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Pontifical Academy Addresses the Science and Ethics of Aging (2451)

They will discuss finding an ethical solution to the issues associated with a decline at the end of life, especially in the face of a culture that tends to discriminate against or marginalize the elderly and dependent.

02/20/2014 Comment
CNA/Marea Howse

– CNA/Marea Howse

VATICAN CITY — As the global number of elderly increases, one Vatican advisory group is meeting this week to discuss the many challenges associated with aging and its often accompanying disabilities.

The Pontifical Academy for Life’s general assembly will consider issues surrounding “the scientific, the medical ... and ethical issues concerning these specific problems coming from the situation of many elderly people [who] become disabled,” explained the group’s chancellor, Father Pegoraro Renzo.

“Of course … in the Western world, the problem is more relevant and urgent, because there is a [larger] percentage of people that is older,” he told CNA on Feb. 18. “But also in developing...READ MORE

Filed under aging population, catholic faith, end of life issues, euthanasia, human dignity

Supreme Court Could Decide Another Landmark Marriage Case by 2015 (6390)

Citing the high court’s 2013 precedent, some federal courts have struck down state laws defending traditional marriage, pointing the country toward a consequential ruling in the near future.

02/20/2014 Comments (18)

– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last June, legal scholars expected no further ruling from the justices on this issue for some years.

Yet now, in the wake of several lower-court decisions overturning state laws banning same-sex “marriage,” as well as a growing federal push for “marriage equality,” experts predict the high court may decide another landmark case by 2015.

“The court could hear another case — more likely, two or more appeals to court decisions in favor of same-sex ‘marriage' — next term; and, thus, issue a decision by June 2015,” Gerard Bradley, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, told...READ MORE

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Council of Cardinals Presents Proposals to Pope (4645)

The group of eight cardinals heard presentations from two separate commissions devoted to Curia reform and the Vatican Bank and passed their recommendations on to Pope Francis.

02/19/2014 Comment
Facebook/Vatican Radio/CTV

Pope Francis greets members of the council of cardinals at the start of their first meeting, Oct. 1, 2013.

– Facebook/Vatican Radio/CTV

VATICAN CITY — The eight-member council of cardinals set up by Pope Francis to advise him on Church governance and reform of the Roman Curia has presented preliminary proposals to the Pope on economic and administrative reform at the Holy See.

The Vatican said the Holy Father is now free to “follow or to modify” the proposals, the fruit of two commissions he set up last year.

The reports were presented this week to the so-called “C8” council of cardinals during their Feb. 17-19 meeting in Rome — the third such meeting since the council began its work in October 2013.

The three-day meeting, which mostly took place in the St. Martha guesthouse, began with a thorough examination of the...READ MORE

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Ukraine at the Breaking Point: 26 Dead, but Spirit Undefeated (5532)

As protesters face off against armed riot police in Kiev, Church leaders in Ukraine and the U.S. express support for the beleaguered anti-government 'Euromaidan Movement.'

02/19/2014 Comments (12)
AP photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

A woman lights candles in memory of the victims of clashes between police and protesters in Kiev, at the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow on Feb. 19.

– AP photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

KIEV, Ukraine — Despite an ultimatum yesterday from the Ukrainian government for Kiev protesters to clear Independence Square or risk being physically removed, some 20,000 anti-government demonstrators, supported by the Catholic Church, faced armed riot police in an apocalyptic scene of fire and nerve.

To defend the square, known as Maidan in Ukrainian, from encroaching police units, protesters burned tires, threw cobblestones and tossed petrol bombs, often to the sound of priests from the Orthodox and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churches chanting on Maidan’s main soundstage, guarded by banners showing Jesus and Mary.

Prayer, including the Rosary, alternated with patriotic songs and...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, christian faith, human rights, orthodox church, russia, ukraine

Pope Francis: ‘Be Courageous, and Go to Confession’ (6082)

The Holy Father spoke of the healing available in the sacrament of reconciliation at his Feb. 19 audience: 'Forgiveness is not a result of our efforts, but is a gift. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who showers us with mercy and grace that pours forth unceasingly from the open heart of Christ, crucified and risen.'

02/19/2014 Comments (1)

VATICAN CITY -- During his Wednesday audience on Feb. 19, Pope Francis encouraged the pilgrims filling St. Peter's Square to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.

"Everyone say to himself: ‘When was the last time I went to confession?’ And if it has been a long time, don’t lose another day. Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, and Jesus is better than the priests. Jesus receives you: He will receive you with so much love."

"Be courageous, and go to confession,” urged the Pope.

Acknowledging a popular objection to the sacrament, Pope Francis noted, “Someone can say, ‘I confess my sins only to God.’ Yes, you can say to God, ‘Forgive me,’ and say your sins. But...READ MORE

Filed under confession, sacrament of reconciliation, forgiveness, mercy, pope francis

Abby Johnson: Only Modern Pro-Life Women’s Centers Can Beat Planned Parenthood (9452)

The former abortion business director says that comprehensive pro-life women’s medical centers are the best way to drive Planned Parenthood out of business.

02/19/2014 Comments (11)
Facebook/Abby Johnson Pro-Life Advocate

Abby Johnson

– Facebook/Abby Johnson Pro-Life Advocate

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — If the pro-life movement wants to shut down Planned Parenthood, it has to compete utilizing the very thing Planned Parenthood fears the most: modern pro-life women’s centers.

So says Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood-director-turned-pro-life-advocate, who has a vision for how the pro-life movement can take down the largest abortion and family-planning provider in America: by offering women more services, both life-affirming and better quality.

In this interview with the Register, Johnson draws on her insider knowledge of Planned Parenthood and says the pro-life movement has an opportunity to exploit the Achilles’ heel of Planned Parenthood’s business...READ MORE

Filed under abby johnson, abortion, catholic faith, health care, planned parenthood, pro-life

Pope Francis Renews Argentinian Passport (2132)

The Holy Father told Argentina’s Vatican ambassador that he wishes to retain his original nationality when traveling internationally.

02/19/2014 Comments (4)
Wikimedia Commons

– Wikimedia Commons

 BUENOS AIRES — Pope Francis has renewed his Argentinian passport, according to Argentina’s Ministry of the Interior and Transportation, and his new documents will be sent to St. Martha’s guesthouse at the Vatican.

“His Holiness communicated with Juan Pablo Cafiero, our ambassador to the Vatican, and told him he wished to continue traveling around the world with his Argentinian passport,” said Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo.

Therefore, the minister continued, “his application was filed on Friday through the digital center we operate in Rome.”

According to La Nacion newspaper, Randazzo said that Pope Francis did not want any special privileges, and so the normal procedure for...READ MORE

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Canada’s Next Cardinal: A Missionary Against Secularism (2879)

Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, who will be made a cardinal at the Feb. 22 consistory, spent much of his childhood in New Hampshire.

02/19/2014 Comments (4)
Peter Zelasko/CNA

Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec speaking in Denver on Aug. 2, 2011.

– Peter Zelasko/CNA

QUEBEC CITY — Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, who will be made a cardinal at the Feb. 22 consistory, is a missionary for the New Evangelization in Canada, after having been a missionary in Colombia for 10 years.

At 56, Archbishop Lacroix will be the third-youngest member of the College of Cardinals. He was born in 1957 on a dairy farm 190 miles east of Montreal. When his parents were unable to make ends meet, they moved to New Hampshire, which borders the province of Quebec, when Gerald was 8, in search of a better life.

While a senior at Trinity High School in Manchester, N.H., Archbishop Lacroix became a member of the Pius X Secular Institute, according to the New Hampshire...READ MORE

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