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Pope Francis, President Obama Discuss Religious Freedom, Life Issues and Immigration Reform (11339)

The 52-minute meeting also touched upon human trafficking and conflict resolution.

03/27/2014 Comments (17)
AP photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis March 27 at the Vatican. Their historic first meeting comes as Obama’s administration and the Church remain sharply divided on issues of abortion, contraception and same-sex ‘marriage.’

– AP photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis discussed the right to religious freedom, life, conscientious objection and conflict resolution with President Barack Obama today.

The 52-minute meeting in the library of the apostolic palace was “cordial,” the Vatican said in a statement, and views were exchanged “on some current international themes.”

“In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between church and state, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance of the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform,” the statement said.

It also said it was “hoped that, in...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, evangelii gaudium, human rights, pope francis, president barack obama, religious freedom

1,000 Children Ask Pope Francis to Speak Against Parents’ Deportation in Obama Summit (2658)

The letters come from children of immigrants without legal papers whose families may be separated by President Barack Obama's deportation policies.

03/27/2014 Comments (10)
Catholic Coalition for Immigration Reform

Jersey Vargas (bottom, center) meets Pope Francis after the general audience at St. Peter's Square on March 26, 2014.

– Catholic Coalition for Immigration Reform

VATICAN CITY — A group of U.S. immigration-reform advocates participated in Wednesday’s general audience at the Vatican, giving the Pope letters from children who face being separated from their parents by deportation.

The group, which traveled from Los Angeles and was blessed by the city’s Archbishop Jose Gomez, hoped to encourage Pope Francis to advocate for them during his impending meeting with President Barack Obama.

The group chose 10-year-old Jersey Vargas, the daughter of undocumented immigrants, as their representative to the Pope. Vargas was born in the U.S., and her father is currently imprisoned in Indiana and at risk of being deported.

At the end of the March 26 audience,...READ MORE

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A Lenten Reflection on Fidelity; For Lent Go to Confession, A New Website Can Help and Much More! (3975)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/27/2014 Comment

Follow A Lenten Reflection on Fidelity link by Stacy Trasancos, PhD, to read more.

A Lenten Reflection on Fidelity – Stacy Trasancos PhD

This Lent, Go To Confession! New Website Can Help – Kathy Schiffer, Seasons of Grace

Parental Bragging & Legacy – Anabelle Hazard, Catholic Stand

Qvadriga: Racing in Ancient Rome – Thomas L. McDonald, God and the Machine

When 'No!' Is Pastoral! Wherein Fr. Z Rants - BigPulpit.com

The Holy Cross: A real life “Mockingjay” for Catholics – Dusty Gates, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Living a Holy Life Is Child’s Play – Melanie Jean Juneau, Catholic Stand

Bishops Conley & Loverde Issue Letters on Contraception, Pornography – Carl E. Olson, The CWR Blog

Blessed John Paul II: First Pope of the Catholic Resurgence – Don. R. McClarey, The...READ MORE

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Cardinal Burke: Change in Annulment Process Could Cause ‘Grave Damage’ (6389)

The U.S. cardinal, who heads the Vatican’s highest tribunal, explained that the process must serve to safeguard doctrinal truth regarding the nature of marriage.

03/27/2014 Comments (10)
Patrick Novecosky

Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura

– Patrick Novecosky

WASHINGTON — Ecclesiastical tribunals are an essential part of the Church’s saving mission; thus, changes to their procedures, including the annulment process, should be considered with great care, Cardinal Raymond Burke has said.

Understanding the Church’s tribunal system, Cardinal Burke said March 20, “requires an understanding of the service of canon law in general to the saving mission of the Church and its role in the Petrine ministry.”

Cardinal Burke is prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest tribunal court, which ensures the correct administration of justice in the Church, and he was delivering a lecture at The Catholic University of America.

Speaking to...READ MORE

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The Pope, the President and the Blind Spot (20790)

COMMENTARY: The solution to abortion is not to ‘agree to disagree.’

03/26/2014 Comments (33)

Tomorrow’s meeting between President Obama and Pope Francis will, no doubt, be the subject of much commentary about what the Pope might or should tell the president and much speculation afterwards about what was said and why.

I have no concerns about the content of the meeting. Pope Francis and his advisers will know what should be said and how to say it. Nor do I doubt the Pope’s pro-life credentials; in fact, I have had the honor of discussing the topic of pro-life with him more than once.

But here’s what I am concerned about: Spin and commentary about the meeting will reinforce what can only be described as a blind spot in our national discourse — our ability to affirm human rights and...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, catholic faith, pope francis, president barack obama, priests for life, rachel's vineyard

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

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