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Justice Department Opposes Little Sisters’ Petition for Temporary Injunction in HHS Case (8844)

The religious order had been granted a temporary reprieve by Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Dec. 31.

01/03/2014 Comments (46)

WASHINGTON —The U.S. Department of Justice registered its opposition to a temporary injunction for the Little Sisters of the Poor, after Justice Sonia Sotomayor directed the administration to respond by Jan. 3, 10am Eastern.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order of nuns who care for the elderly and the poor, had petitioned the high court for an 11th-hour reprieve, and, on Dec. 31, Justice Sotomayor granted a temporary stay, while requesting the administration to respond to the petition within three days.

“The solicitor general, on behalf of respondents, respectfully files this memorandum in opposition to the emergency application for an injunction pending appellate review...READ MORE

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Indian Supreme Court Re-Criminalizes Homosexual Activity (5467)

Judges struck down a 2009 lower-court decision that decriminalized homosexual behavior, but Church leaders opposed the Supreme Court’s move.

01/03/2014 Comments (24)

Supreme Court of India

– supremecourtofindia.nic.in

NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court restored a law to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that treats homosexual activity as a crime and prescribes a prison sentence of up to 10 years if convicted.

And while the Church teaches that homosexual activity is objectively disordered and can never be morally approved, Indian Church leaders criticized the court’s move as a legal injustice.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, the president of the Episcopal Conference of India, said that the Church has “never considered gay people criminals.”

According to AsiaNews, Cardinal Gracias, who is also a member of the council of cardinals advising Pope Francis on Curial reform, said that “the Catholic Church...READ MORE

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CDF Head Discusses the SSPX, Liberation Theology and Divorced-Remarried Catholics (5642)

Archbishop Gerhard Müller says you can't adapt Church doctrine to the circumstances in a wide-ranging interview with the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

01/03/2014 Comments (33)
CNA/Lauren Cater

– CNA/Lauren Cater

ROME — In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the Vatican’s head official on doctrinal matters discussed the importance of personal pastoral care for divorced-remarried persons in the context of Church teaching.

“We must try a combination of general principles and particular, personal situations — finding solutions to individual problems, though always on the foundation of Catholic doctrine,” Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Gian Guido Vecchi in an interview published Dec. 22.

“You cannot adjust the doctrine to the circumstances: The Church is not a political party that does surveys to look for...READ MORE

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Bangladesh Bishop Calls for Peace Amid Pre-Election Violence (1436)

Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario described a climate of ‘hatred’ in an interview the day after Christmas.

01/03/2014 Comment

DHAKA, Bangladesh — As Bangladesh experiences widespread strikes and violent protests in the run-up to its parliamentary elections, the bishop of the nation's capital is encouraging a peaceful contribution from local Christians.

“The situation is very tense. For months, we have been experiencing strikes, blockades, violent conflict, terrorist attacks, arson and hatred here in Bangladesh. There have been deaths, and hundreds of people have been injured,” Archbishop Patrick D'Rozario of Dhaka told the charity Aid to the Church in Need in a Dec. 26 interview.

“I am asking all Christians in the country and elsewhere to pray for peace and reconciliation in Bangladesh. … Our prayers are not...READ MORE

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California Community Grieves Loss of Murdered Pastor (14793)

Police have made an arrest in the case of Father Eric Freed, who was found in his rectory on New Year’s Day.

01/03/2014 Comments (38)

Father Eric Freed

– saintbernards.org

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The people of Humboldt County, located on California’s north coast, are grieving the loss of Father Eric Freed, a “wonderful” pastor, who was murdered early on New Year’s Day.

“Amid sadness, anger and disbelief, we would like to give thanks to God for tremendously blessing the parishioners of St. Bernard’s Catholic parish with Father Eric Freed. Though his life on earth was unfairly taken away, we remember that the greatest gift of all cannot be taken, which is eternal life with God,” Laura Martinez, a parishioner at Father Freed’s St. Bernard parish in Eureka, Calif., wrote on the parish’s website.

“May the Lord rest his soul. This tragedy reminds us how fragile...READ MORE

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Vatican to Propose Syrian Cease-Fire at Jan. 13 Meeting (3148)

The Vatican official hosting the meeting says a cease-fire is vital to facilitate humanitarian aid and to halt the persecution of Christians.

01/03/2014 Comments (1)
Wikimedia Commons

Bombed-out vehicles in the city of Aleppo during the Syrian civil war

– Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is to propose an urgent cease-fire in Syria at a Vatican-hosted meeting of diplomats and foreign-policy experts later this month.

In an interview with Vatican Radio Jan. 2, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that is holding the Jan. 13 meeting, said a cessation of hostilities was vital “in order to allow humanitarian aid, to create humanitarian corridors that at the moment don’t exist, and the cessation of persecution against Christians and so-called interreligious martyrdom.”

Syria’s Christians fear they are being targeted systematically by Islamist rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, and there...READ MORE

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A True Story of an Angel's Visit, The 4 Best Beards in the History of Christendom and More! (4458)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/03/2014 Comment

A True Story of an Angel’s Visit. Follow the link by Jennifer Wing Atencio to read more.

A True Story of an Angel’s Visit by Jennifer Wing Atencio - BigPulpit.com

The 4 Best Beards in the History of Christendom – Melissa Keating, Focus Blog

Our Anniversary Mathematical Miracle – Stacy Trasancos PhD

The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity – Fr. John A. Hardon SJ, Ignatius Insight Scoop

The Common Core: A Train Wreck Coming for Catholic Schools – The Motley Monk, The American Catholic

5 Ways to Maintain Hope - Marge Fenelon, Catholic Lane

Pope Francis Calls for Third Vatican Council by Siobhan Benitez of Ignitum Today - BigPulpit.com

Interview with Catholic Architect & Professor Duncan Stroik – Aleteia

Desolation of Peter Jackson - God & Caesar


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The Six-Million-Person Pope (2264)

That’s the number of people who attended Pope Francis’ Vatican events in 2013.

01/02/2014 Comments (3)

Crowd of pilgrims assembled in St. Peter's Square to hear Pope Francis' Jan. 1 Angelus prayers.


VATICAN CITY — More than 6.6 million people have taken part in events with Pope Francis at the Vatican since his election to the papacy, the Prefecture of the Papal Household has estimated.

In the nine months since Pope Francis’ March 13 election, more than 2.7 million people have attended the Pope’s Angelus and Regina Coeli prayers. About 2.3 million have attended liturgical celebrations in St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square. Some 1.5 million people have attended Pope Francis’ general audiences, while 87,400 have attended private audiences with the Pope.

The figures only concern activities at the Vatican and are approximations based on the number of requests to participate...READ MORE

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