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Pope Benedict's First Day in Cuba: Face-Off of Worldviews (5539)

As papal Mass begins, a man in the crowd doesn’t get far in a vocal protest of communism.

03/27/2012 Comments (12)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A protester is taken away during Mass in Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba on March 26. Tensions are high in Cuba between dissidents and the government as activists hope the international exposure of the papal visit will result in renewed attention to their struggle for greater freedoms.

– Spencer Platt/Getty Images

On his first day in Cuba, images of joy and beauty inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to the island were offset by sinister, controlling gestures from the Cuban regime. 

And just below the surface roils a culture clash, a weltanschauung face-off, pitting two comprehensive philosophies of the universe against each other: Christianity vs. communism.

From the Pope’s first hour in Cuba, the afternoon of March 26, observers could sense the deep contrast.

The Holy Father, dazzling in white from head to ankle, projecting his typically humble demeanor, was met by the intense visage of President Raul Castro in a business suit and rose-tinted sunglasses.

Twenty-one old cannons...READ MORE

Filed under cuba, pope benedict xvi, raul castro

Catholicism and Suffering, New Catholic Forum Website, Why Church Bells Ring 3 Times/Day, and more! (6464)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/27/2012 Comments (1)

Catholicism and Suffering. Click on the link by Howard Kainz to read and learn more.

Catholicism and Suffering - Howard Kainz, The Catholic Thing

New Catholic Forum Website - Mark Shea, Patheos/Catholic and Enjoying It!

Why Do Church Bells Ring Three Times a Day - Kathy Schiffer, Patheos/Seasons of Grace

A Lesson Learned in Immersion of the Spirit of Vatican II - Emily Zanotti, Ignitum Today

Of Penance and Preparation and Pilgrimage - Fr. Z’s Blog

God’s Game Plan (John 3:16-21) - Fr. John Bartunek, Catholic Spiritual Direction

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over: My Mother’s Deathbed Conversion - Rob. Struble Jr., Catholic Lane

Euclid’s Geometry as an Intellectual & Moral Exercise - Dr. Michael Bolin, Wyoming Catholic College/Cowboys, Philosophers, & Poets

Thomas More...READ MORE

Filed under catholic blogosphere, church bells, conversion story, cuba, euclid, palm sunday, penance, pilgrimage, pope benedict xvi, thomas more college

Catholic Entities Undermine U.S. Bishops' Authority (7941)

In the case of the HHS contraception mandate, groups like the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious have assumed authority where there is none, and the Obama administration has pounced on the opportunity to divide and conquer.

03/27/2012 Comments (53)

Recent headlines have told the story “Catholic Hospitals, Bishops Split on Health Care” and “Catholic Bishops Fight for Authority Over U.S. Flock.”

These volatile headlines refer to the fact that some Catholic individuals and organizations publicly disagree with the U.S. bishops about provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. This opposition from within the Church makes the bishops’ effort to preserve religious freedom much more difficult, for the Obama administration and some Democrat congressmen have been quick to use a “divide and conquer” strategy by invoking these dissident groups as if they are legitimate Catholic authorities.

...READ MORE

Filed under abortion mandate, catholic health association, catholic politicians, contraception mandate, kathleen sebelius, leadership conference of women religious, natural law, obamacare, sister carol keehan

Vatican Approves 'Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb' (4598)

This prayer is intended to support parents awaiting the birth of their child and to encourage prayers for the child in the womb, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says.

03/27/2012 Comments (13)

The U.S. bishops are encouraging parishes to incorporate into their communities a new blessing for a child in the womb, which the Vatican approved on March 25.

“I’m impressed with the beauty of this blessing for human life in the womb,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“I can think of no better day to announce this news than on the feast of the Annunciation, when we remember Mary’s Yes to God and the Incarnation of that child in her the womb that saved the world.”

The prayer, titled “Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb,” is intended to support parents awaiting the birth of their child and to encourage...READ MORE

Filed under church blessings, prayers, pro-life, unborn, usccb, vatican

Which Latin Vulgate Should You Buy, CDFs New Website, Pope to Castro: Drop Communism, and much more! (2867)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/26/2012 Comment

Which Latin Vulgate Should You Purchase? Click on the link by Dr. Taylor Marshall to read more.

Which Latin Vulgate Should You Purchase? - Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

C.D.F. to Have Spiffy New Website - Fr. Z’s Blog

Pope to Castro: Drop Communism! - Donald R. McClarey, The American Catholic

The Mystery of the Mass and Sacred Music - Mishel Stefanac, beingCatholic

God: Philosophical Proofs & the Transcendentals - Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture/On the Culture

Sacred Music Movement Enters Mainstream Parish Life - Jeffrey A. Tucker, The Chant Café

St. Benedict for Beginners: The Way of Obedience - Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Integrated Catholic Life™

Aquinas For Educators - Edward G. O. Radler Rice, Ignitum Today

The Hour Has Come (John 12:20-33) - Fr. John Bartunek,...READ MORE

Filed under chris matthews, communism, cuba, fidel castro, latin vulgate, marxism, obedience, pope benedict xvi, sacred music, st. thomas aquinas

Pope Arrives in Cuba (1985)

Leaving a nation where the government seeks control over the drug wars, he arrives in a nation where its government must give up control of everything.

03/26/2012 Comments (1)
Michelle Bauman/CNA

Pope Benedict will celebrate an outdoor Mass in Santiago de Cuba this afternoon. A poster in Cuba refers to him as a 'pilgrim of charity.'

– Michelle Bauman/CNA

UPDATE: Pope’s welcome speech can be found here. Stay tuned for coverage of papal Mass.

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI this afternoon lands on an island coursing with nervous energy over his three-day visit to Cuba’s two biggest cities.

Pope Benedict is scheduled to celebrate an outdoor Mass in Santiago de Cuba at 4:30pm on this Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Mass will mark the 400th anniversary of the miraculous icon and patron saint Our Lady of Charity, and the Pope will visit her shrine in El Cobre tomorrow morning for prayer before flying west to Havana, where meetings and a second public Mass are scheduled.

As enthusiastic crowds in Mexico proved, people are hungry to hear the...READ MORE

Filed under cuba, mexico, pope benedict xvi

Pope Benedict's Trip to Cuba: Journey to Hostile Terrain (2854)

The communist government makes it easier for Cubans to participate in papal visit, but the Church still suffers.

03/26/2012 Comments (2)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Women with the Ladies in White group, also known as Damas de Blanco, march after church. The dissident group are the wives and mothers of 75 people who had been arrested and received lengthy prison sentences but have all been freed, most as part of a 2010 agreement brokered by the Church.

– Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI has not traveled to as many countries as Pope John Paul II did in his first seven years as Pope — 22 countries compared to about 75.

But Pope Benedict has taken on significant belly-of-the-beast excursions, visits that require the Holy Father to assert the Catholic theological and moral vision in an embattled context, whether it be Germany, Turkey or England.

Benedict’s pilgrimage to Cuba, which begins this afternoon, is another journey into hostile terrain. Cuba’s government has been one of the most relentlessly anti-religious in the world.

Yet the communist government is giving paid leave to state workers who want to attend papal events. And Cardinal Jaime Ortega,...READ MORE

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'I Feel Like a Mexican Pope' (2785)

Pope Benedict speaks spontaneously to a crowd gathered outside the Colegio Miraflores, while a mariachi band bids him a traditional farewell.

03/26/2012 Comments (6)
Jeffrey Bruno

Pope Benedict XVI was offered a traditional sombrero as he arrived to celebrate Mass Sunday in Guanajuato.

– Jeffrey Bruno

LEÓN, Mexico — As the Holy Father returned Sunday night to the Colegio Miraflores to rest for the night, he was greeted by a crowd of the faithful who had gathered outside to catch a glimpse of him. Going off script, the Holy Father stopped to address them and to thank them for the warm welcome he had received in Mexico.

“I have made many trips, and I have never been received with so much enthusiasm,” he said, speaking in Italian, while Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to Mexico, translated his words into Spanish.

“Now I can say that Mexico will always be in my heart,” said the Pope, wearing a sombrero charro (cowboy hat) and lifting his arms in greeting to the cheering...READ MORE

Filed under mexico, pope benedict xvi

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