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Benedict XVI Affirms Absolute Validity of His Resignation (2999)

The Italian daily newspaper La Stampa published excerpts of a letter from the pope emeritus, who called speculation over his abdication ‘absurd.’

02/26/2014 Comments (2)
CNA/Lauren Cater

Pope Benedict XVI greets participants at the Feb. 22 consistory in St. Peter's Basilica.

– CNA/Lauren Cater

VATICAN CITY — The Italian newspaper La Stampa today has published excerpts of a letter from Benedict XVI, who wrote to affirm the existence of only one pope, Francis.

“There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” wrote Benedict XVI in a letter published on Feb. 26.

His letter was a response to the Italian daily’s inquiries regarding “various interpretations that have been circulating in the press and on the Web regarding his gesture,” the article noted. Some have questioned whether or not Benedict XVI’s resignation was valid, a speculation the pope emeritus roundly rejected.

“The only condition for the validity of my resignation is...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, catholic faith, papacy, pope emeritus benedict xvi, pope francis

Appellate Court Denies HHS Mandate Protection for Notre Dame (3433)

The court upheld a Jan. 1 ruling that denied injunctive relief while Notre Dame’s legal challenge to the mandate moves forward.

02/26/2014 Comments (7)
Catholic News Agency

– Catholic News Agency

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A Chicago appellate court has upheld a previous ruling denying the University of Notre Dame  legal protections while it moves forward in challenging the federal contraception mandate.

“We imagine that what the university wants is an order forbidding [insurer and plan administrator] Aetna and Meritain to provide any contraceptive coverage to Notre Dame staff or students, pending final judgment in the district court,” wrote Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

However, he said in the Feb. 21 decision, “we can’t issue such an order” without the insurance companies also voicing objections to the mandate.

Judge Posner was joined by Judge David Hamilton...READ MORE

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Facebook’s Shift on Gender Draws Catholic Criticism (12851)

Critics say the website’s decision to include more than 50 gender options beyond male and female is wrongheaded, but also reflective of how the culture currently understands sexuality.

02/26/2014 Comments (27)

Screenshot of some of the ‘custom’ gender choices on Facebook's 'Diversity' page.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook’s decision to expand gender options available to the website’s users beyond male and female is receiving criticism from Catholic quarters across the country, with many calling the move misguided, but hardly a surprise.

The reactions come after the social-media platform announced the change on its "Diversity" page on Feb. 13. Facebook said the move was about making sure users “feel comfortable being [their] true, authentic self.”

“An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female,’" the statement said. “So today, we’re proud to offer a new custom gender option to help you better...READ MORE

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‘We Are Brothers,’ Pope Declares in Heartfelt Message to Pentecostals (11075)

The Holy Father told the audience at Kenneth Copeland Ministries that he was speaking to them ‘heartfully’ as a ‘brother’ and that the ‘tears of love’ will help unite Christians.

02/26/2014 Comments (18)

– Shutterstock

FORT WORTH, Texas — Pope Francis sent a video message to a gathering of U.S. Pentecostal leaders, voicing his “yearning” that separation between Catholics and other Christians may end.

“We have a lot of cultural riches and religious riches. And we have diverse traditions,” he said. “But we have to encounter one another as brothers.”

“Let’s give each other a spiritual embrace and let God complete the work that he has begun,” he said, adding that “the miracle of unity has begun.”

The Pope quoted a character from Alessandro Manzoni’s novel The Betrothed, who says, “I’ve never seen God begin a miracle without him finishing it well.”

“He will complete this miracle of unity,” the Holy Father...READ MORE

Filed under christian unity, pope francis

Pope Benedict: Pope Francis' Secret Weapon, Recovering Pascal's Wager and Much More! (4046)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/26/2014 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict: Pope Francis’ Secret Weapon. Follow the link by Fr. Dwight Longenecker of Standing on my Head to read more.

Recovering Pascal’s Wager by Dr. Peter Kreeft of Strange Notions - BigPulpit.com

Pope Benedict: Pope Francis’ Secret Weapon – Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on my Head

On the Spiritual Benefit of Graveyards – Jason Liske, Unblack

When N. F. P. Does Not Work – Fr. Basil Cole OP, Truth and Charity Forum

Cardinal Dolan Warns: You May Hear Some Things About Me by Kathy Schiffer of Seasons of Grace - BigPulpit.com

Cardinal Picks Embody Principles of ‘Pope of the Poor’ – John L. Allen Jr., All Things Catholic

Lenten Courage: Blessed Clemens von Galen, The Lion of Munster – Donald R. McClarey JD, Catholic Stand

Study: Orthodoxy & Faithfulness Attracts Seminarians – Francis Phillips, The...READ MORE

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Discovering Brotherly Love in Baseball (7539)

As preparations get under way for the 2014 season, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Justin De Fratus is enthused about the Catholic MLB community.

02/25/2014 Comments (5)
Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Justin De Fratus

– Philadelphia Phillies

Well over a month before their first preseason game on Feb. 26, most of the Philadelphia Phillies were in Clearwater, Fla., preparing for the upcoming season. The team seemed to know collectively, without being told in a meeting, that important preparation needed to be done to make this season different from the last, when they had a record of 73 wins and 89 losses, finishing fourth in the National League Eastern Division.

Pitcher Justin De Fratus is thankful to be a part of a team committed to extensive hard work. Having men around him who share the same dedication makes the 26-year-old’s days go smoothly. Over and above professional dedication, De Fratus also appreciates those in his...READ MORE

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‘Crashed Ice’ Leads Many to National Shrine of the Apostle Paul (4533)

The annual event takes place literally on the steps of the St. Paul, Minn., cathedral, making it a perfect opportunity to evangelize and extend some Christian hospitality.

02/25/2014 Comment

– redbullcontentpoool.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For the past three years, one of the largest cathedrals in the United States has served as the backdrop for one of the largest winter sporting events.

More than 300,000 have flocked to Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, Minn., during that span to watch the Red Bull Crashed Ice racers skate down a 1,400-foot track of ice with many twists and turns. This year’s addition took place on Saturday and aired nationally on Fox Sports 1, and the Cathedral of St. Paul, the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul, dominated the sky behind the track.

“Overall, I think it [is] very good exposure for the cathedral,” said Father John Ubel, the cathedral’s rector. “The cathedral [is] lit up...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, st. paul, minnesota, winter sports

Ethicists Warn Against ‘Three-Parent’ Reproductive Technology (3228)

In a Feb. 18 letter to the FDA, they stress that the potential for grave harm to children created through experimental technologies ‘must be taken into account.’

02/25/2014 Comments (2)

– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — Concerned about the effects of a new technology that involves three parents providing genetic information to create a child, experts are cautioning against opening up the technology to human clinical trials.

“The desire to help women suffering from mitochondrial disorders or infertility is admirable and worthy,” wrote Robert George, McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton, and Dr. Donald Landry, chair of the Department of Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital, in a Feb. 18 letter to the Food and Drug Administration.

“However, the needs of the children being created through novel technologies also must be taken into account,” they warned.

The technology,...READ MORE

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