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New Egyptian Constitution Holds Promise for Copts (3735)

After enduring the worst persecution in centuries, a new constitution gives Coptic Christians renewed hope for civil rights and freedom in Egypt, but a lot of work remains.

01/31/2014 Comments (2)
Ed Giles/Getty Images

A woman shows her ink-stained fingers, evidence she has voted in Egypt's constitutional referendum, and holds a poster of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at a Cairo polling booth on Jan. 14.

– Ed Giles/Getty Images

CAIRO — A new day is dawning for Coptic Christians in Egypt, now that the country has voted to approve a new constitution that replaces the Islamist one crafted under the auspices of the former ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the promise of a new Egypt with full inclusion and civil rights for Christians, women and all minorities now faces the challenge of electing new leaders and drafting new laws amid the threat of terror and violence from militants allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“It is good — not very good — but it is good,” Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for Egypt’s Catholic Conference, said about the constitution, speaking with the Register from Cairo. “It could not have...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Emphasize ‘Human Ecology’ in Forthcoming Document, Says Theologian (8594)

Vatican theologian Father Paul Haffner expects Pope Francis to reiterate the Church’s human-centric model of caring for creation, while also correcting erroneous ideas dominant in the secular environmental movement.

01/30/2014 Comments (4)
CNA/Kyle Burkhart

– CNA/Kyle Burkhart

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ forthcoming document on ecology is likely to put the human person at the center and draw attention to the connection between environmental problems and poverty, according to a Church expert on theology and the environment.

Father Paul Haffner, professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and author of the book Towards a Theology of the Environment, believes such a document is urgently needed to correct many philosophical and theological errors that have crept into the environmental movement.

Although he says it is difficult to predict its contents, he believes it will “put the human person as central and focus also on the margins of...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic social teaching, ecology, humanity, jesus christ, pope francis

Pope Francis: A Christian Without the Church Is an ‘Absurd Dichotomy’ (4448)

Pope Francis preached that the three pillars for a Christian’s ‘belonging’ to the Church are humility, fidelity and prayer.

01/30/2014 Comments (5)
Kerri Lenartowick/CNA

– Kerri Lenartowick/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In his daily Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis reflected on the intrinsic relationship between the Church and the people of God, stating that Christians need to be humble and obedient to her teachings in order to be faithful.

“It is an absurd dichotomy to love Christ without the Church; to listen to Christ, but not the Church; to be with Christ at the margins of the Church,” he said. “One cannot do this. It is an absurd dichotomy.”

Pope Francis began his Jan. 30 homily, offered to those present for Mass in the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, by turning again to the figure of King David in the day’s first reading, taken from the Second Book of Samuel.


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Hobby Lobby Draws Broad Support in HHS Mandate Lawsuit (2362)

Hundreds of groups and individuals, including more than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate, have filed briefs in support of the Christian-owned family business.

01/30/2014 Comments (4)

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of individuals and groups from a broad range of religious and political backgrounds have filed briefs supporting the owners of Hobby Lobby in their religious-freedom case at the Supreme Court.

“The breadth of support has been incredible,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby and its owners before the Supreme Court.

“Where else do you see Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Jews coming together?” she asked. “Religious freedom is important to Americans of all faiths, and we hope the Supreme Court will protect that freedom.”

Windham told CNA that the “overwhelming support...READ MORE

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Soap-Opera Economics (3107)

COMMENTARY: Why the idea of concrete love is useful to understanding Church teaching about the economy.

01/30/2014 Comment

– Shutterstock

In a Jan. 9 homily, commenting on the Letter of St. John (4:11-18), Pope Francis said that “the love of which John speaks is not the love of which soap operas are made.” On the contrary, “Christian love is concrete. Jesus himself, when he speaks of love, tells us concrete things: Feed the hungry; visit the sick.” Indeed, “when this concreteness is lacking,” we end up “living a Christianity of illusions, for we do not understand the heart of Jesus’ message,” the Pope said. Love that is not concrete — soap-opera love — is “an illusory love.”

I find the idea of concrete love to be a useful key to understanding Church teaching about the economy.  Many millions of Catholics make their living...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, economics, pope francis, pope john paul ii

Bishop Sees Europe Moving Away From ‘Culture of Death’ (2492)

A Spanish bishop pointed to recent events as signs that 'people are beginning to react’ against the assault on human dignity.

01/30/2014 Comments (1)
CNA/courtesy of Manif Pour Tous

A defense-of-marriage rally gathered in the streets of Paris.

– CNA/courtesy of Manif Pour Tous

MADRID — A series of recent pro-life and pro-marriage events show that Europe is reacting against the "culture of death," said Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcala de Henares in Spain.

“Something is changing in Europe,” the bishop said in an article published in the Alpha and Omega Catholic weekly.

He pointed to events including the recent March for Life in Paris and defense-of-marriage demonstrations reportedly drawing more than 1 million participants, as well as the European Court of Justice’s ruling banning stem-cell patents when human embryos are destroyed.

He also noted the 2012 Council of Europe resolution against euthanasia and the “One of Us” campaign, a European citizens’...READ MORE

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Ireland’s Decision to Reopen Its Vatican Embassy May Signal Changing Diplomacy (1526)

NEWS ANALYSIS: International lecturer points to the election of Pope Francis as a possible turning point.

01/30/2014 Comment
CNA courtesy of Tom Haymes

A Celtic cross on the hill at Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland.

– CNA courtesy of Tom Haymes

VATICAN CITY — Ireland’s decision to reopen its embassy at the Vatican may be part of a changing climate of diplomacy at the Holy See observed by a professor of international relations.

“Going back to Pope Francis’ election and the variety of statements in December and January … all point to a set of new emphases for the future — human trafficking, small arms [and] Syria,” Scott Thomas, senior lecturer of international relations at the University of Bath, England, told CNA Jan. 27.

Thomas cited the Holy See’s position during the Geneva II peace talks on Syria; Pope Francis’ address to ambassadors accredited to the Holy See; and the recent meeting between the Vatican and U.S....READ MORE

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Remembering Ralph McInerny (6003)

Dennis McInerny reflects on his brother’s intellectual legacy and other contemporary topics.

01/30/2014 Comments (1)
Thomas Aquinas College

Ralph McInerny

– Thomas Aquinas College

Philosophy professor and famed writer Ralph McInerny died four years ago on Jan. 29. His intellectual legacy, however, has not died; in fact, according to his brother Dennis, it has barely begun to be made manifest.

While Ralph McInerny was best known for his novels, his brother believes his true greatness can be found in his exposition of scholastic philosophy. Dennis “D.Q.” McInerny, himself a longtime adherent and expositor of scholasticism, has maintained his childlike enthusiasm for asking and answering the important questions about human life.

Dennis McInerny has been a professor for 43 years, the last 19 of which have been at the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s seminary in...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, faith and reason, jesus christ, philosophy, ralph mcinerny

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