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Council of Cardinals Discusses Mission of the Vatican Bank (2760)

The cardinals will conclude their meetings with the Holy Father Feb. 19.

02/18/2014 Comment
CNA/David Uebbing

Father Federico Lombardi addresses the media in the Vatican Press Office.

– CNA/David Uebbing

VATICAN CITY — Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Feb. 18 that discussion of the Vatican Bank dominated the conversation of the council of eight cardinals’ second day of meetings with Pope Francis.

The council was chosen by the Pope to advise him on matters of Church governance and reform of the Roman Curia and is meeting with the Holy Father for the third time, following meetings in October and December. This week’s meetings began on Feb. 17 and will conclude on Feb. 19.

During the Feb. 18 press briefing, Father Lombardi said that after meeting with the council, formally known as the Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, council of eight, jesus christ, pope francis, vatican city state

Children and Euthanasia: Belgium Votes to Remove All Age Limits on ‘Mercy Killing’ (4795)

Palliative care for children in the birthplace of euthanasia will likely soon include the option of a lethal injection.

02/18/2014 Comments (5)

BRUSSELS — King Philippe of Belgium, a father of four, is expected to sign a bill that would allow terminally ill children with a “capacity of discernment” to request a lethal injection or drink of barbiturate drugs with the consent of their parents.

On Feb. 13, the Belgian Parliament voted 86-44 to allow euthanasia of children in the once heavily Catholic, now mostly secular, European country. If the monarch signs the law, Belgium will be the world’s first country to have no age barrier to euthanasia.

When the amendment passed, a man in the public gallery shouted “murderers” in French. Protesters gathered outside the legislature in Brussels last week and held prayer vigils ahead of...READ MORE

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Catholic Leaders Praise ‘Son of God’ Movie (7376)

Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Gomez are among those promoting the TV miniseries-turned-film.

02/18/2014 Comments (10)
Movie Web

Scene from Son of God movie

– Movie Web

LOS ANGELES — A new movie about Jesus Christ, a spin-off from the popular History Channel television miniseries The Bible, has drawn praise from several Catholic bishops and leaders.

“It is the biggest, greatest story ever told,” said Roma Downey, a co-producer of the Son of God movie, who stars as Mary.

“The story of the Son of God is one of the most-known stories in the history of the world,” added her husband and co-producer, Mark Burnett. “And yet it never gets old. And the way we have told it is very connective, very young, very gritty and real. You really feel connected and can see yourself as these characters.”

The movie is based on the Bible and covers the life, death,...READ MORE

Filed under movie reviews, bible, jesus

Spain’s Pro-Life Bill Hailed as Growing European Trend (4317)

The bill, which seeks to roll back expansive abortion legislation passed by Spain’s previous Socialist regime, moved forward in the Spanish Parliament last week.

02/18/2014 Comments (8)

– Shutterstock

MADRID — A new bill in Spain to re-establish limits on abortion and assert the state’s right to protect unborn children is a step forward in the larger pro-life movement growing across the continent, a European legal expert says.

“One of the goals of the Spanish bill was to create debate,” said Grégor Puppinck, director of the European Centre for Law and Justice.

“The debate about abortion is all across Europe,” he told CNA on Feb. 13, adding that the Spanish bill is a “way to provoke thought” and continue the debate about abortion across the continent.

The Spanish bill seeks to address what many have seen as an overreach by a 2010 law passed by the Socialists. The 2010 law allowed...READ MORE

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Late Iowa Farmer Hid Generosity Throughout Life, Priest Says (4374)

Edwin ‘Bud’ Skalla led a hidden life, but bequeathed millions to Iowa parishes with his passing.

02/18/2014 Comments (4)
St. Mary’s parish

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Portsmouth, Iowa, is one of 13 parishes that Edwin Skalla bestowed millions of dollars in land and cash in his will.

– St. Mary’s parish

DES MOINES, Iowa — Edwin “Bud” Skalla, who died last November, was a bachelor farmer whose greatness of heart was made known only after he passed away, according to the man’s pastor.

“I don’t think people realized that he had as generous a heart as he did, because he hid it very well from everyone until after his death,” said Father John Dorton, pastor of St. Mary parish in Portsmouth, Iowa.

“And then, when his will became public, his generosity towards 13 churches sprinkled throughout southwest Iowa became very apparent,” he said.

At his death, Skalla left 282 acres of farmland to St. Mary’s, his home parish, and another 858 acres to 13 parishes located in Iowa’s Harrison and...READ MORE

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Texas Candidate Wendy Davis Softens Stance Against Abortion Ban (3010)

The state’s Democratic candidate for governor has taken fire from both sides of the political spectrum for trying to downplay her stance against an abortion ban she filibustered last year.

02/18/2014 Comments (13)
Credit: Alan Kotok via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis at the National Press Club in Washington on Aug. 5, 2013.

– Credit: Alan Kotok via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

DALLAS — Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who garnered national attention for her opposition to a 20-week abortion ban in the state, is now making headlines again by saying she might support such a ban in some instances.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, stated that Davis’ apparent change in stance gives her “the appearance of moving with” pro-life voters in Texas, “while at the same time maintaining abortion as her ‘sacred ground.’”

In September 2013, Davis gained national attention in her role as state senator after performing a nearly 11-hour filibuster against a Texas bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks into pregnancy and require...READ MORE

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When Rights Become Wrongs (1571)

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 (6461)

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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