Daily News

International Religious Liberty Law Gets Big Updates from House Lawmakers (1060)

The bill, which now goes to the Senate for passage, is named for Frank Wolf, a former congressman who continues to be an advocate for religious freedom worldwide.

05/17/2016 Comments (2)

– CNA.

WASHINGTON — A significant upgrade to a landmark religious freedom law passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday afternoon.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., the bill’s author, outlined what is at stake abroad for religious freedom in a statement: “The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of international religious freedom, a crisis that continues to create millions of victims; a crisis that undermines liberty, prosperity and peace; a crisis that poses a direct challenge to the US interests in the Middle East, Russia, China and sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere.”

The 2015 Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act passed the House May 16 by unanimous voice vote. It had strong...READ MORE

Filed under frank wolf, international religious freedom, religious freedom, religious liberty, rep. chris smith, r-n.j.

Professional Soccer Player Returns to His Fans in Chile — as a Priest (1381)

Fans in the Latin-American country were delighted to reunite with the Catholic priest who once brought them fame on the soccer pitch and now gave them the Eucharist.

05/17/2016 Comments (1)
José Carvajal via CNA

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck

– José Carvajal via CNA

SANTIAGO, Chile — With a Mass celebrated in the chapel where he used to pray, former soccer star Chase Hilgenbrinck was reunited recently with the faithful, friends and fans — not as a soccer star, but as a priest.

Before he was Father Hilgenbrinck, the American was a successful pro-soccer player who spent four seasons in Chile before returning to the United States. He played for the New England Revolution team before experiencing a call to the priesthood and leaving behind his soccer career to enter seminary.

In 2014, he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., where he currently serves.

After being away from Chile for nine years, Father Hilgenbrinck recently returned to...READ MORE

Filed under chile, football, priesthood, soccer, vocation stories, vocations to the priesthood

Pope: ‘Everyone Must Have the Freedom to Externalize His or Her Own Faith’ (1148)

In new interview with French paper, Francis discusses religious liberty, migration, dialogue with Islam and the SSPX and separation of Church and state.

05/17/2016 Comments (8)

– Instagram.com/Franciscus

VATICAN CITY — In a new interview focused heavily on migration and dialogue with Islam, Pope Francis touched on growing concerns surrounding the hot-button topic of religious freedom.

While he admitted that secular governments espousing a separation of Church and state have shown more success throughout history, the Pope also stressed that such policies must be strict in ensuring religious freedom for all.

“The right to conscientious objection must be recognized within each legal structure because it is a human right,” the Pope said in a May 9 interview with French newspaper La Croix.

“States must be secular. Confessional states end badly. That goes against the grain of history,” he...READ MORE

Filed under church and state, faith, islam, pope francis, religious liberty, sspx-vatican dialogue

US Bishops: Pope Francis Brings Clarity to Transgender Issues (5785)

In light of Obama administration’s guidelines for schools, USCCB says: ‘We pray that the government makes room for more just and compassionate approaches and policies in this sensitive area, in order to serve the good of all students and parents, as well as the common good.’

05/17/2016 Comments (15)

– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — As an alternative to the “deeply disturbing” new federal guidance on transgender regulations for schools, the U.S. bishops pointed to the words of Pope Francis in offering a positive path to young people.

“The guidance fails to address a number of important concerns and contradicts a basic understanding of human formation so well expressed by Pope Francis: that ‘the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created,’” the bishops said in a May 16 statement, quoting the words of Pope Francis in his 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

“Children, youth and parents in these difficult situations deserve compassion, sensitivity and respect,” the bishops said. “All of...READ MORE

Filed under bathroom bill, bishops, pope francis, transgenderism, usccb

Myrrh Miracle? Thousands Flock to Illinois Icon Seeking Blessings From Mysterious Oil (7647)

Current Orthodox and Catholic events refocus attention on seemingly miraculous phenomena.

05/17/2016 Comments (8)

This St. John the Baptist icon exudes oil.

– http://www.assumptiongreekorthodox.org/

HOMER GLEN, Ill. — An icon of John the Baptist at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Homer Glen, Ill., in suburban Chicago, exudes oil.

People have been flowing to the church to see the icon and be anointed with the oil by the priest, Father Sotirios Dimitriou. The curiosity has increased since the end of April, when news of the icon became widespread. But the phenomenon began last summer.

“July of last year was when this was first noticed,” John Ackerman, spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, told the Register.

According to Ackerman, one of the altar boys — whose name, “ironically enough, is John, and he wants to be a priest” — first witnessed it and went home to tell...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, icons, miracles, orthodox church, statues

Supreme Court Sends Little Sisters’ Case Back to Lower Courts (6679)

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Little Sisters of the Poor, called the ruling an ‘important win.’

05/16/2016 Comments (15)
Courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Pope Francis visits the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington on Sept. 23, 2015.

– Courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor

WASHINGTON — In a unanimous May 16 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has sent back to the lower courts a challenge to the federal contraception mandate raised by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The lawsuit involves the Department of Health and Human Services’ federal contraception mandate, which requires employers to provide contraception and drugs that can produce abortions in employee health plans. While the government has offered an exemption to many corporations, it has no exemption for the Little Sisters of the Poor, who help run houses to care for the elderly poor.

“The Supreme Court on Monday gave the Obama administration a final chance to work out a compromise with religious...READ MORE

Filed under becket fund for religious liberty, contraceptive mandate, little sisters of the poor, religious liberty, supreme court of the united states

Pope on Pentecost: ‘We Were Made to Be God’s Children; It Is in Our DNA’ (2307)

To be a child of God is our ‘primordial vocation,’ Francis said May 15. He also said Mary ‘is the living remembrance of the Son and the living invocation of the Holy Spirit.’ The Holy Spirit, he added, teaches us ‘the only essential thing: to love as God loved.’

05/16/2016 Comments (3)

– Instagram.com/Franciscus

VATICAN CITY — Although sin separates us from God, Pope Francis stressed on Pentecost Sunday that we haven’t been left as orphans. Thanks to Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can reconcile with the Lord and continue to live as his children.

“The central purpose of Jesus’ mission, which culminated in the gift of the Holy Spirit, was to renew our relationship with the Father, a relationship severed by sin, to take us from our state of being orphaned children and to restore us as his sons and daughters,” the Pope said May 15.

“We were made to be God’s children; it is in our DNA,” he said, explaining that “the Spirit is given to us by the Father and leads us back to the...READ MORE

Filed under evangelization, holy spirit, mother of god, pentecost, pope francis

Former Political Prisoner in Cuba: Everyone Is Called to ‘Bear Witness to the Truth’ (1270)

Armando Valladares, a former prisoner of conscience in Cuban prisons, received the 2016 Canterbury Medal bestowed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on May 12.

05/16/2016 Comments (1)

Armando Valladares

– BecketFund.org

NEW YORK — Everyone must be true to his or her own conscience, a religious-freedom advocate and former political prisoner told a gala audience on Thursday.

“Even when we have nothing, each person and only that person possesses the key to his or her own conscience, his or her own sacred castle,” Armando Valladares, a former prisoner of conscience in Cuban prisons, said upon reception of the 2016 Canterbury Medal bestowed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty May 12.

“In that respect, each of us, though we may not have an earthly castle or even a house, each of us is richer than a king or queen,” he continued.

Valladares, who spent 22 years in prison for refusing to support the...READ MORE

Filed under becket fund for religious liberty, freedom of conscience, little sisters of the poor, religious liberty

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