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LCWR 2013 Assembly: Little Evidence Yet of Any Reforms (12186)

NEWS ANALYSIS: More than a year after the Vatican-mandated changes, the U.S. women religious leaders’ group appears uninterested in complying.

08/20/2013 Comments (54)

When the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) met in its annual assembly Aug. 13-16 in Orlando, Fla., the main topic of business was how the sisters would respond to a 2012 mandate of reform from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The LCWR is a canonically erected superiors’ organization of nearly 1,400 sisters who are leaders of about 80% of the women religious in this country.

Interest in their 2013 assembly was heightened by the presence of the Vatican’s apostolic delegate charged with conducting the reform, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle. He had offered to attend the LCWR 2012 assembly to discuss the mandate that had come out April 18 of...READ MORE

Filed under bride of christ, catholic faith, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, doctrinal assessment, jesus christ, leadership conference of women religious, religious vocations, u.s. conference of catholic bishops

Historic Pro-life Petition Close to Igniting EU Abortion Debate (3626)

Organizers hope a successful petition can jump-start a new European pro-life movement.

08/20/2013 Comments (4)

One of Us petition gatherers at Stormont, Northern Ireland.

– PreciousLife.com

BRUSSELS — A citizen-led initiative is nearing the 1 million signatures needed to prompt a discussion in Europe's parliament on the value of human life and putting a stop to funding abortion and embryo-destroying research.

The initiative, called “One of Us,” seeks to protect the “dignity, the right to life and the integrity of every human being” at all stages of development in the European Union.

It asks the European Union “to end the financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the areas of research, development aid and public health,” according to the organizers’ website.

The petition was introduced as a European citizens’ initiative,...READ MORE

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Cancer Patient Draws New Hope Meeting Pope Francis (3965)

“When he came to me, he took out his handkerchief, and I saw him sob and wipe away his tears,” Elena Alba said.

08/20/2013 Comments (3)
Lauren Cater/CNA

Pope Francis greets the crowd for the Angelus.

– Lauren Cater/CNA

MADRID, Spain — After a decade of struggling with cancer and other illnesses, a 58-year-old woman from Madrid has found comfort and renewed strength to live from a personal encounter with Pope Francis.

“Now I am living with joy, happiness and, above all, gratitude,” said Elena Alba, according to the newspaper La Razón.

For the past 10 years, Alba has been fighting several illnesses, including two bouts with cancer, most recently in her brain. Surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation have been unsuccessful in treating her.

Faced with a dim prognosis from her doctors, Alba decided that one of the things she wanted to do while still alive was to see the Pope. Despite the risks that such a...READ MORE

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Now That We're All 'Marriage' Haters; Nuns Paraded as POWs; Bad Yoga? and More! (4509)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

08/20/2013 Comments (1)

Now That We’re All Haters . . . Follow the link to read more.

Now That We’re All Haters . . . - BigPulpit.com

Egypt: Nuns Marched Through the Streets Like Prisoners of War – Fr. Z's Blog

Yoga: What Is So Bad about Feeling Good? – Cheryl Dickow, Catholic Lane

Bishop Thomas Tobin Recognizes that the Democratic Party Is an Anti-Catholic Party – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Honoring the Gift of Children – Deacon Mike Bickerstaff, Integrated Catholic Life™

Christian Atheism? – Jason Liske, Ascending Mount Carmel

Egyptian Coptic Church Condemns Western Media - Deacon Nick Donnelly, Protect the Pope

Pope Francis’ Letter to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church – Byz Pulpit

The Church in the Middle East – Andrea Gagliarducci,...READ MORE

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The Crystal Cathedral Becomes Christ Cathedral (36772)

The process is under way to transform Robert Schuller’s iconic Protestant church into a Catholic center for liturgy, art and culture.

08/19/2013 Comments (29)
Wikipedia/Arnold C, Buchanan-Hermit

– Wikipedia/Arnold C, Buchanan-Hermit

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — In 2012, Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, was visiting southern California and got a chance to tour the Crystal Cathedral, the iconic late-modern glass church built for Robert Schuller in 1980.

Schuller was once a highly successful  “mega-church” preacher with a global television audience. But in 2010 his Crystal Cathedral Ministries declared bankruptcy, and the 34-acre campus was sold to the Catholic Diocese of Orange for $57.5 million in 2011.

The sale prompted questions about the financial and practical feasibility of the Catholic Church acquiring a modern cathedral designed by Philip Johnson, one of the 20th century’s pre-eminent architects. Skeptics...READ MORE

Filed under bishop kevin vann, catholic faith, christ cathedral, crystal cathedral, places of worship, robert schuller

Pope Francis Warns Christians Against ‘Decorative’ Faith (11816)

‘To follow Jesus requires renunciation of evil, of egoism, and choosing good, truth, justice,” the Pope told crowds.

08/19/2013 Comments (3)
CNA/Stephen Driscoll

– CNA/Stephen Driscoll

VATICAN CITY — During his Sunday Angelus message, Pope Francis told Christians about the importance of a deep faith that is fixed on Jesus, but warned them against a religious life that is only superficial.

“To live the faith is not to decorate life with a little religion, like a cake is decorated with a little frosting. No! It’s not that,” Pope Francis told cheering crowds in St. Peter’s Square Aug. 18. “Faith entails choosing God as a fundamental criterion of life, and God is neither meaningless nor neutral. God is love!” he said.

The Pope said that Jesus’ remarks in Sunday’s Gospel are challenging for Christians.

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do you think that I came to bring...READ MORE

Filed under angelus, catholic faith, jesus christ, pilgrims, pope francis, vatican city

Twins Saved From Abortion Now Save Souls as Priests (18787)

Their motherʼs heroic trust in God overcame doctors urging her to abort them over suspected deformities.

08/19/2013 Comments (10)
CNA/Father Felips Lizama.

Twin priests, Father Paulo (l) and Father Felipe Lizama, celebrate Mass, after being ordained together in Chile.

– CNA/Father Felips Lizama.

SANTIAGO, Chile — Twin brothers in Chile say that their mother’s determination in protecting them from abortion, despite the advice of doctors, helped to foster their vocations to the priesthood.

“How can I not defend the God of life?” said Father Paulo Lizama. “This event strengthened my vocation and gave it a specific vitality, and, therefore, I was able to give myself existentially to what I believe.”

He told CNA, “I am convinced of what I believe, of what I am and of what I speak, clearly by the grace of God.”

Father Paulo Lizama and his identical-twin brother, Father Felipe Lizama, were born in 1984 in the Chilean town of Lagunillas de Casablanca.

Before discovering her...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, catholic faith, catholic priesthood, culture of life, holy spirit, religious life

LCWR Leader Describes Its Relationship With the Church as ‘Delicate Weaving’ (10898)

Sister of St. Francis Florence Deacon evokes an image of ‘intricate dance’ in her address to the women religious leadership group’s annual assembly.

08/19/2013 Comments (81)
Lisa Johnston for CNA

Sister of St. Francis Florence Deacon, outgoing president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

– Lisa Johnston for CNA

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sister of St. Francis Florence Deacon, outgoing president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), addressed the annual assembly Friday, making the case for women religious — describing their mission and their relationship with the Church as a “delicate weaving.”

“I have spent quite a bit of time this year thinking about our relationship with Church leadership, and I kept returning to an image from an assembly of young religious I attended last year in Colombia, South America.”

In a night of cultural sharing, “one group did a very intricate dance, holding long, colorful ribbons, weaving them over and under, keeping time to the music. They ended by...READ MORE

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