Daily News

When Rights Become Wrongs (1570)

COMMENTARY: The United Nations has demonstrated once again that it lacks the wisdom to serve as a global moral voice.

02/18/2014 Comment

The report issued Feb. 5 by the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child, while lambasting the Catholic Church for not being sufficiently forceful in curbing clerical sex abuse, does not, however, give adequate credit for the reforms the Church has already made.

It bluntly faults the Vatican for “systematically” putting the Church’s reputation above the protection of children. The Church, including its long tradition, systematically opposes the sexual abuse of children by anyone. Blessed John Paul II denounced the clerical abuse of children as an “appalling sin.” Benedict XVI promised to rid the Church of such “filth.” And Pope Francis has ordered prosecutors and bishops to...READ MORE

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Hobby Lobby Files Supreme-Court Brief Challenging DOJ Arguments (6458)

The Green family's lawyers argue that the owners of the craft store chain “exercise their faith through Hobby Lobby, and those beliefs are entitled to protection."

02/17/2014 Comments (3)

– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — Do constitutional and statutory protections for religious freedom apply to for-profit corporations? According to the Green family, they do.

The Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, a large craft-store chain headquartered in Oklahoma, contend that their company is indeed protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That’s why they were among the first for-profit employers to file a legal challenge to the Health and Human Services (HHS)' contraception mandate in 2012.

Now, the Green family and their lawyers are preparing to bring that argument to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is scheduled to hear oral arguments March 25 in a closely watched case that could affect the...READ MORE

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Council of Cardinals Begins Third Set of Reform Meetings (1775)

The council, appointed by Pope Francis to advise him about Church governance and Curial reform, will meet through Wednesday.

02/17/2014 Comment
Facebook/Vatican Radio/CTV

Pope Francis prays with the members of the council of cardinals during their initial meeting Oct. 1, 2013.

– Facebook/Vatican Radio/CTV

VATICAN CITY — Meeting for the third time since its institution, the council of eight cardinals has reconvened in Rome to address the economic affairs of the Holy See and will continue discussions over the next three days.

The council, chosen by Pope Francis to advise him on matters of Church governance and Curia reform, will be meeting Feb. 17-19, following an initial meeting in October and a second in December.

During a Feb. 17 press briefing for journalists, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi stated that, as in previous meetings, “the cardinals initiated their work with a holy Mass concelebrated this morning at 7am in the Sanctae Marthae chapel, after which they began their...READ MORE

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Olympic Figure-Skating Star Hailed as Example for Catholics (29177)

Sharing the Rosary, and praying publicly before she steps onto the ice, are just some of the things that South Korea’s Yuna Kim does to witness to the faith.

02/17/2014 Comments (12)

Yuna Kim at the 2010 Winter Olympics

– Sfcphoto.KeunHwa/Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Catholic Olympian and international skating superstar Yuna Kim is a role model not only of dedication and athleticism, but also an example of how to live the faith publicly, a fan says.  

A seminarian for the Archdiocese of Detroit and blog writer Evan Pham told CNA that he was struck by Kim’s simple act of praying on ice during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

He said that he was inspired when he and his family saw “a clip of her doing the Sign of the Cross” and bowing her head immediately before competing in the finals for the ladies’ skating title, which she won.

“There was this young woman out there on the Olympic ice, and all these cameras are constantly on her,”...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Encourages the Faithful to Consider: What Is in My Heart? (2644)

The Holy Father said Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle in Rome on Feb. 16, speaking on the importance of making a good examination of conscience.

02/17/2014 Comment

– Shutterstock

ROME -- While making a pastoral visit to Rome's St. Thomas the Apostle parish Feb. 16, Pope Francis emphasized to the community the importance of making a good examination of conscience.

As Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis said the evening Mass at the parish to mark the 50th anniversary of its dedication, which is Feb. 19. St. Thomas the Apostle is located on Rome's southern periphery, near Ostia. Nearly 400 parishioners filled the church, while others lined the sidewalks to welcome their bishop.

Pope Francis took the opportunity to meet with various small groups from St. Thomas the Apostle, including children making their first Communion this year, young people in religious education,...READ MORE

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Archbishop Chaput’s Laity Expertise Is Set to Go Global (6799)

Pope Francis has called the Philadelphia archbishop to bring his best efforts to a key Vatican office that is responsible for encouraging the Pope’s vision of the laity as ‘missionary disciples.’

02/17/2014 Comments (19)
Alejandro Bermudez/Catholic News Agency

Archbishop Charles Chaput receives a basket of Philadelphia treats at the July 2011 press conference announcing his appointment as Archbishop of Philadelphia.

– Alejandro Bermudez/Catholic News Agency

PHILADELPHIA — Pope Francis has tapped Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to join his council for the laity, the Vatican office responsible not only for the Church’s World Youth Day celebration, but also for promoting lay movements.

Church observers familiar with the archbishop’s legacy say Pope Francis is calling upon a bishop with a second to none reputation when it comes to putting the laity on the front lines of the Church.

Now, Archbishop Chaput will have the opportunity to bring his expertise to a global level.

Pope Francis named the archbishop to the Pontifical Council for the Laity on Feb. 6, making him part of a team that will advise Pope Francis on how the lay faithful...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Gossip Is Poisonous (7569)

In his Sunday Angelus message, the Holy Father reflects on the need for Christians to refrain from all forms of slander.

02/16/2014 Comments (9)
Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

– Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ Sunday Angelus message emphasized the importance of avoiding all forms of slander in living a Christian life.

“It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy.  But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us,” Pope Francis said Feb. 16.

“I tell you the truth,” he preached to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square. “I am convinced that if each one of us would purposely avoid gossip, at the end, we would become a saint! It’s a beautiful path!”

“Do we want to become saints? Yes or no?” he queried, as the crowds replied, “Yes!”

“Yes? Do we want to live attached to gossip as...READ MORE

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Bringing the Church Into the World of Sports (11422)

Ray McKenna, the head of Catholic Athletes for Christ, is enthusiastic about the missionary mandate.

02/14/2014 Comments (5)
Catholic Athletes for Christ

Ray McKenna, the founder of Catholic Athletes for Christ, meets Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 21, 2013.

– Catholic Athletes for Christ

Ray McKenna thought he was the only one in professional sports ministry experiencing anti-Catholic bias. In his volunteer work with Baseball Chapel, a Protestant group, he would hear things about the Catholic Church that weren’t true. He initially ignored the slights in the hope of obtaining a greater good: bringing athletes closer to God.

Yet, as time went on, McKenna discovered that his anti-Catholic experiences were shared by many, including five-time Kansas City Royals All-Star Mike Sweeney. “Mike and I met in the mid-1990s, while he was still in the minor leagues. I learned as we spoke over the years that he had experienced many of the same things I had in baseball: a strong...READ MORE

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