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Pope Francis: Gossip Is Poisonous (8130)

In his Sunday Angelus message, the Holy Father reflects on the need for Christians to refrain from all forms of slander.

02/16/2014 Comments (9)
Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

– Kyle Burkhart/Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ Sunday Angelus message emphasized the importance of avoiding all forms of slander in living a Christian life.

“It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy.  But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us,” Pope Francis said Feb. 16.

“I tell you the truth,” he preached to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square. “I am convinced that if each one of us would purposely avoid gossip, at the end, we would become a saint! It’s a beautiful path!”

“Do we want to become saints? Yes or no?” he queried, as the crowds replied, “Yes!”

“Yes? Do we want to live attached to gossip as...READ MORE

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Bringing the Church Into the World of Sports (11718)

Ray McKenna, the head of Catholic Athletes for Christ, is enthusiastic about the missionary mandate.

02/14/2014 Comments (5)
Catholic Athletes for Christ

Ray McKenna, the founder of Catholic Athletes for Christ, meets Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 21, 2013.

– Catholic Athletes for Christ

Ray McKenna thought he was the only one in professional sports ministry experiencing anti-Catholic bias. In his volunteer work with Baseball Chapel, a Protestant group, he would hear things about the Catholic Church that weren’t true. He initially ignored the slights in the hope of obtaining a greater good: bringing athletes closer to God.

Yet, as time went on, McKenna discovered that his anti-Catholic experiences were shared by many, including five-time Kansas City Royals All-Star Mike Sweeney. “Mike and I met in the mid-1990s, while he was still in the minor leagues. I learned as we spoke over the years that he had experienced many of the same things I had in baseball: a strong...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Engaged Couples: Remember the Lord’s Blessing Upon Your Love (4465)

The Holy Father holds special event with more than 20,000 for St. Valentine's Day.

02/14/2014 Comment

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY -- During a special encounter with engaged couples, Pope Francis emphasized that to love someone forever is possible if we are humble and that marriage should be a celebration filled with joy.

“We build a house together, not alone!” he observed in his Feb. 14 address. “You would not wish to build it on the shifting sands of emotions, but on the rock of true love, the love that comes from God.”

More than 20,000 couples flocked to St. Peter’s Square in order to participate in the Valentine’s Day event, which was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family and reflected on the theme “The Joy of 'Yes' Forever.”

Following testimonies given by couples, readings and...READ MORE

Filed under love, marriage, engaged couples, pope francis, valentine's day

Archbishop Warns of Potential for Genocide in Central African Republic (5001)

There are 1.25 million people in need of food and assistance in the country, according to Caritas International.

02/14/2014 Comments (5)
Matthieu Alexandre for Caritas International

A man holds a machete in his village on the outskirts of Bangui, Central African Republic.

– Matthieu Alexandre for Caritas International

BANGUI, Central African Republic — A Central African bishop has reported signs of genocide in the growing conflict there, urging an effective security response and warning against the “evil” desire to kill and destroy.

“If there is no one to hold back the hand of the devil here, he will achieve his goal. Many people will be hunted down and killed,” Archbishop Dieudonnè Nzapalainga of Bangui told Aid to the Church in Need Feb. 12.

He said he had visited a town called Bodango, about 125 miles from the capital of Bangui, where all of the Muslims — who are among those targeted in the conflict — have disappeared.

Members of the Anti-Balaka militia told him the Muslims had been driven...READ MORE

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Valentine Effort Promotes Authentic Love to College Students (2066)

The Love and Fidelity Network’s campaign counters the campus ‘hook-up culture’ that reduces, trivializes and depersonalizes sexuality.

02/14/2014 Comment

– Shutterstock

PRINCETON, N.J. — A nationwide campaign leading up to Valentine’s Day has been encouraging college students to seek meaningful relationships and develop a healthy understanding of love and sexuality.

Young men and women today truly “want a love story,” said Caitlin Seery, director of the Love and Fidelity Network.

Surveys consistently show that “college men and women still aspire to get married someday, even if ‘someday’ is still several years in the future,” she told CNA, adding that, even in college, researchers have found “that very few students, when given privacy to speak honestly, are satisfied with the hook-up culture.”

Unfortunately, Seery explained, “between the carnage of...READ MORE

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Encountering the Grace of God Beyond the Sacraments (5782)

CONNECTING THE DOTS: Part one of a Register series on the corporal works of mercy.

02/14/2014 Comments (18)

Detail of 'Works of Mercy,' by Pierre Montallier (1680)

One of the puzzles some Catholics struggle with is the fact that we encounter the grace of God beyond the sacraments. In Matthew 25, for instance, Jesus talks about the salvation of the nations in terms of what Catholic Tradition would later call the corporal works of mercy:

Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me; I was naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me’” (Matthew 25:34-36).

What is striking here...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, corporal works of mercy, grace, jesus christ, pope francis, st. teresa of avila

Taking on the Pornography Scourge (11198)

With leadership and support from the U.S. bishops, the Catholic Church is recognizing and responding to the alarming prevalence of smut usage in America.

02/13/2014 Comments (35)

– Shutterstock

Part I of a Register series on the U.S. Church’s efforts to combat the pornography epidemic.

WASHINGTON — When Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., stood before his brother bishops last November to “request permission for a USCCB formal statement on pornography,” a handful of prelates in the audience began signaling their desire to speak to the group.

As the comments came quickly from the shepherds of San Francisco; Green Bay, Wis.; Beaumont, Texas; Kansas City, Kan.; Lincoln, Neb. — and more bishops kept asking to speak, give recommendations or point to resources — Cardinal Timothy Dolan, then the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president, remarked to Bishop Malone, “You got a...READ MORE

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Street Evangelization Group Finds Success in Personal Encounters (2963)

In less than two years since it was founded, Michigan-based St. Paul Street Evangelization has expanded to more than 100 teams in the U.S. and four other countries.

02/13/2014 Comments (2)
Facebook/St. Paul Street Evangelization

A St. Paul Street Evangelization team member provides a rosary to a man dressed in a Spiderman costume in Las Vegas.

– Facebook/St. Paul Street Evangelization

LANSING, Mich. — A leader with a Michigan-based evangelization group says that anyone can evangelize simply by fearlessly sharing the truth about Jesus with those they encounter.

“We believe that street evangelization is the easiest method of evangelization,” Adam Janke, program director with the St. Paul Street Evangelization, told CNA Feb. 10.

“We find that our street evangelists become practiced and better at evangelizing in everyday life, through street evangelization.”

Spreading the Gospel on the streets makes it easier for people to do the same with their family, friends, co-workers and neighbors, Janke continued. He said street evangelization can help overcome feelings of...READ MORE

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