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Pope Picks Up the Pace in Rio, Says Vatican Spokesman (3126)

The Holy Father's energy level throughout his trip to Rio de Janeiro has been remarkable, according to Father Federico Lombardi.

07/26/2013 Comments (3)
CNA/Stephen Driscoll

– CNA/Stephen Driscoll

RIO DE JANEIRO — Despite jet lag, rainy weather and an intense schedule, Pope Francis shows no sign of slowing down as he meets with young people gathered for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, told reporters at the World Youth Day media center in Rio Wednesday that Pope Francis “hasn’t stopped at all,” and his continuous energy is “something that strikes all of us.”

The Vatican spokesman said Pope Francis has not lost any of his personal touch in Rio, even though his attention is demanded at every moment. Father Lombardi recalled when Pope Francis took time to meet with 30 cloistered nuns, who waited in the rain for him...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, rio de janeiro, world youth day

When Same-Sex 'Marriage' Affects Your Family; Hell: Oppression or Justice and Much More! (4157)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/26/2013 Comments (1)

When Same-Sex 'Marriage' Affects Your Family. Follow the link by Terry McDermott of Catholic Lane to read more.

When Same-Sex 'Marriage' Affects Your Family by Terry McDermott of Catholic Lane - BigPulpit.com

Why College Students Should Study Sacred Music – Dr. George Harne, Catholic Education Daily

Hell: Oppression or Justice? - DarwinCatholic, The American Catholic

Living Gargoyles: The Medieval Art of Gurning – David Clayton, The Way of Beauty

Church Needs to Stop Being Comfortable, Be a Contradiction – Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald

Was Saint Peter the ‘Other Man’ in Rome? The New Testament Mystery – Taylor Marshall PhD, Canterbury Tales

Ways to Understand Morality Is Not Rational – James Chastek PhL, Just Thomism

Pope Francis: When God Does Not Answer, We Become Impatient –...READ MORE

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New Scientific Discovery May Hold Key to Saving Infants With Down Syndrome (13444)

Massachusetts researchers have pioneered a method of ‘silencing’ the extra gene that causes the syndrome.

07/25/2013 Comments (13)

Dr. Jeanne Lawrence, professor of cell and developmental biology and pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

WORCESTER, Mass. — Scientists have unlocked a new discovery in Down syndrome research that could lead to revolutionary new therapies and even offer hope for mothers and fathers who find out their children have Down syndrome.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have pioneered a way to “silence” the activity of the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome. The discovery paves the way for new research and even opens up the possibility of “chromosomal therapies” for individuals with Down syndrome in the future.

“This is a whole new approach to understanding what goes wrong in Down syndrome cells,” said Dr. Jeanne Lawrence, who led the research team at UMass...READ MORE

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Pope in Rio Slum: ‘Never Tire’ of Solidarity and Social Justice (3067)

Visiting the Varginha favela, the Holy Father emphasizes the responsibility to assist the needy.

07/25/2013 Comments (4)
LatinContent/Getty Images

A boy flies a kite July 19 in the Rio de Janeiro shanty town of Varginha, which Pope Francis visited July 25.

– LatinContent/Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO — Speaking amid cheers in the soccer field of a Rio de Janeiro shanty town, Pope Francis urged people who are more economically privileged to “never tire” of working for solidarity and social justice.

“The Brazilian people, particularly the humblest among you, can offer the world a valuable lesson in solidarity, a word that is too often forgotten or silenced because it is uncomfortable,” he said July 25 to the residents of Varginha, a favela of the city that is hosting World Youth Day.

He continued, “I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of goodwill who are working for social justice: Never...READ MORE

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Lawyer Brothers Sue to Overturn HHS’ Contraception Mandate (3507)

Michael and Shaun Willis are the latest to file a lawsuit alleging the federal government has violated their constitutional right to religious freedom.

07/25/2013 Comments (9)
2012 Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama, with H.H.S. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, announces the contraception mandate at the White House.

– 2012 Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michael and Shaun Willis and their Michigan-based law firm filed a lawsuit seeking to have the HHS mandate declared a violation of the Constitution and of federal law over religious-liberty concerns.

“That our own government is knowingly displaying such a lack of tolerance for faithful Christians is outrageous,” Erin Mersino, a lawyer at the Thomas More Law Center, and the lead attorney on the case, stated July 24.

“The HHS mandate must be ruled unconstitutional or there will be no end to the federal government's intrusion on the religious liberties of Christians.”

Michael is Catholic and Shaun is Protestant. The brothers operate their firm in a way that reflects...READ MORE

Filed under catholic social teaching, culture of death, culture of life, hhs mandate, president barack obama, religious freedom, u.s. constitution

World Youth Day Pilgrims See Fellowship as Key Component of Trip (2607)

The universality — catholicity — of the Church, on full display, provides comfort and inspiration for participants.

07/25/2013 Comment
CNA/Michelle Bauman

Pilgrims attended the opening Mass of the 28th World Youth Day at Copacabana beach July 23.

– CNA/Michelle Bauman

RIO DE JANEIRO — Wind and rain on Copacabana beach did not stop more than half a million young people from experiencing the global nature of the Church at the opening Mass of World Youth Day on the evening of July 23.

“This is amazing. It's more fun than I've ever had,” said Michael Nightingale.

The 17-year-old from St. Louis is traveling with an archdiocesan group and said that he is attending World Youth Day for the first time.

So far, he said, the best part has been “just mixing with all the teens and being here with people from all over the world.”

Other pilgrims echoed his worlds, voicing excitement and enthusiasm as they began the activities of World Youth Day 2013. Running...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, new evangelization, pilrgrimage, pope francis, rio de janeiro, world youth day

Scores Die in Santiago de Compostela Train Crash (3324)

Pope Francis, ‘deeply moved’ by the tragedy, unites his prayers to those of the victims’ families.

07/25/2013 Comments (9)
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

A firefighter works at the scene of a train crash that killed at least 77 people on July 24 at Angrois near Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

– Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — Pope Francis is praying for the victims and families of the 77 people who have died in a train derailment near the Spanish pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela yesterday evening.

The incident occurred at 8:41pm yesterday when the train was about two miles away from the Santiago de Compostela station, according to a July 25 statement from the train operator Renfe.

Spanish journalist Miguel-Anxo Murado told the BBC’s John Humphrys that “the train driver admitted to going too fast” and explained that he was traveling more than double the speed limit for the stretch of track he was on.

The train’s speed sent its eight carriages careening off the...READ MORE

Filed under pilgrimage sites, pope francis, santiago de compostela, spain, world youth day

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Mourns Passing of Founder (2559)

Couple recalls how Father Chuck Gallagher strengthened and saved countless marriages all over the world.

07/25/2013 Comments (2)
CNA/Courtesy of Diane and Dick Baumbach

Father Chuck Gallagher

– CNA/Courtesy of Diane and Dick Baumbach

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Father Chuck Gallagher, the priest who sparked the expansion of faith-based marriage enrichment retreats for millions of couples all over the world, died July 21 at the age of 85 in New Jersey.

“He taught us so much about loving each other, loving the world and how to be better people,” said Diane Baumbach, who attended a Marriage Encounter weekend with her husband in 1973.

“He’s just been so important in our lives,” she said. “We think his memory and legacy will be with us for centuries.”

Diane and her husband, Dick Baumbach, told Catholic News Agency they were so moved by their own Marriage Encounter weekend that they eventually began working for the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, church movements, sacramental marriage, theology of the body, worldwide marriage encounter

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