb. 28.

The Ash Wednesday Mass normally takes...READ MORE

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U.S. House Votes to Help Churches Battered by Hurricane Sandy (2095)

Rep. Chris Smith co-authored the bill to make houses of worship eligible for FEMA grants.

02/14/2013 Comments (7)
Fr. Richard Ahlemeyer

Repairs to the walls of St. Virgilius Catholic Church in Queens, N.Y.

– Fr. Richard Ahlemeyer

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted to allow federal assistance for houses of worship following Hurricane Sandy, as the federal relief agency is normally not permitted to help religious institutions.

“The House has decisively acted to correct this blatant unfairness. Today’s debate and vote is about those who are being unfairly left out and left behind,” the bill’s co-author, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said Feb. 13 on the House floor.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates government disaster response in the U.S.

“It’s about those who helped feed, comfort, clothe and shelter tens of thousands of victims now being told they are ineligible for a FEMA...READ MORE

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A Fast Break for Faith (1558)

Two female basketball stars give up their professional careers to become Catholic campus missionaries.

02/14/2013 Comment
Ciprian Petcut, courtesy of FOCUS

Christina Wirth (left) and Jennifer Risper

– Ciprian Petcut, courtesy of FOCUS

DENVER — Best friends Jennifer Risper and Christina Wirth have given up professional basketball to become Catholic missionaries with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students' outreach to student athletes.

“It is always a wonderful consolation to see young people of such caliber decide to serve the Lord and to have a heart for reaching other athletes,” Thomas Wurtz, director of the Focus division Varsity Catholic, told Catholic News Agency Feb. 13.

The two women became professional athletes with the WNBA and in Europe after award-winning careers playing basketball for Vanderbilt University. Now, they will leave their professional basketball team in Romania to join Varsity...READ MORE

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Ugly Anti-Catholicism, Social Media Enhances Lenten Experience, Beautiful Gregorian Chant and More! (4183)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/14/2013 Comments (1)

David Horsey’s L. A. Times Cartoon Revives Ugly Anti-Catholicism. Follow the ink by David F. Pierre of TheMediaReport.com website to read more.

David Horsey’s L. A. Times Cartoon Revives Ugly Anti-Catholicism by David F. Pierre of TheMediaReport.com website - Big Pulpit

Social Media Enhances Lenten Experience – Clarissa V. Aljentera, OSV Newsweekly

Tolkien, Mozart, Plato, & Everything Else with Gregorian Chant – Jacob Tawney, Catholic Stand

Catechizing Garry Wills – Nathaniel Peters, First Things/First Thoughts

Lent in a Sinless Age – Donald R. McClarey, The American Catholic

Papa Bene Comments on Dorothy Day – Rocco Palmo, Whispers in the Loggia

Benefits of Lent and Penance – Alexandra Reis, Ignitum Today

New Book: A Sense of the Sacred: Catholic Worship In The Middle Ages – Carl E. Olson, Ignatius Insight Scoop

...READ MORE

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Standing With Our Brothers and Sisters (5545)

COMMENTARY: As President Obama and Congress focus on immigration reform, Catholics have an opportunity to assist in fixing the current flawed system.

02/13/2013 Comments (20)
Catholic News Agency

Kim Daniels

– Catholic News Agency

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama recognized that “our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants” and that “right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s Republican response — given in both English and Spanish — took up immigration reform as well. After speaking movingly of his own parents’ immigrant experience, Rubio noted that economic growth depends on “a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the world’s best and brightest” and a “responsible,...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic social teaching, immigration

Piers Morgan Conspiracy Theories on Papa Bene's Resignation, The Great Fast Begins and More! (3550)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/13/2013 Comment

Piers Morgan’s Conspiracy Theories on Papa Bene’s Resignation. Follow the link by Matthew Archbold of the Creative Minority Report blog to read more.

Piers Morgan’s Conspiracy Theories on Papa Bene’s Resignation by Matthew Archbold of the Creative Minority Report blog – Big Pulpit

The Great Fast Begins – Ramblings of a Byzantine Catholic

Prelude to Love - Sherry Antonetti, Catholic Stand

Holy Face of Jesus – Fr. Simon Henry, Offerimus Tibi Domine

Of Abortionists, Dead Women and Media Complicity – Donald R. McClarey, The American Catholic

The Popularity of Ash Wednesday – Catholic Lane

Can We Talk About Sex? – Stephanie Calis, Ignitum Today

Divine Wisdom at the Root of Things: Hugh of St. Victor – Brian FitzGerald, Crisis Magazine

An Interview with Patrick Madrid’s Mustache – The Larry D, Acts of the Apostasy

Super...READ MORE

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State of the Union Speeches Recognize Role of Family (1547)

President Obama’s address pledges to remove financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and to promote active fatherhood.

02/13/2013 Comments (1)
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address Feb. 12

– Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

WASHINGTON — The importance of strong families for the well-being of society was discussed by leaders of both political parties as President Barack Obama delivered his 2013 State of the Union address.

Addressing the problem of poverty in his Feb. 12 speech, President Barack Obama promised to “work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples.”

The president’s address, delivered as he begins his second term in office, dealt heavily with the economy and also touched on issues of immigration, education and minimum wage.

However, he also discussed the need for healthy families, pledging to promote active fatherhood, “because what makes...READ MORE

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