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5 Marks of a Catholic Family, Pope Francis Says Justice and Peace Start from Home and Much More! (3729)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/10/2014 Comment

5 Marks of a Catholic Family. Follow the link by Dr. Gregory Popcak of Catholic Exchange to read more.

5 Marks of a Catholic Family by Dr. Gregory Popcak of Catholic Exchange - BigPulpit.com

Pope Francis: “Justice & Peace Start from the Home” - Iacopo Scaramuzzi, Vatican Insider

Our Lady’s Retirement Plan - Pat Ryan, The American Catholic

The Saint Who was Twice Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury - Ed West, The Catholic Herald

Looking to the Star of the New Evangelization - Edward Looney, Ignitum Today

Custody of the Mind - Michelle Arnold, Catholic Answers

Ursuline Nuns, Thomas Jefferson & Synchronicity; Jamie Stiehm – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Is Sam Harris Right About Drugs? - Joe Heschmeyer, Strange Notions

The Lay Faithful’s Call to Kerygma – Fr....READ MORE

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Legionaries Begin First General Chapter to Revise Constitutions (2155)

The meeting will also elect a new governing body for the religious order.

01/09/2014 Comments (5)
Legionaries of Christ

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis gives the homily during the Jan. 8 opening Mass of the Legion of Christ's General Chapter

– Legionaries of Christ

VATICAN CITY — Earlier this morning, the Legionaries of Christ began their first meeting to draft and approve their new constitutions, after which they will elect their new leadership.

Opening with a Jan. 8 Mass celebrated by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the chapter, which will be held behind closed doors throughout its duration, began its official meetings the morning of Jan. 9 and is slated to last roughly 20 days.

The general chapter was mandated by Benedict XVI in the wake of the revelation of the double life led by the congregation’s founder, Father Marcial Maciel, who is since deceased.

An official investigation into the life and conduct of Father Maciel was launched by the...READ MORE

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Number of Christian Martyrs Increased Sharply in 2013 (5322)

Two new surveys reveal the most dangerous areas for the world’s 2.2 billion adherents.

01/09/2014 Comments (2)
2006 Akram Saleh/Getty Images

Destroyed vehicles lie in front of a Christian church after a car bomb explosion in the Karrada district of Baghdad, Iraq.

– 2006 Akram Saleh/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY —   Two new surveys have recorded a sharp increase in Catholics and Christians of all denominations killed for their faith over the past year.

Fides News Agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples registered 22 assassinations of Catholics in 2013, up from 13 in 2012.

It says most of the victims were killed during robbery attempts, and in some cases, the attacks were ferocious. Among the victims were 19 priests, one religious sister and two laymen.

Latin America was the most dangerous area, according to Fides: For the fifth year running, most assassinations of this type took place on the continent. These included seven priests in Colombia, four in...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, jesus christ, martyrdom, persecution of christians, pope francis

Islamism Places Africa ‘at Risk,’ Nigerian Bishop Warns (2502)

Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo says that if violent Boko Haram rebels win power in northern Nigeria, ‘an unimaginable humanitarian disaster’ could result.

01/09/2014 Comment
Aid to the Church in Need

Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, vicar apostolic of Bomadi, Nigeria

– Aid to the Church in Need

LAGOS, Nigeria — Christians in Nigeria face violence and persecution in their homeland, as militant group Boko Haram uses inequality and instability in the country to advance its ideology, a bishop has warned.

“Don’t sit by while Nigeria disintegrates,” Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, vicar apostolic of Bomadi, said in a Jan. 1 interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

If Boko Haram succeeds, the bishop continued, “the rest of Africa might easily fall prey to them. That would be an unimaginable humanitarian disaster.”

Bomadi is located in Nigeria’s oil-rich-yet-impoverished Niger Delta, located in the south of the country.

The country — Africa’s most populous,...READ MORE

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Christian Baker Files Religious-Freedom Appeal in Wedding-Cake Ruling (10190)

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, says he is being forced to promote a ‘false view of marriage’ or face jail time.

01/09/2014 Comments (35)
CNA/Courtesy of Sugin Ong

– CNA/Courtesy of Sugin Ong

DENVER — A Christian baker in Colorado is appealing a judge’s ruling that he must violate his religious beliefs and bake a cake for a same-sex union ceremony.

“Jack simply exercised the long-cherished freedom to not speak by declining to promote a false view of marriage through his creative work,” said lead counsel Nicolle Martin, who is allied with Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit Christian legal defense organization.

She said, “It’s outrageous that the government would turn its guns on Jack and threaten him with a potential jail sentence unless he says and does what the government demands.”

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., declined in July...READ MORE

Filed under christianity, first amendment to the u.s. constitution, religious persecution, same-sex 'marriage'

Notre Dame Complies With Contraception Mandate (25185)

After a court denies injunctive relief, university faculty and staff will receive contraceptives through their health plans, pending further legal action.

01/09/2014 Comments (160)
Catholic News Agency

– Catholic News Agency

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — In May 2012, the University of Notre Dame filed a legal challenge to the Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate, lending the weight of its institutional prestige to the U.S. bishops’ campaign against the controversial federal law.

“This filing is about the freedom of a religious organization to live its mission, and its significance goes well beyond any debate about contraceptives,” said Notre Dame’s president, Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, in a statement that marked the university’s decision to join a slew of Catholic institutions that filed lawsuits in courts across the nation.

But on Jan. 2, 2014, Notre Dame told faculty and staff that a third-party...READ MORE

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Gender and a Sacramental View of the Body, IVF and 'Irrelevant' Biology, and More! (3310)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/09/2014 Comment

Sperm Donor Recalls Meeting His Donor-Daughter. Follow the link by Chelsea Zimmerman to read more.

Sperm Donor Recalls Meeting His Donor-Daughter by Chelsea Zimmerman - BigPulpit.com

Gender & a Sacramental View of the Body – Randall Smith, The Catholic Thing

Families Support Each Other – Julie Machado, Ignitum Today

New & Notable Books (January 2014) - Brandon Vogt

Catholic Parenting: What I’ve Done Right – Leila Miller, Catholic Stand

The Closing of the Scientific Mind - William M. Briggs PhD

Can You Be Catholic & Feminist? - Laura McAlister, Ignitum Today

If Atheism Is True, Does Life Still Have Meaning? - Jennifer Fulwiler, Strange Notions

1864: Death of Dagger John – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Dive Into a New Genre of Video Games - Eugene Gan,...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’ Holy Land Visit to Focus on Ecumenism With Orthodox (4620)

The Holy Father Pope Francis has shown an ecumenical sensitivity since his election last March.

01/08/2014 Comments (10)
Courtesy Israel Ministry of Tourism

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Pope Francis will meet with Patriarch Bartholomew I in May.

– Courtesy Israel Ministry of Tourism

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to be held in May, will center on his encounter with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Eastern Orthodox archbishop of Constantinople, and their discussions on ecumenism.

Announcing the trip Jan. 5, Pope Francis said its “principal goal” is “to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras I, that occurred … 50 years ago today.”

That encounter was the beginning of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and led to a joint declaration issued in 1965, which declared the two leaders’ desire “to overcome their differences in order to be again ‘one,’ as the Lord Jesus...READ MORE

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