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Confidence in God's Power Draws Us to Pray for Peace (4147)

Homily for the Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Syria, the Middle East and Throughout the World

09/07/2013 Comments (7)

The following homily was delivered Sept. 7 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archhbishop of Washington.

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). This admonition from Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel is what brings us to this basilica today. Jesus told us to pray with an unshakeable confidence born of faith.

We learn from the Gospels to pray with perseverance, sincerity and total confidence: “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?” (Luke 18:7)

We come together this afternoon for a day of fasting...READ MORE

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The Catholic Case Against a U.S. Military Strike on Syria (15837)

As President Obama awaits congressional approval of his plan to deter future use of WMDs, Catholic scholars explain why Church leaders oppose U.S. intervention.

09/07/2013 Comments (20)

WASHINGTON — Over the past week, Pope Francis has condemned the use of chemical weapons, but also rejected a proposed U.S. military strike on Syria that President Barack Obama has said will deter future use of weapons of mass destruction by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The president announced his plan to punish Assad after he reviewed video images of what appeared to be the horrific aftermath of an Aug. 21 poison gas attack that killed 1,400 Syrian civilians, including 400 children.

But Pope Francis, backed up by Syrian and U.S. Church leaders, has argued that military intervention could fuel an escalation of violence, and he called instead for a political settlement...READ MORE

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The Gubbio Project Serves San Francisco’s Least Fortunate (3849)

Franciscan spirit guides one parish's service to San Francisco’s homeless.

09/07/2013 Comments (1)
Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

Homeless men sleep in the pews at St. Boniface Church in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.

– Courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — When Pope Francis welcomed 200 homeless people to the Vatican for dinner on July 1, Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, in speaking for the Holy Father, told the homeless diners, “This is your home and [Pope Francis] is pleased that you are here.”

For the past decade, a historic parish in downtown San Francisco’s toughest neighborhood, known as the “Tenderloin,” has extended a similar welcome to the area’s large population of homeless. Of San Francisco’s 6,500 homeless, most live in the Tenderloin.

Even in broad daylight, the neighborhood can be a frightening community to visit. It is known for its high crime rate, drug abuse, graffiti, strip clubs and general run-down...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Rejects Military Solution to Syria, The Disenchantment of Miley Cyrus and Much More! (5212)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

09/07/2013 Comments (1)

Pope Francis Rejects Pursuit of Military Solution in Syria. Follow the link by John Thavis of the Decoding the Vatican blog.

Pope Francis Rejects Pursuit of Military Solution in Syria - John Thavis, Decoding the Vatican

Because of the Disenchantment of Miley Cyrus by Frank Weathers - BigPulpit.com

Pope Francis Calls Single Mother Brave, Offers to Baptize Her Child – Jean M. Heimann, Catholic Fire

Dear State of New Mexico: First Amendment? Hello? – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Woman In Love: A Love Story Worth Reading - Mary Lane, Catholic Lane

The Girl I Never Met: A Post-Abortive Father’s Tale - Rebecca Frech, Ignitum Today

A Critique of the New Domesticity - Mary Walker, Truth & Charity

The Christian Cicero: Getting to Know Lactantius - Jason Liske, Ascending Mount Carmel


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Bishops Seize ‘Best Chance’ for Immigration Reform (7711)

Nationwide Response Hailed as Unprecedented

09/06/2013 Comments (10)

– usccb.org

WASHINGTON — Though the urgency of the mounting Syrian crisis has become the focal point for upcoming congressional debate, a domestic issue still looms in the background: Can a consensus be reached on immigration reform?

Even as the immigration discussion is back-burnered for the moment, dioceses across the United States are mobilizing grassroots support for immigration policy change, and this Sunday —  the feast of Our Lady’s birthday — will be a key moment in their campaign.

A survey released in April is among recent polls showing that Catholics overwhelmingly back immigration reform. Now, the U.S. bishops’ conference is trying to capitalize on that support and pressure Congress to...READ MORE

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Pope Francis and the Church’s Witness Against War (9075)


09/06/2013 Comments (12)
CNA/Lauren Cater

– CNA/Lauren Cater

Several days ago, Pope Francis condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and called for a negotiated settlement of that ferociously fought civil war, announcing that he would lead a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace on Sept. 7.

He also made it quite clear, at least to this author, that he decidedly disfavors resorting to arms as a solution — instead launching his moral suasion, personal witness and public and private diplomacy against U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed intervention (also being entertained by France, although Great Britain has rejected it).

Intervening militarily, however “targeted” or “limited” that intervention is intended to be, can only cause...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, just war, middle east, pope francis, pope john paul ii, pope paul vi, president barack obama, syria

Hotel Chain Cuts Pornography TV Channels to Fight Human Trafficking (6218)

Committed to fighting the sex trade, billionaire Petter Stordalen said his hotel chain is making a stand against the scourge of smut.

09/06/2013 Comments (9)
George Hodan

– George Hodan

WASHINGTON — Citing connections to human trafficking, a major Scandinavian hotel chain has announced that it is eliminating pornography television channels from its hotel rooms.

“The porn industry contributes to trafficking, so I see it as a natural part of having a social responsibility to send out a clear signal that Nordic Hotels doesn't support or condone this,” said Petter Stordalen, the owner of Nordic Hotels.

A Norwegian billionaire and philanthropist, Stordalen announced that he is removing pay-per-view pornography channels from his chain’s 171 Scandinavian hotels and replacing them with contemporary art.

He said he decided to stop selling the material after he started to...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Outlines Syria Peace Plan (26517)

The Holy See's six-point program outlines path to avoid additional bloodshed in the Middle-Eastern country.

09/06/2013 Comments (23)

– usccb.org

VATICAN CITY — In the latest move showing Pope Francis’ determination to prevent further bloodshed in Syria, the Holy Father has sent a letter to leaders of the G20 group of nations who are meeting in Russia, urging them “to lay aside the futile pursuit” of a military solution to the conflict and instead renew their commitment to dialogue and negotiation.

News of the Pope’s appeal came as the Vatican briefed the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See Sept. 5, during which the Holy See issued a rare and detailed six-point program for peace as an alternative to the use of violence.

In his Sept. 4 letter, addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is chairing this year’s G20...READ MORE

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