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Dozens Killed in Attacks on Nigeria’s Christian Villages (3427)

In one incident, attackers invaded a Catholic church during a Jan. 26 Mass, setting off explosives, taking hostages and firing guns into the congregation during a five-hour attack.

01/31/2014 Comments (2)
Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria

Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria

– Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria — At least 99 people were left dead after attacks on two Christian villages in northeast Nigeria this week, suspected to have been carried out by Islamic extremist militants.

Attackers flooded a Catholic church during a Jan. 26 Mass in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state. They set off explosives, took hostages and fired guns into the congregation in a five-hour attack, The Associated Press reported.

A separate attack later took place in the village of Kawuri, in northeastern Borno state. More than 50 extremists reportedly took part, killing dozens and burning homes to the ground.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, the Islamic sect Boko Haram...READ MORE

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Seattle Seahawks’ Tight End Staying Loose Before the Super Bowl (24764)

Rookie Luke Willson relies on sound philosophy and theology for peace of mind.

01/31/2014 Comments (11)
Seahawks.com

Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson.

– Seahawks.com

Many people think of football as a purely physical endeavor. Seattle Seahawks’ rookie tight end Luke Willson sees it differently. Even before majoring in philosophy at Rice University, Willson had been accustomed to methodically thinking his way through sports and life in general.

This practice is now more important than ever, with all of the distractions leading up to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, in which Willson’s Seahawks will be facing off against the Denver Broncos.

The 24-year-old Windsor, Canada, native continues to rely on a solid philosophical and theological foundation for being the best football player — and man — he can be.

Luke Willson spoke of his Catholic upbringing with...READ MORE

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Pope Encourages Notre Dame to Continue Honoring Its Catholic Identity (2232)

The Holy Father addressed trustees and administrators who were in Rome to inaugurate the university's Rome Center

01/31/2014 Comments (5)

Pope Francis encouraged the University of Notre Dame to continue honoring its Catholic identity in the future, through a strong commitment to education and witness to Church moral teaching.

“It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness,” Pope Francis said in a Jan. 30 address.

His words were directed to a delegation of 140 trustees and administrators from the University of Notre Dame, including university president Father John Jenkins, who had traveled from Indiana to Italy in order to...READ MORE

Filed under catholic education, catholic identity, university of notre dame

New Egyptian Constitution Holds Promise for Copts (3804)

After enduring the worst persecution in centuries, a new constitution gives Coptic Christians renewed hope for civil rights and freedom in Egypt, but a lot of work remains.

01/31/2014 Comments (2)
Ed Giles/Getty Images

A woman shows her ink-stained fingers, evidence she has voted in Egypt's constitutional referendum, and holds a poster of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at a Cairo polling booth on Jan. 14.

– Ed Giles/Getty Images

CAIRO — A new day is dawning for Coptic Christians in Egypt, now that the country has voted to approve a new constitution that replaces the Islamist one crafted under the auspices of the former ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the promise of a new Egypt with full inclusion and civil rights for Christians, women and all minorities now faces the challenge of electing new leaders and drafting new laws amid the threat of terror and violence from militants allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“It is good — not very good — but it is good,” Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for Egypt’s Catholic Conference, said about the constitution, speaking with the Register from Cairo. “It could not have...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Emphasize ‘Human Ecology’ in Forthcoming Document, Says Theologian (8853)

Vatican theologian Father Paul Haffner expects Pope Francis to reiterate the Church’s human-centric model of caring for creation, while also correcting erroneous ideas dominant in the secular environmental movement.

01/30/2014 Comments (4)
CNA/Kyle Burkhart

– CNA/Kyle Burkhart

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ forthcoming document on ecology is likely to put the human person at the center and draw attention to the connection between environmental problems and poverty, according to a Church expert on theology and the environment.

Father Paul Haffner, professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and author of the book Towards a Theology of the Environment, believes such a document is urgently needed to correct many philosophical and theological errors that have crept into the environmental movement.

Although he says it is difficult to predict its contents, he believes it will “put the human person as central and focus also on the margins of...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic social teaching, ecology, humanity, jesus christ, pope francis

Pope Francis: A Christian Without the Church Is an ‘Absurd Dichotomy’ (4527)

Pope Francis preached that the three pillars for a Christian’s ‘belonging’ to the Church are humility, fidelity and prayer.

01/30/2014 Comments (5)
Kerri Lenartowick/CNA

– Kerri Lenartowick/CNA

VATICAN CITY — In his daily Mass on Thursday, Pope Francis reflected on the intrinsic relationship between the Church and the people of God, stating that Christians need to be humble and obedient to her teachings in order to be faithful.

“It is an absurd dichotomy to love Christ without the Church; to listen to Christ, but not the Church; to be with Christ at the margins of the Church,” he said. “One cannot do this. It is an absurd dichotomy.”

Pope Francis began his Jan. 30 homily, offered to those present for Mass in the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, by turning again to the figure of King David in the day’s first reading, taken from the Second Book of Samuel.

By...READ MORE

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Hobby Lobby Draws Broad Support in HHS Mandate Lawsuit (2394)

Hundreds of groups and individuals, including more than 100 members of the U.S. House and Senate, have filed briefs in support of the Christian-owned family business.

01/30/2014 Comments (4)

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of individuals and groups from a broad range of religious and political backgrounds have filed briefs supporting the owners of Hobby Lobby in their religious-freedom case at the Supreme Court.

“The breadth of support has been incredible,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby and its owners before the Supreme Court.

“Where else do you see Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Jews coming together?” she asked. “Religious freedom is important to Americans of all faiths, and we hope the Supreme Court will protect that freedom.”

Windham told CNA that the “overwhelming support...READ MORE

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Soap-Opera Economics (3203)

COMMENTARY: Why the idea of concrete love is useful to understanding Church teaching about the economy.

01/30/2014 Comment
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

In a Jan. 9 homily, commenting on the Letter of St. John (4:11-18), Pope Francis said that “the love of which John speaks is not the love of which soap operas are made.” On the contrary, “Christian love is concrete. Jesus himself, when he speaks of love, tells us concrete things: Feed the hungry; visit the sick.” Indeed, “when this concreteness is lacking,” we end up “living a Christianity of illusions, for we do not understand the heart of Jesus’ message,” the Pope said. Love that is not concrete — soap-opera love — is “an illusory love.”

I find the idea of concrete love to be a useful key to understanding Church teaching about the economy.  Many millions of Catholics make their living...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, economics, pope francis, pope john paul ii

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