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College of Cardinals Imposes Media Silence (4815)

Italian prelates divulge too much information in press briefings, leading to the move.

03/06/2013 Comments (8)

A screenshot of the cardinals' March 4 general congregation in the Vatican's New Synod Hall.


VATICAN CITY — The College of Cardinals has decided that its members will no longer speak to journalists after several cardinals gave too much information to the Italian press.

“Concern was expressed in the general congregation about leaks of confidential proceedings reported in Italian newspapers,” said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As a precaution, the cardinals have agreed not to do interviews,” she added in a March 6 statement sent to journalists who were hoping to attend a press conference with U.S. Cardinals Francis George and Theodore McCarrick.

The U.S. cardinals have been the only ones to organize press...READ MORE

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Art Historian Says Benedict's 'Way of Beauty' Will Continue to Flower (4044)

Liz Lev believes that the pope emeritus planted the seeds to help people better understand the nature of beauty.

03/06/2013 Comments (2)

Art historian Elizabeth Lev.


ROME — Pope Emeritus Benedict’s emphasis on beauty as a means to encounter truth and grow in faith is one of the “greatest seeds” planted during his pontificate, says art historian Elizabeth Lev.

“In his way of beauty, he says the true way of humanity is this beauty we have in the image and likeness of God,” said Lev, a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas' Rome Program, in a February interview.

“Over the course of his pontificate, and even as cardinal, he has implemented these seeds, these stepping stones for us to follow, to understand the nature of beauty.”

Lev, who studied renaissance art at the University of Chicago and who did her graduate work in baroque art at the...READ MORE

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Ahead of Elections, Religious Tensions in Malaysia (3780)

The country's 1 million Catholics are caught in the middle as Muslim-led parties face off over whether minorities have the right to use the word ‘Allah.’

03/06/2013 Comment

Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

– Shutterstock/Szefei

KUANTAN, Malaysia — Standing at the doorway of the main mosque in the east-coast city of Kuantan, Mohamed Abd Karim’s voice changes pitch, the hushed, affable tones of previous moments giving way to a forceful certainty.

“'Allah' is for Muslim only,” he says, arms and hands rigid and emphatic, where moments before they lolled by his sides.

He is discussing whether or not Christians and other religious minorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia can use the word “Allah” when referencing God in services or in literature. The term came to Malaysia many centuries ago, when Arab traders brought Islam and the Arabic language, but it was subsequently adopted by Malaysian Christians in their...READ MORE

Filed under catholic-muslim relations, christian persecution, islam, malaysia

Cardinal Zen’s Thanksgiving to Pope Emeritus (5460)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Benedict demonstrated a love of China that was reciprocated by residents of the Asian superpower.

03/06/2013 Comments (3)

– Wikipedia

ROME — A red hat cut through the crowd waiting for Pope Benedict XVI Feb. 28 in the main square of Castel Gandolfo. Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong, had made his way to Rome to say his farewell to Benedict XVI, and then he followed him to Castel Gandolfo, where the cardinal joined the crowd as a pilgrim among pilgrims.

This was but a small gesture that reflected Cardinal Zen’s deep gratitude for a pope who showed a great concern for the Church in China. Although it hasn’t made headlines, there is evidence that Benedict XVI loved China and China loved Benedict XVI.

Among all the letters the Pope received before leaving the Holy See, one from Chinese clergy...READ MORE

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After Death of Chavez, Venezuelan Bishops Call for Unity (2998)

The Venezuelan president died March 5 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

03/05/2013 Comments (2)

The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in April 2010.

– Wikipedia

CARACAS — The secretary general of the bishops' conference of Venezuela, Bishop Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate Salas, called for national unity after the death of President Hugo Chavez.

The bishop, an auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Caracas, said that this unity is essential in order for the country to face the “painful fact” of Chavez's passing.

“At this moment, we speak to our highest feelings,” the prelate told the television program Hello Citizen on the private channel Globovision.

Bishop Gonzalez de Zarate Salas noted that “death is not the end of our life; death gives way to a life full of happiness, beside God, our Father.”

Vice President Nicolás Maduro announced on March 5 that...READ MORE

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Cardinals Will Be Informed of Vatileaks Background (3171)

U.S. Cardinals DiNardo and O’Malley discuss the matter at a Rome news conference.

03/05/2013 Comment
Estefania Aguirre/CNA

Cardinals Daniel DiNardo(l) and Sean O'Malley speak at a March 5 press conference at the North American College.

– Estefania Aguirre/CNA

ROME — Cardinal Seán O’Malley said he trusts the cardinals taking part in the papal election will be informed on the necessary background information related to the Vatileaks scandal.

“The cardinals feel confident that we will get all the information that we need for our deliberation,” said Cardinal O’Malley at a March 5 news conference at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

“It does not necessarily mean that the report will be shared with us, but if anything remains that we need to know about, I’m sure they will inform us,” said the cardinal.

The archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, was also at the Tuesday afternoon briefing.

“In general,...READ MORE

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Proposed Health Care Conscience Rights Act — ‘Last and Only Hope’? (4438)

House Republicans introduce bill to shield employers from HHS mandate and protect health-care professionals and facilities under pressure to perform abortions.

03/05/2013 Comments (5)

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn.

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, a New York state nurse who was forced to participate in an abortion at 22-weeks gestation or risk losing her job and nursing license, told members of Congress that the experience still haunted her dreams.

Cenzon-DeCarlo was among several Catholic women who were invited to a March 5 briefing for House members on the proposed Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013.

Fifty GOP House members are co-sponsoring the bill, which offers a broad religious exemption and conscience protections for both private employers who oppose the federal mandate, and for Catholic hospitals and professionals like Cenzon-DeCarlo that face pressure to facilitate abortions.


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Benedict and Clergy Sexual Abuse: Decisive and Aggressive Action (8838)

Holy Father’s record refutes critics’ claims that he mishandled the explosive issue.

03/05/2013 Comment
CNA photo

Bishop Charles Scicluna, former promoter of justice for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

– CNA photo


VATICAN CITY — In a media narrative that was largely predictable, news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was quickly followed by a flood of headlines linking him to the clergy sexual-abuse scandal.

"Legacy Marred by Sex-Abuse Scandal," read a headline on the ABC News website. "Complicit in Child Sex-Abuse Scandals," said another from The Guardian, which quoted victims’ groups.

Amid the fray, however, other voices have taken a singularly opposite view, instead crediting the Holy Father with aggressively and decisively addressing a problem that came to light well before he was elected to the papacy.

In part because of high-profile cases like those in Ireland and the...READ MORE

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