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Holy Orders Foster a Passionate Love of the Church, Says Pope Francis (2591)

The Holy Father said holy orders is the ‘sacrament of pastoral ministry’ and urged people to pray for the ordained.

03/26/2014 Comments (4)
Elise Harris/CNA

– Elise Harris/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the sacraments, devoting today’s discourse to those who receive holy orders, referring to it as a vocation of “service.”

“Those who are ordained are placed at the head of the community as servants, as Jesus did and taught,” the Pope observed in his March 26 general audience, adding that “the sacrament also helps them to passionately love the Church.”

Addressing the thousands of pilgrims gathered in a rainy St. Peter’s Square to hear his speech, the Holy Father began by explaining. “In our catechesis on the sacraments, we now turn to the sacrament of holy orders.”

“Building on the vocation received in...READ MORE

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U.K. Fetal-Incineration Scandal Prompts Calls to Respect Life (2624)

Britain’s health ministry banned the practice as soon as media reports surfaced, but pro-life advocates say the controversy highlights the need to reject abortion too.

03/26/2014 Comments (2)

LONDON — Revelations that National Health Service hospitals in the U.K. have disposed of the bodies of miscarried or aborted children by incineration as clinical waste show the need to reject abortion and to respect life, pro-life leaders said.

“We hope that this tragic and distressing story will cause the mask that exists to disguise the humanity of the unborn to slip, causing society to reflect more deeply on the value of human life and what it means to be human,” Carolyn Farrow, a commentator with Catholic Voices, told CNA March 25.

She said the report is cause for wider conversation about abortion’s implications, given the government’s efforts to expand legal abortion.

“We should not...READ MORE

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From Grit to Grace (2046)

Lenten Book Pick: Roman Pilgrimage

03/26/2014 Comment


The Station Churches

By George Weigel, Stephen Weigel and Elizabeth Lev
Basic Books, 2013
464 pages, $34 (hardcover)
To order: ignatius.com


As the Eternal City wakes, the pilgrim walks the ancient streets in quiet prayer, rosary in hand, and soon is joined along the way by others traversing the same path. The destination — early morning Mass in one of the oldest churches in Rome. This ascetic morning routine is repeated for more than 40 days, drawing pilgrims to more than 40 designated “Station churches.”

The daily Lenten tradition of visiting these churches dates back to the fourth century, when the bishop of Rome, the clergy and the faithful of the city would...READ MORE

Filed under book picks, lent, george weigel

Holy See Accepts Resignation of German Bishop Accused of Luxurious Lifestyle (5408)

The continuing controversy over the allegations has impeded Bishop Franz-Peter Tebarts-van Elst’s ability to exercise his episcopal ministry, the Holy See stated.

03/26/2014 Comments (4)
Wikimedia Commons

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebarts-van Elst

– Wikimedia Commons

VATICAN CITY — In a March 26 statement, the Holy See announced its acceptance of the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebarts-van Elst, noting that the situation in his diocese does not allow the full exercise of his ministry.

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebarts-van Elst has until recently overseen the Diocese of Limburg, Germany, and has been on suspension while a Vatican commission investigated accusations of the German press that the bishop was leading a luxurious lifestyle, with some dubbing him the “bishop of bling.”

The Holy See has appointed Bishop Manfred Grothe, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, as the diocese’s apostolic administrator.

A Vatican commission, which was...READ MORE

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Pontifical Sex-Abuse Commission Member Was Also a Victim (4744)

Marie Collins is glad to be in a position to prevent the same thing that happened to her.

03/26/2014 Comments (9)
CNA/David Kerr

Marie Collins

– CNA/David Kerr

VATICAN CITY — A woman who was sexually abused by a clergyman when she was a child is now in a position to prevent similar crimes against the young.

Marie Collins, who was sexually abused by a hospital chaplain in her native Ireland when she was 13, is one of eight experts from eight countries that Pope Francis has chosen to make up the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

“My appointment to the commission came as a complete surprise,” said Collins. “I felt strongly that survivors should have a voice on this commission, but had no idea I would be asked.”

The newly appointed members, who include Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, four women and two Jesuit priests, will...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal sean o'malley, catholic faith, jesus christ, pope francis, sexual abuse by clergy

Women Rally Outside Supreme Court for Religious Liberty (2772)

Women are just as concerned with the protection of religious freedom and employer’s conscience rights as men, rally participants affirmed.

03/26/2014 Comments (1)
Addie Mena/CNA

Women rally in the snow March 25 in support of religious liberty outside the Supreme Court building in Washington.

– Addie Mena/CNA

WASHINGTON — Women supporting employers challenging the government’s contraception spoke out in support of a vision of women’s equality that supports fertility and women’s role as employers, as the case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.

“All issues are women’s issues,” said Ashley McGuire of The Catholic Association, quoting an earlier statement by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

“Women are just as entitled to religious liberty as any man, and women have as much of a stake in the outcome of this case as any man.”

McGuire was speaking at a March 25 demonstration in front of the Supreme Court building, as the high court heard oral arguments for two appeals challenging a mandate...READ MORE

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Searching for Clarity in Vocational Discernment; Confession: Slam Door to Satan This Lent and More! (3895)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/26/2014 Comment

Follow the General Confession: Slamming the Door to Satan & Self This Lent link by Richard G. Evans of Catholic Stand to read more.

General Confession: Slamming the Door to Satan & Self This Lent – Richard G. Evans, Catholic Stand

Searching for Clarity in Vocational Discernment – Fr. Bryce Sibley, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Pope Francis’ Magic Mix Transforming Papacy – BigPulpit.com

“Our Schools Exist to Evangelize” – Jim Graves, The Catholic World Report

Good Friday Should Not Just Be Good Theater – Gabriel Garnica, Catholic Stand

Not Just For Catholics – Timothy George, First Things

MSNBC on SCOTUS & Religious Liberty: I Don't Trust Those Catholics by Matthew Archbold - BigPulpit.com

Fr. Robert Barron Comments on Pope Francis & “Joy of the Gospel” – Integrated Catholic Life™

Sebelius v Hobby Lobby: Her...READ MORE

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Bishop Conley: Contraception Disrupts the ‘Language of Love’ (3024)

In a new pastoral letter, the shepherd of Lincoln, Neb., invites Catholic couples and medical professionals to consider the destructive immorality of contraception.

03/26/2014 Comments (9)


LINCOLN, Neb. — Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., hopes his new pastoral letter on the sacrificial “language of love” and the disruptive immorality of contraception will be received “with open hearts and open minds.”

“My hope is that people, Catholic couples especially, and also Catholic physicians and pharmacists, will be willing to look at this issue again,” he told CNA March 20.

“The Language of Love” is Bishop Conley’s pastoral letter on the sacrificial nature of love and on the destructive nature of contraception, officially promulgated March 25 — the feast of the Annunciation, when the Church celebrates Mary’s assent to becoming the Mother of God.

The letter, which will be...READ MORE

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