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After Five Centuries of Division, Catholics and Lutherans Consider Their Common Heritage (26031)

A new joint document has been released in advance of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.

08/21/2013 Comments (28)

Belgian artist Ferdinand Pauwels' depiction of Martin Luther nailing his 'Ninety-Five Theses' to the door of a church in Wittemburg on Oct. 31, 1517.

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Although Martin Luther likely simply sent his Ninety-Five Theses — his harsh critique of contemporary Catholicism — to the local archbishop instead of dramatically nailing them to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, the event is commonly regarded as marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

A new document, “From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017,” has been released to pave the way for joint observances of Luther’s action by both Lutherans and Catholics, a development that certainly could not have been foreseen in previous centuries.

Signed by Catholic Bishop Karlheinz Diez, auxiliary bishop of Fulda, Germany,...READ MORE

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Islamist Rebels Force 20,000 Syrian Kurds to Flee to Iraq (5702)

Al Qaeda-linked rebels, possibly encouraged by Turkey, have turned their fury on Syria's Kurdish population.

08/21/2013 Comments (4)

Syrian refugees pour into Iraqi Kurdistan.


FAYSH KHABUR, Iraq — Following recent clashes in Syria between al Qaeda-linked rebels and Kurdish forces, 20,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region of northern Iraq, in the last six days.

“The factors allowing this sudden movement are not fully clear to us at this stage,” said Adrian Edwards, United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) spokesman, at an Aug. 16 news briefing.

Around noon on Aug. 15, a group of some 750 Syrian refugees crossed a new bridge across the Tigris River on the border between Syria and Iraq near the Iraqi town of Faysh Khabur. Later that day, another group numbering between 5,000 and 7,000 people followed.

On Aug. 17,...READ MORE

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Despite Rise of ʻNones,ʼ U.S. Religious Belief Still Strong, Say Experts (5957)

Changes in politics are behind the motives of most of the unchurched, but inactive Catholics are most likely to hold onto Catholic identity.

08/21/2013 Comments (5)

– Mazur/CNA

WASHINGTON — An increase in the number of people who claim no religious affiliation in the U.S. does not necessarily mean that the country is growing significantly more secular, according to some experts.

Frank Newport, editor in chief of Gallup, explained during a panel discussion held by the Pew Research Center in Washington that the data indicating the rise in self-described “nones” reveals simply the “already unreligious who are just changing the way they label themselves.”

Claude Fischer, a professor of sociology at the University of California-Berkeley, added that, despite these changes, “Americans have long been, and still remain, the most religious people among the peoples of...READ MORE

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Picasso's First Communion, My Final 500 Words to College Students, Doctrine, and Much More! (5491)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

08/21/2013 Comment

Pablo Picasso’s First Communion Painting. Follow the link by Rich of the Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber blog to view and read more.

Pablo Picasso’s First Communion Masterpiece Painting by Rich of the Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber blog – BigPulpit.com

My Final 500 Words to College Students – Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

Doctrine Is Not Just about Doctrine – Stacy Trasancos PhD

Audrey Assad: Songs Humbly Offered Gift to Catholics – Megan Hodder, Catholic Herald

The Flight from God – God & Caesar

Jesuit University Offers Master’s Degree in Yoga Spirituality – Matt Archbold, Catholic Education Daily

Igniting the World: Ablaze with the Spirit – Abram Muenzberg, Ignitum Today

The Holy Belt of the Virgin, a Relic of the Assumption - Gregory DiPippo, New Liturgical Movement

An Encounter in Front...READ MORE

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Tracing the Roots of Anti-Christian Violence in Egypt (5267)

Samuel Tadros, an authority on Islamic movements in the Middle East, says the persecuted minority may soon flee, following the path of Christians in other Muslim countries.

08/20/2013 Comments (14)
Ed Giles, Getty Images News/Getty Images

An Egyptian man stands amongst debris in the Nasr City district on Aug. 14 in Cairo.

– Ed Giles, Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Aug. 14, a wave of anti-Christian violence swept through Egypt, resulting in at least five deaths and the destruction of more than 30 churches. The Associated Press recorded an eyewitness account of nuns paraded through the streets “like prisoners of war.” Among the collateral damage: the historic Virgin Mary and Anba Abraam Monastery, where Christians have gathered since the fifth century.

The reports confirmed the worst fears of Egypt’s embattled Christian community, which faced mounting violence after the 2011 election of Mohammed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, who was removed from power by the military on July 3.

Religious-freedom activists had...READ MORE

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Sept. 30 Consistory to Determine John XXIII and John Paul II Canonization Date (9029)

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, announced the news today in Rimini at a meeting of international Church leaders.

08/20/2013 Comments (22)

Pope John Paul II

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — A senior Vatican official has confirmed that Pope Francis will preside over a consistory Sept. 30 that will determine the date of the canonizations of Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII.

Speaking to Vatican Radio during a break at the 34th Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples in Rimini Tuesday, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said, “This Sept. 30, the Pope will preside over the consistory on the saints, and on that occasion, he will announce the dates of the canonizations.”

Many, including the Holy Father, have pondered aloud on possible dates. During his papal press conference on his return from Rio de Janeiro last...READ MORE

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Catholic Coptic Patriarch Says Egypt Locked in ʻWar Against Terrorism’ (4933)

Patriarch Sidrak praises Egyptʼs military and moderate Muslims for their support as Muslim Brotherhood violence intensifies.

08/20/2013 Comments (1)
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak of Alexandria

– Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — The leader of the Coptic Catholic Church has expressed solidarity with other Egyptians over the wave of violence that has struck the country, bluntly calling the events a struggle against terrorist forces.

Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak of Alexandria said that, “out of love for our country and in solidarity with all lovers of Egypt, both Christians and Muslims,” the patriarchate will not label the crisis “a political struggle between different factions.”

Rather, the conflict is “a war against terrorism,” the patriarch said in an Aug. 18 statement.

On Aug. 14, Egyptian security forces violently broke up the camps of protesters allied with the Muslim Brotherhood,...READ MORE

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Catholic League Petition Demands End to HHS Mandate (7285)

The organization’s president, Bill Donohue, argues the Obama administration must scrap the HHS mandate now that repeated fixes have failed.

08/20/2013 Comments (9)

WASHINGTON — A new online petition is asking the federal government to withdraw the Department of Health and Human Services' controversial contraception mandate on the grounds that it violates the fundamental “inalienable right” to religious liberty.

“The amount of time and money spent trying to reconcile the HHS mandate with legitimate First Amendment concerns has been considerable, and without a satisfactory conclusion,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. “The only sensible outcome is for the administration to withdraw the mandate altogether.”

The petition stresses that religious liberty is “a First Amendment right that cannot be...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, catholic league for civil rights, contraception, hhs mandate, persecution of christians, president barack obama, religious freedom, surgical sterilization, u.s. conference of catholic bishops, u.s. constitution

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