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60,000 Unaccompanied Minors Could Arrive in U.S. in 2014, Warns Bishops’ Report (9852)

The report predicts that violence and lawlessness in parts of Mexico and Central America will drive an unprecedented influx of young migrants to the American border.

02/21/2014 Comments (10)
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– Shutterstock illustration

SAN FRANCISCO — Julio Escobar, the restorative-justice coordinator for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, has devoted much of the past decade to assisting young people in trouble.

Some of those young people are undocumented minors from Mexico and Central America, and, in recent years, Escobar has witnessed a sharp increase in their numbers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Families have sent young people to the U.S. alone, while others have been trafficked,” reported Escobar, noting the danger of forced prostitution and other unanticipated problems that await many young migrants who arrive here without papers.

Escobar’s account echoes reports from Church-affiliated outreach groups...READ MORE

Filed under catholic social teaching, illegal immigration, national sovereignty, u.s. conference of catholic bishops

Cardinal Entreats Consistory to Proclaim ‘Gospel of the Family’ (3499)

Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke Feb. 20 to a gathering of about 150 cardinals, after Pope Francis addressed 'the beauty of family and marriage.'

02/21/2014 Comments (2)

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Walter Kasper urged the Extraordinary Consistory on the Family to rediscover and proclaim the “gospel of the family.”

Cardinal Kasper spoke to about 150 Catholic cardinals on the morning of Feb. 20, after brief remarks by Pope Francis, who discussed “the beauty of the family and marriage,” as well as the family’s joys, hopes, struggles and sufferings.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, summarized the cardinal’s speech, the text of which will not be released.

Father Lombardi said the cardinal discussed everything that is beautiful about the family, without avoiding its problems, Vatican Radio reported. The cardinal...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic families, catholic marriages, jesus christ, pope francis

With New Cardinal and New Martyrs, Church Is Growing in South Korea (5272)

Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, who will receive the red hat tomorrow from Pope Francis, shepherds one of Asia’s most vibrant Catholic communities.

02/21/2014 Comments (2)

Cardinal-elect Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul

– catholic.or.kr

SEOUL, South Korea — Although Catholics make up only 11% of South Korea’s largely secular population, a convergence of events this year promises to raise the Church’s profile in the small Asian nation.

Tomorrow, Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul will receive the red hat from Pope Francis, as he joins the College of Cardinals at the consistory in Rome.

Last week, the Vatican announced that the Pope has approved the martyrdom of 124 Koreans who were killed during persecutions in the 18th and 19th centuries, paving the way for their beatification.

And, later this year, Pope Francis may preside at those beatifications when he travels to South Korea for an August youth event as...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: ‘Faith Is a Meeting With Jesus Christ’ (4543)

The Holy Father said at Mass on Feb. 21 that Christian belief without works is lifeless.

02/21/2014 Comments (2)

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis centered his daily homily today around the importance of Christians having a living, rather than merely theoretical, faith.

“Even we make this mistake many times: ‘But I have a lot of faith,’ we hear it said. ‘I believe everything, everything ...’ And maybe the person who says this has a tepid, weak life. His faith is like a theory, but it is not alive in his life,” said Pope Francis on Feb. 21 in the chapel of the St. Martha residence.

“The apostle James, when he speaks of faith, speaks properly of doctrine, of that which is the content of faith. But you can know all the commandments, all the prophecies, all the truths of the faith, but if this doesn’t...READ MORE

Filed under faith, pope francis

Abortions Down but So Are Births, and Cause Is Unknown (5749)

A new report shows a 13% decrease in the rate of abortions, but whether the drop is caused by a decline in abortion providers, shifts in public opinion or the increase in long-acting contraceptives is under dispute.

02/21/2014 Comments (16)

– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — The U.S. abortion rate is as low as it has been since 1973. But the reasons for the downward trend are unclear and in dispute, as the birth rate also continues to drop, raising questions as to whether the United States is actually shifting in a pro-life direction or is instead becoming ever more reliant on contraception.

The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion research firm with historical ties to Planned Parenthood, reports that the abortion rate dropped 13% over a period of three years to 16.9 abortions in 2011 for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15-44. The annual number of children aborted in the U.S. dropped to under 1.06 million in 2011 from 1.21 million in 2008, when...READ MORE

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Catholic Campus in Ukraine Mourns Lecturer Killed in Protests (2673)

Bohdan Solchanyk was killed Feb. 20 at Independence Square in Kiev.

02/21/2014 Comments (4)
Jakub Szymczuk/GOSC NIEDZIELNY/Courtesy Aid to the Church in Need

Protesters pray for peace in one of two tent-chapels at Kiev's Maidan Square.

– Jakub Szymczuk/GOSC NIEDZIELNY/Courtesy Aid to the Church in Need

LVIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian Catholic University, located in the far-western city of Lviv, is lamenting the death of one of its lecturers, who was killed Feb. 20 during anti-government protests in Kiev.

Bohdan Solchanyk, who was 29, lectured on modern history at the university and was killed at Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital during protests that have been ongoing since November.

“I really appreciated Bohdan as a creative young lecturer and researcher,” Olekander Zaitev, the former chair of Ukrainian Catholic University’s modern history department, told CNA Feb. 20.

“He was a true generator of ideas, had a creative attitude toward his work with students. He initiated a...READ MORE

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St. Ann’s Still Stands: Vatican Rules U.S. Diocese Can’t Close Inner-City Church (11611)

The new ruling gives hope to parishioners that their church can be restored and reopened, but cuts off the diocese from pursuing secular uses as another avenue to save the iconic church from demolition.

02/20/2014 Comments (14)

St. Ann's Church in Buffalo, N.Y.

– Facebook.com/saintannbuffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A long-shot appeal to the Vatican has given a small band of parishioners in Buffalo, N.Y., a chance to save their church as a worship site, after it had been closed by the local diocese.

The Jan. 7 decree handed down from the Congregation of Clergy states that St. Ann’s Church and Shrine, located on Broadway Avenue in Buffalo, cannot be sold or repurposed for profane use. The Buffalo Diocese had closed St. Ann’s as part of a parish consolidation process and was seeking to sell the church, convent and school complex to a private developer for secular uses, after judging that an estimated $8 million-12 million price tag to repair and restore it was something the diocese...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Acknowledge the Beautiful, True and Good of Family Life (2479)

Holy Father reminds cardinals that the Church has to proclaim God's plan for families and encourage families to live their calling.

02/20/2014 Comments (5)

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met briefly this morning with cardinals who had gathered for a meeting to reflect on the theme of the family, urging them to consider carefully both the Church’s theology and pastoral practice.

“Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life,” he said on Feb. 20.

“We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires.”

After extending the prelates “a warm greeting” and thanking “the Lord, who has given us...READ MORE

Filed under family life, bishops, pope francis

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