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Pope Francis to Doctors: ‘Spread the Gospel of Life’ (3127)

Speaking at a Vatican gathering, the Holy Father called on gynecologists to remind people that all human life is sacred.

09/20/2013 Comments (1)
Stephen Driscoll/CNA

– Stephen Driscoll/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Speaking to a group of gynecologists at the Vatican, Pope Francis affirmed that all human life has dignity and rejected the discarding of “defenseless” human persons through abortion.

“Every unborn child, although unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, the Lord’s face,” Pope Francis said, adding that, like Christ, these aborted children experience the rejection of the world.

The Holy Father asked doctors, “who are called to take care of human life in its initial phase,” to remind people that, “in all its phases and at any age, human life is always sacred.”  

“This is a commitment to the New Evangelization that often requires going against the...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Grants an Interview and Shakes Up the Church (21061)

Catholic leaders in the United States respond to the Holy Father’s challenging comments.

09/20/2013 Comments (76)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York speaks about Pope Francis on NBC's Today show on Sept. 20.

WASHINGTON — On Sept. 19, a 12,000-word interview with Pope Francis appeared in Jesuit publications across the globe, provoking a furor that propelled Church leaders onto U.S. television talk shows to help explain what their new shepherd had in mind.

“I’m listening to him. He’s asking for a fresh strategy,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Sept. 20  on NBC’s Today show, when asked to respond to the papal critique of Catholics preoccupied with “small-minded rules” and fixated too exclusively on hot-button issues like abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

“I think what he’s saying is, sometimes, if we come across as negative,...READ MORE

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Interviewer Says Pope Francis’ Adherence to Church Teaching on Abortion Is Clear (8815)

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro said Sept. 20 that the Gospel message of salvation is paramount.

09/20/2013 Comments (22)
Estefania Aguirre/CNA

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro at a communications conference at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications on Sept. 20.

– Estefania Aguirre/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is “absolutely clear” about Catholic teaching on abortion, but his first focus is to bring God’s salvation to everyone, “most of all sinners,” says the Jesuit priest whose lengthy papal interview was published yesterday.

“The message of the Church is a message of mercy,” said Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, who is editor in chief of the Jesuit-run Italian newspaper La Civiltà Cattolica and who conducted the wide-ranging interview that has already garnered international attention.

“When he talked about these kind of topics, he said [that] what the Church has to spread is the message of the Gospel. This is the first one, the message of salvation. This message...READ MORE

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A God — and a Pope — Who Is Always a Surprise (5823)

COMMENTARY: The Holy Father’s new interview is actually a guide for what really is basic in our lives — getting rid of our sins and worshipping God.

09/20/2013 Comments (20)
Vatican Radio/Facebook

– Vatican Radio/Facebook

“Because God is first; God is always first and makes the first move. God is a bit like the almond flower of your Sicily, Antonio (Spadaro), which always blooms first. We read it in the prophets. God is encountered walking along the path. At this juncture, someone might say that this is relativism. Is it relativism? Yes, if it is understood as a kind of indistinct pantheism. It is not relativism if it is understood in the biblical sense, that God is always a surprise, so you never know where or how you will find him. You are not setting the time and place of the encounter. You must therefore discern the encounter. Discernment is essential.”

— Pope Francis, Interview with La Civiltà...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Focuses on the Bigger Picture With New Interview (40552)

COMMENTARY

09/20/2013 Comments (161)
CNA/Stephen Driscoll

Pope Francis

– CNA/Stephen Driscoll

A new and extensive interview with Pope Francis is making headlines around the world.

The New York Times initially headlined its story, “Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion.”

USA Today declared: “Pope seeks less focus on abortion, gays, contraception.”

And CBS News proclaimed: “Pope Francis: Catholic Church must focus beyond ‘small-minded rules.’”

Wow! Did the Pope really characterize the Church’s teachings on abortion, homosexuality and contraception as “small-minded rules” that the Church should get beyond?

That’s what you’d think by scanning the headlines, but the short answer is that the Pope said no such thing. Once again, this was a case of the secular...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, courtyard of the gentiles, pope francis, society of jesus, universal call to holiness

Life (and Moral Questions) at Stake in the Fast Lane (3734)

Review of Rush, Ron Howard’s fuel-injected auto-racing drama

09/20/2013 Comments (1)
RushMovie.com

Chris Hemsworth (l) and Daniel Brühl star in 'Rush.'

– RushMovie.com

Ernest Hemingway is famously credited with saying, “There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing and mountaineering. The rest are merely games.”

The common denominator they share: a thrill-seeking flirtation with death; the competing seduction of Eros (life instinct) and Thanatos (death) in Freudian psychology.

It is that romance with risk-taking that drives Rush, director Ron Howard’s fuel-injected auto-racing drama.

Inspired by true events, the film recounts the intense rivalry between famed Formula One (or F1) drivers — British playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) — during the 1976 Grand Prix circuit.

Lauda...READ MORE

Filed under auto racing, catholic faith, film review, pride and vanity

Faith Shines Light on Truth and Reason, Archbishop Says in Year of Faith Lecture (6613)

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore discussed Pope Francis’ encyclical at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

09/20/2013 Comment
CNA

Archbishop William Lori

– CNA

WASHINGTON — At a recent talk on Pope Francis’ encyclical Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore emphasized that faith is not opposed to reason, but, rather, is necessary for understanding truth.

“This encyclical letter … is a great gift — not only to the Church, but to all people of goodwill, to everybody seeking the truth,” Archbishop Lori said Sept. 17 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where he spoke as part of a lecture series on the Year of Faith.

“In a very skeptical world, it turns out that faith believes in reason. Faith believes in the capacity of reason for truth,” he reflected.

Archbishop Lori explained...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop william lori, catholicism, faith and reason, jesus christ, lumen fidei, pope francis, year of faith

Letters, Prayer Vigils to Mark Year in Jail for Pastor in Iran (2056)

Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who was helping Iranian orphans at the time of his arrest, was jailed for threatening national security.

09/20/2013 Comments (1)
beheardproject.com

– beheardproject.com

WASHINGTON — Supporters of human rights and religious freedom around the globe are joining in prayer and a letter-writing campaign on the one-year anniversary of Iranian imprisonment for Christian pastor Saeed Abedini.

“My wife and children, as well as over a billion Christians in the world, seek God's justice and then your consideration of this matter,” Abedini — who is a U.S. citizen — wrote in a Sept. 15 letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who took office last month.

“Please take immediate action in this regard, and do not let me and a lot of people in my ward become the victims of the fire that extremists have made, those who have turned Iran into a vortex of crisis.”

He...READ MORE

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