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Abortions Down but So Are Births, and Cause Is Unknown (5695)

A new report shows a 13% decrease in the rate of abortions, but whether the drop is caused by a decline in abortion providers, shifts in public opinion or the increase in long-acting contraceptives is under dispute.

02/21/2014 Comments (16)

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. abortion rate is as low as it has been since 1973. But the reasons for the downward trend are unclear and in dispute, as the birth rate also continues to drop, raising questions as to whether the United States is actually shifting in a pro-life direction or is instead becoming ever more reliant on contraception.

The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion research firm with historical ties to Planned Parenthood, reports that the abortion rate dropped 13% over a period of three years to 16.9 abortions in 2011 for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15-44. The annual number of children aborted in the U.S. dropped to under 1.06 million in 2011 from 1.21 million in 2008, when...READ MORE

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Catholic Campus in Ukraine Mourns Lecturer Killed in Protests (2645)

Bohdan Solchanyk was killed Feb. 20 at Independence Square in Kiev.

02/21/2014 Comments (4)
Jakub Szymczuk/GOSC NIEDZIELNY/Courtesy Aid to the Church in Need

Protesters pray for peace in one of two tent-chapels at Kiev's Maidan Square.

– Jakub Szymczuk/GOSC NIEDZIELNY/Courtesy Aid to the Church in Need

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian Catholic University, located in the far-western city of Lviv, is lamenting the death of one of its lecturers, who was killed Feb. 20 during anti-government protests in Kiev.

Bohdan Solchanyk, who was 29, lectured on modern history at the university and was killed at Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital during protests that have been ongoing since November.

“I really appreciated Bohdan as a creative young lecturer and researcher,” Olekander Zaitev, the former chair of Ukrainian Catholic University’s modern history department, told CNA Feb. 20.

“He was a true generator of ideas, had a creative attitude toward his work with students. He initiated a...READ MORE

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St. Ann’s Still Stands: Vatican Rules U.S. Diocese Can’t Close Inner-City Church (11501)

The new ruling gives hope to parishioners that their church can be restored and reopened, but cuts off the diocese from pursuing secular uses as another avenue to save the iconic church from demolition.

02/20/2014 Comments (14)

St. Ann's Church in Buffalo, N.Y.

– Facebook.com/saintannbuffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A long-shot appeal to the Vatican has given a small band of parishioners in Buffalo, N.Y., a chance to save their church as a worship site, after it had been closed by the local diocese.

The Jan. 7 decree handed down from the Congregation of Clergy states that St. Ann’s Church and Shrine, located on Broadway Avenue in Buffalo, cannot be sold or repurposed for profane use. The Buffalo Diocese had closed St. Ann’s as part of a parish consolidation process and was seeking to sell the church, convent and school complex to a private developer for secular uses, after judging that an estimated $8 million-12 million price tag to repair and restore it was something the diocese...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Acknowledge the Beautiful, True and Good of Family Life (2464)

Holy Father reminds cardinals that the Church has to proclaim God's plan for families and encourage families to live their calling.

02/20/2014 Comments (5)

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met briefly this morning with cardinals who had gathered for a meeting to reflect on the theme of the family, urging them to consider carefully both the Church’s theology and pastoral practice.

“Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life,” he said on Feb. 20.

“We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires.”

After extending the prelates “a warm greeting” and thanking “the Lord, who has given us...READ MORE

Filed under family life, bishops, pope francis

Notre Dame Conference Promotes Catholic Concept of Love (3791)

Organized by students, the ninth annual Edith Stein Project brought scholars and undergraduates together for a two-day discussion on the Church’s understanding of relationships.

02/20/2014 Comments (15)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Students at the University of Notre Dame pre-empted the mainstream’s version of Valentine’s Day by holding their own celebration of love.

The Catholic understanding of love was the focus of the Edith Stein Project, a two-day conference held Feb. 7-8 that was devoted to the theme of “Relationships and the Call to Love.” The conference featured 30 speakers, who, through paper presentations and panel discussions, covered a wide range of issues.

Among the treated topics were parenthood, spiritual friendship and the legacy of Mulieris Dignitatem (The Dignity and Vocation of Women), Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic letter on the dignity and vocation of women.


Filed under authentic love, catholic faith, jesus christ, st teresa benedicta of the cross, university of notre dame

Cardinal-Elect Müller: A Bridge Between Two Pontificates (3183)

The German archbishop, who was appointed as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, provides continuity between the papacies of Francis and Benedict XVI.

02/20/2014 Comment

VATICAN CITY — Archbishop Gerhard Müller, who will be made a cardinal Feb. 22, is a personal friend to Benedict XVI and has forged a good relationship with Pope Francis.

Archbishop Müller is among 19 bishops who will be given the red hat, and he is one of three who join the cardinalate by virtue of their office in the Roman Curia.

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was appointed to his position by Benedict in 2012 and was confirmed in the role by Pope Francis shortly after his election as Bishop of Rome.

The native German was born in 1947 and studied philosophy and theology in his hometown, Mainz, as well as In Munich and Freiburg. He received a doctorate...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Appoints Archbishop Kurtz to Congregation for the Oriental Churches (3448)

Cardinal Leonardi Sandri was confirmed as prefect of the department, which oversees relations with the 22 Eastern Churches in communion with the Holy See.

02/20/2014 Comments (1)
CNA/Addie Mena

– CNA/Addie Mena

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis nominated Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on Feb. 19.

The Pope confirmed both Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as prefect and Archbishop Cyril Vasil as secretary. Both had been initially appointed to their roles by Benedict XVI: Cardinal Sandri in 2007; and Archbishop Vasil, who is a Jesuit and was ordained a priest of the Slovakian Catholic Church, in 2009.

The Congregation for the Oriental Churches “considers those matters … affecting the Catholic Oriental Churches.” There are 22 Eastern Catholic Churches in union with the Pope and the Latin rite; the largest of these is...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop joseph kurtz, catholic church, catholic faith, christian unity, congregation for oriental churches, eastern rite churches in communion with rome, pope francis

Pontifical Academy Addresses the Science and Ethics of Aging (2370)

They will discuss finding an ethical solution to the issues associated with a decline at the end of life, especially in the face of a culture that tends to discriminate against or marginalize the elderly and dependent.

02/20/2014 Comment
CNA/Marea Howse

– CNA/Marea Howse

VATICAN CITY — As the global number of elderly increases, one Vatican advisory group is meeting this week to discuss the many challenges associated with aging and its often accompanying disabilities.

The Pontifical Academy for Life’s general assembly will consider issues surrounding “the scientific, the medical ... and ethical issues concerning these specific problems coming from the situation of many elderly people [who] become disabled,” explained the group’s chancellor, Father Pegoraro Renzo.

“Of course … in the Western world, the problem is more relevant and urgent, because there is a [larger] percentage of people that is older,” he told CNA on Feb. 18. “But also in developing...READ MORE

Filed under aging population, catholic faith, end of life issues, euthanasia, human dignity

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