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Worldwide Christian Persecution a Growing Trend, Report Shows (4792)

Aid to the Church in Need's comprehensive report shows that global persecution of Christians has increased over the last 10 to 15 years.

03/19/2014 Comments (4)

NEW YORK — In a recently released summary report called “Persecuted and Forgotten?” Aid to the Church in Need has revealed a worldwide growth in discrimination against Christians in scope and frequency.

The persecution of Christians “has increased over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Ed Clancy, director of evangelization and outreach at Aid to the Church in Need, in an interview with CNA last month, adding that “persecution has many faces, unfortunately, and many places.”

Since there is no single threat to Christians across the world, he said, but myriad forms of oppression, “it might become more incumbent on the Catholic Church, and Christians in general, to be aware of the many dangers...READ MORE

Filed under aid to the church in need, catholic faith, christian persecution, christianity, jesus christ, perseverence under trial

Ukrainian Catholics Experiencing ‘Total Persecution’ in Crimea (5088)

Priests in Crimea have been accused of being 'Vatican agents' and of serving in the 'SS Army' by supporters of unity with Russia.

03/19/2014 Comments (2)
UGCC Information Department

Father Mykola Kvych, naval chaplain in Sevastopol, blesses Easter baskets in 2013.

– UGCC Information Department

KIEV, Ukraine — As the Russian president signed a bill to annex Crimea Tuesday, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the peninsula has been experiencing what a Church official calls “total persecution.”

“At this moment all Ukrainian Greek Catholic life in Crimea is paralyzed,” Father Volodymyr Zhdan, chancellor of the Stryi eparchy in western Ukraine, told CNA March 18.  

From 2006 to 2010, Father Zhdan served as chancellor of the Odessa-Krym Exarchate, which encompassed both the mainland port city of Odessa and the Crimean Peninsula.

Since late February, the peninsula has seen the emergence of pro-Russian troops, who have taken control of its airports, parliament and telecommunication...READ MORE

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Become Holy This Lent by Being Yourself, Why Is Seafood Allowed on Fridays in Lent and Much More! (4835)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/19/2014 Comment

Follow the Become Holy This Lent by Being Yourself link by Kevin M. Tierney of Catholic Lane to read more.

The Pitfalls of Censoring Catholic Bloggers by Fr. Tim Finigan of Hermeneutic of Continuity - BigPulpit.com

Become Holy This Lent by Being Yourself – Kevin M. Tierney, Catholic Lane

My Desire for Marriage – Matthew Heinrich, Ignitum Today

Why Is Seafood Allowed on Fridays in Lent? St. Thomas Aquinas Has the Answer – Dr. Taylor Marshall

Gathering Storm Over Divorce Worse than Over Contraception by Dr. Ed Peters - BigPulpit.com

Lent with St. Mary Magdalene – Haley Stewart, Catholic Exchange

Conspiracies & Catholicism: Demons – Foxfier, Catholic Stand

The Rights of Children: Biology Matters – Melissa Moschella, Aleteia

Guinness & Heineken are Now Political Statements – God & Caesar


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Benedict XVI Sent Pope Francis Commentary on Early Interview (4334)

Prior to publication of last fall’s interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Pope Emeritus submitted a detailed review at the request of his papal successor.

03/18/2014 Comments (3)
L'Ossevatore Romano/ANSA

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis meet at the Mater Ecclesia Monastery on May 2, 2013.

– L'Ossevatore Romano/ANSA

ROME — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sent a four-page commentary to Pope Francis on the September 2013 interview he granted to Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica, according to Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household.

The Italian news agency Korazym reports that in an interview with the German television station ZDF, Archbishop Gänswein — who is also Benedict XVI’s secretary — said the retired pope wrote the commentary at the request of Pope Francis.

“When Father Spadaro [the director of La Civilta Cattolica] delivered the first copy of this interview, [Pope] Francis gave it to me and asked that I take it to Benedict,” said Archbishop Gänswein, speaking to ZDF on...READ MORE

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Atheist Organization Sets Its Sights on WTC Cross (7260)


03/18/2014 Comments (20)
2011 Mario Tama/Getty Images

People wait for the blessing of the World Trade Center Cross before it was moved into its permanent home at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City.

– 2011 Mario Tama/Getty Images

Museums, beware: The atheists want to censor your collections.

That is the essential argument of the organization American Atheists before a federal appellate court in its continuing litigation over the so-called World Trade Center Cross. The cross is a piece of fused metal that became an instant defining image of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a source of solace for people trying to understand the tragedy. In particular, the cross became a site for daily reflection for rescue workers, volunteers, survivors and others in the days following Sept. 11, 2001.

The atheists want to erase that history.

The cross is being included in the 9/11 Memorial Museum, along with thousands of other...READ MORE

Filed under 911 memorial, atheism, catholicism, sept. 11 terrorist attacks, u.s. constitution

Pope Reminds Faithful to Draw Close to Jesus in Lent (2278)

Holy Father warns against hypocrisy at daily Mass.

03/18/2014 Comment

VATICAN CITY -- In his daily homily, Pope Francis cautioned against those who appear to be holy but are in fact self-absorbed, explaining that Lent is a time of purification that allows us to grow closer to the Lord.

“The sign that we are far from the Lord is hypocrisy. The hypocrite does not need the Lord; he is saved by himself – so he thinks – and he disguises himself as a saint,” the Pope observed in his March 18 daily Mass.

Speaking to those present in the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, the Pope began his homily by reflecting on the day’s first reading, taken from the Book of Isaiah, in which the prophet pleas for Sodom and Gomorrah to convert and warning that they...READ MORE

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South Sudan Diocese ‘Completely Destroyed’ by Civil War (4241)

‘There is absolutely nothing left,’ says the diocese’s administrator, pleading for Christians to show material and spiritual solidarity with the devastated Church.

03/18/2014 Comment
Aid to the Church in Need

Refugees from the violence in South Sudan.

– Aid to the Church in Need

MALAKAL, South Sudan —The Diocese of Malakal in South Sudan has been evacuated now that many areas have been “completely destroyed” following violence committed by rebel forces, the diocesan administrator says.

“We have lost everything, all our possessions. Many of our churches, homes and so on have been razed to the ground — and everything has been looted,” Msgr. Roko Taban, administrator of the Diocese of Malakal, told Aid to the Church in Need.

South Sudan was formed in 2011, when the region gained independence from the Republic of Sudan following a 20-year-long civil war. Recently, the nascent country erupted in violence again as forces loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and...READ MORE

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Historians of Science Poke Holes in New ‘Cosmos’ Series (7154)

Especially troubling was a segment on 16th-century philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600.

03/18/2014 Comments (23)
CNA/NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team

Carina Nebula, NCG 3324

– CNA/NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team

WASHINGTON — Scholars of the history of science have discussed the merits and shortcomings of the new television series Cosmos, saying that the first episode’s discussion of Church history strayed from historical facts.

“I thought it was wonderfully done, for the most part,” said Robert Goulding, associate professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, who studies the history of science, humanism and magic in a March 14 interview with CNA. “However, I’m surprised by the standards of the historical segment.”

Cosmos, narrated by physicist Niel DeGrasse Tyson, is a remake of the 1980s public television show of the same name narrated by Carl Sagan.

The show focuses on the universe and...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, catholic faith, heliocentrism and geocentrism, philosophy, science and faith

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