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Behold the Newly Discovered Painting in Rome's Catacomb of St. Callixtus (3825)

The painting depicts the mythological figure Orpheus with a lyre, surrounded by birds, sea monsters and flowers, representing the whole of creation..

07/21/2015 Comment
CNA/Bohumil Petrik

The image of Orpheus in the Catacomb of St. Callixtus in Rome

– CNA/Bohumil Petrik

ROME — A recent discovery in the Catacomb of St. Callixtus, an early Christian series of tombs beneath Rome, which once held the bodies of 16 popes, has been christened the “Orpheus cubicle” after the figure from Greek mythology.

The small room, located in front of the Crypt of the Popes, was poorly conserved until a recent excavation by the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology. The “Orpheus cubicle” is named for its painting of Orpheus with a lyre, surrounded by birds, sea monsters and flowers, representing the whole of creation.

Orpheus was a mythological figure known for his musical prowess, able to bring peace through his songs and to enchant nature. He was appropriated by...READ MORE

Filed under catacombs, orpheus, rome, st. callixtus

US and Cuba Reopen Embassies — Will Lifting the Embargo Be Next? (1103)

The chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace had lauded progress toward reopening the embassies as a “positive development” in a June 22 letter to members of Congress.

07/21/2015 Comments (6)
CNA/Flickr

– CNA/Flickr

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic ties for the first time since 1961 on Monday, a groundbreaking development advocated by Catholic bishops from both countries and set in motion by Pope Francis.

“It’s an historic day, a day for removing barriers,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a joint press conference with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on the re-establishment of relations.

“Both countries are better served by engagement than by estrangement,” he continued.

The chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace had lauded progress toward reopening the embassies as a “positive development” in a June 22...READ MORE

Filed under bishop oscar cantu, cuba, john kerry, matt hadro, president barack obama

One Cheer for the Iranian Nuclear Agreement (4473)

COMMENTARY

07/21/2015 Comments (68)
State Department photo/Public Domain

Secretary of State John Kerry walks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during April 2015 negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, about the future of Irans’s nuclear program.

– State Department photo/Public Domain

Catholics should be, with reservations, celebrating and supporting the recently concluded agreement on the future of Iran’s nuclear program that the United Nations Security Council began to implement July 20. On a scale of zero to three “cheers,” I would offer it a single cheer.

Why should Catholics view this agreement positively?

First, it is viewed positively by our Holy Father and the U.S. bishops’ conference. Soon after the momentous signing of the international agreement between the P5+1 nations, the European Union and Iran, Pope Francis indicated his support by his spokesman:

“The agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See. It constitutes...READ MORE

Filed under iran, msgr. stuart swetland, nuclear weapons, u.s. diplomacy

A Catholic Mother Reflects on Furor Over Philly Teacher in Same-Sex Marriage (10668)

‘We believe we can make decisions about who can form our children in the faith,’ said Megan Schrieber, who has been attacked for raising concerns about the recently fired religious-education teacher.

07/21/2015 Comments (79)
Tekke via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

– Tekke via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

PHILADELPHIA — This month, the Philadelphia-based Waldron Mercy Academy was the latest Catholic school to draw fire for removing a teacher legally married to a same-sex spouse.

On July 3, after the school sent a letter that it would not renew the contract of Margie Winters, the school's longtime director of religious education, the news sparked a furor. Winters is legally married to a woman, and local media provided a forum for critics, who attacked the school principal for forcing her resignation, after two parents raised concerns about her marital status.

But as the controversy boiled over in public meetings organized by parents, ongoing news coverage and online on Facebook, some...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop charles chaput, archdiocese of philadelphia, catholic, catholic church, catholic education, catholic identity, catholic parents, catholic teaching on sexuality, faith, marriage

The Traditionalist Movement Is Actually Flourishing Under Pope Francis, Bible Quiz, and Much More! (2842)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/21/2015 Comment

Click on The Traditionalist Movement Is Actually Flourishing Under Pope Francis by Joseph Shaw of Catholic Herald Magazine link to read more.

The Traditionalist Movement Is Actually Flourishing Under Pope Francis by Joseph Shaw of Catholic Herald Magazine - Big Pulpit

The Case of the Pro-Life Movement: On Demography and Marriage - Michael J. New, Public Discourse

Who Is the Valiant Woman in the Book of Maccabees – Jeffrey McLeod PhD, Catholic Stand

The Crisis of Contemporary Sacred Art – Duncan G. Stroik, Crisis Magazine

Quiz: How Do These Bible Stories End? - Chloe Mooradian, Epic Pew

Is Religion Evil? Secularism’s Pride and Irrational Prejudice – Carl E. Olson, Strange Notions

Revisiting Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Warnings to the West – Jerry Salyer, The CWR Blog

Liberty, Equality and Inconsistency – Bob Drury, Catholic...READ MORE

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‘Angel’ of Guatemala Chooses Death Over Gang Violence (1427)

When 12-year-old Ángel Ariel Escalante Pérez was confronted by gang members demanding that he kill a bus driver in Guatemala, he said, “No.”

07/20/2015 Comments (3)
CNA/Pietro Izzo via Flickr

– CNA/Pietro Izzo via Flickr

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — When 12-year-old Ángel Ariel Escalante Pérez was confronted by gang members demanding that he kill a bus driver in Guatemala, he said, “No.”

It turned out to be a life-or-death decision.

The gang members threatened to kill Angel if he did not murder the bus driver. He refused to do so and was thrown off a bridge.

Angel was found in critical condition on June 18, around 1pm. He was discovered below the Belice bridge in Guatemala City by a group of neighbors from the Jesús de la Buena Esperanza (Jesus of Good Hope) settlement.

Some six gang members threw him from the bridge, according to local media. The medics heard him say, “They wanted me to kill a driver,...READ MORE

Filed under gang violence

Sooner Saint? Oklahomans Spread Hometown Martyr’s Cause (1847)

Killed in Guatemala in 1981, Father Stanley Rother died in hatred of the faith, a Vatican commission has determined.

07/20/2015 Comments (2)
Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

Father Stanley Rother blesses a baby and celebrates Mass in Guatemala.

– Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

Daniel Mueggenborg had been thinking about the priesthood for several years growing up. Then he went off to college.

He said of being in a secular university as a college freshman, “certainly there were a lot of different ways to convince God he didn’t want me.”

But during the spring semester, his aunt and uncle were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary and asked if Mueggenborg would be an altar server. So back home to Okarche, Okla., he went.

On a spring day in 1981, Mueggenborg found himself standing in the sacristy of his home parish, Holy Trinity. And then his life was transformed.

“I distinctly remember the moment when I became aware something had changed about that...READ MORE

Filed under faith, father stanley rother, martyrs, vatican

Illness Forces Postponement of Former Nuncio’s Criminal Sexual-Abuse Trial (1409)

Józef Wesołowski, who is accused of abusing teenage boys in the Dominican Republic and being in possession of child pornography, was hospitalized on the eve of his Vatican trial, and a new date has not been set as of July 20.

07/20/2015 Comments (2)
L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP

A view of the courtroom during a hearing of the trial against former papal diplomat Jozef Wesolowski, at the Vatican, Saturday, July 11.

– L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP

VATICAN CITY — Former archbishop and nuncio Józef Wesołowski, accused of sexually abusing teenage boys in the Dominican Republic and being in possession of child pornography, has returned to living under house arrest in the Vatican.

Wesołowski, 66, had been hospitalized in “intensive care” on the eve of his trial at the Vatican, forcing the indefinite postponement of his trial on July 11. The Vatican issued a statement that day saying he had been placed in intensive care, and medical records said he had been struck by a “sudden illness,” but after three days, he was released from the hospital.

Antonello Blasi, Wesołowski’s lawyer, told journalists July 11 he hadn’t been notified about any...READ MORE

Filed under dominican republic, jozef wesolowski, nuncio, pontifical commission for the protection of minors, pornography, sex abuse of minors

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