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Missouri Catholics Lament Overturning of Conscience Law (2290)

March 14 court decision overturned a state law providing protection from the federal abortion and contraception mandate.

03/20/2013 Comments (3)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Catholic Conference has expressed dismay that a federal judge has struck down a state law passed last year that protects employer’s conscience rights when providing health insurance.

“The order is a significant overreach and goes beyond even what the party suing asked for,” Tyler McClay, communications director for the Missouri Catholic Conference, told EWTN News March 19.

On March 14, U.S. district Judge Audrey Fleissig overturned a state law which requires insurance companies to inform health-care consumers whether a policy includes coverage for abortions or contraceptives, and it allows those with an objection on moral grounds to have insurers...READ MORE

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U.S. Bishops Represented at Chaldean Patriarch’s Installation (2348)

Bishop Pates calls Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako ‘a man of dialogue and friendship.’

03/19/2013 Comments (1)
European Union

Archbishop Louis Sako

– European Union

WASHINGTON — Representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joined Eastern Catholics in Iraq to witness the installation of the Chaldean Catholic Church’s new patriarch, Louis Raphael I Sako.

The new patriarch “is a man of dialogue and friendship,” said Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa.

The bishop, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. bishops' conference, voiced confidence that Patriarch Sako “will work diligently to establish beneficial relationships with those of the Muslim tradition and other religions, as well as governmental and civic communities in Iraq.”

“It was a genuine honor to represent the U.S. Conference of...READ MORE

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The Inauguration of Pope Francis Focuses on St. Joseph and Protecting Others in Love (4922)

The Holy Father officially began his Petrine ministry at a Mass earlier today in Rome.

03/19/2013 Comments (9)
Edward Pentin

– Edward Pentin

VATICAN CITY — “Let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!”

With this emphasis on caring for and protecting one another and creation, Pope Francis officially began his Petrine ministry this morning in the presence of up to 200,000 pilgrims who had gathered for Mass in a chilly, blustery-but-sunny St. Peter’s Square.

He began his homily by expressing the faithful’s closeness to Benedict XVI, “with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude,” and noting that today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph — “a significant...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Will Attend World Youth Day, Officials Confirm (3155)

World Youth Day 2013 will take place July 23-28 in Rio de Janeiro.

03/19/2013 Comment

ROME — The president of the Brazilian bishops’ conference, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, has confirmed that Pope Francis will travel to Brazil in July to participate in World Youth Day 2013.

The statements by the archbishop of Aparecida concur with recent statements by the archbishop of Rio, who said Benedict XVI told him that either he or his successor would be present for the event.

Cardinal Damasceno, who was still in Rome after the conclave, said, “I had the chance to speak with Bergoglio, and he told me he is going to Brazil.”

“I know him well. And we worked together in Aparecida. It was a great lesson,” the cardinal said, recalling the Fifth General Conference of the...READ MORE

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Catholic Youth Congress Highlights Friendship With Christ (2530)

Hundreds of young people took part in the 2013 Convivio Youth Congress.

03/19/2013 Comment
Elmer Castillo

Convivio 2013

– Elmer Castillo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Hundreds of high-school students attended the 2013 Convivio Youth Congress in Connecticut March 8-10 to talk about the Christian faith, grow spiritually and consider the meaning of friendship today.

Florencia Silva, youth-ministry director for the Diocese of Bridgeport, said the event is intended “to help kids encounter Christ and grow in their friendship with him.”

Friendship, she noted, is “a very important topic” for teenagers, since contemporary culture “doesn’t help people form real relationships.”

“Many times, the young people feel very isolated and alone, and it’s very hard for them to find relationships,” she added.

Even social media “sometimes makes...READ MORE

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Architect Says Churches Must Be Beautiful to Reflect Faith (4641)

New book is meant to guide pastors, parishioners and architects as they set out to renovate or build new churches.

03/19/2013 Comments (6)
Stephen Schafer/schafphoto

A view of the transept of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., courtesy of Duncan Stroik.

– Stephen Schafer/schafphoto

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Because they help impart the Catholic faith to the world, Church buildings have a responsibility to reflect God’s beauty, says architect and author Duncan Stroik.

“You learn your faith through the [church] building; they’re sermons in stone, and that’s why they’re so important,” said Stroik, a professor at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture.

“There’s no question in my mind that the architecture we built in the last 40 years did not help us in retaining the faith of the young and didn’t do a great job in evangelizing,” added Stroik, who penned the recent book The Church Building as a Sacred Place (December 2012, Liturgy Training Publications).


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Everything About The Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis, Latin American Sacred Music and Much More! (3469)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/19/2013 Comments (1)

Everything About The Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis. Follow the link via Big Pulpit.

Everything About The Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis - Big Pulpit

Latin American Sacred Music: An Overview – Michael Lawrence, The Chant Café

Pontifical Anthem – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Praying to Dead Folks – Tim Staples, Catholic Answers

Is Religious Liberty Truly Threatened? – Jason Hall, Catholic Stand

Humility and Matthew Crawley – Patrick Archbold, Creative Minority Report

Pope Francis and His Typewriter by Thomas L. McDonald of the God and the Machine blog - Big Pulpit

Nova aut Vetera? – Sean Connolly, Ignitum Today

Preparing for the Next Conclave – Dr. Edward Peters, In the Light of the Law

The Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage – William M....READ MORE

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Attack of the Drones Raises Just-War Concerns (3811)

Moral theologians and philosophers question both the legitimacy and the effectiveness of using drones against foreign-based terrorist targets.

03/19/2013 Comments (5)
U.S. Air Force photo/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt/Wikipedia

MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft

– U.S. Air Force photo/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt/Wikipedia

WASHINGTON  — The constant buzzing of weaponized drones flying overhead and the dreadful hiss of Hellfire missiles are a feared part of life among civilians in some villages far away from the borders of the United States. But the U.S. government’s biggest open secret — the use of aerial drones for targeted killing of alleged terrorists and their associates — has come under renewed moral scrutiny by Catholic theologians and just-war theorists.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster of CIA Director John Brennan’s confirmation on March 6 put the U.S. government’s targeted killing of suspected al Qaeda militants and associated forces with strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles...READ MORE

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