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U.S. Religious Freedom Commission Prepares to Shut Down (2158)

12/13/2011 Comments (1)

Leonard Leo, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Washington D.C. — The chairman of a federal commission that promotes religious freedom warned that if Congress does not reauthorize the group by this week, international results could be “catastrophic.”

Chairman Leonard Leo called it “absolutely shameful” that the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has still not been reauthorized after months of discussion.

Leo told CNA on Dec. 9 that a failure to reauthorize the commission would send the message that the U.S. has “downgraded the importance of religious freedom in our foreign policy.”

Funding for the commission was initially set to expire at the end of September but received multiple brief extensions — including one that...READ MORE

Filed under religious freedom

Obamacare Could Obliterate Most Health-Care Conscience Protections, Experts Say (14984)

The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, to be voted on this month, may relieve some of the pressure.

12/13/2011 Comments (8)

– Shutterstock.com

WASHINGTON — Nurses in New Jersey are fighting a new requirement at their hospital to assist with abortions.
In Washington state, individual pharmacists and an independent pharmacy battle to restore the right to opt out of a requirement to dispense emergency contraception.

Nationwide, Catholic institutions, like Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, have protested an interim federal rule that requires all private employee insurance plans to cover contraceptives.

According to some experts in health care and the pro-life movement, conscience protections in health care continue to weaken. And the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” — could...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, barack obama, contraception, healthcare, university of notre dame

Why Beauty Matters, God and Moral Absolutes, Chaste with SSA, Star Trek Catholic Blogging, and more! (4136)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/13/2011 Comment

Why Beauty Matters: Roger Scruton. Click on the link by Shawn Tribe to learn more.

Why Beauty Matters: Roger Scruton - Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement

Star Trek: To Blog Where No Catholic Has Blogged Before - LarryD, The American Catholic

God and Moral Absolutes - Matthew O’Brien, Public Discourse

Creative Life, Communion & Gift of Self: How to be Chaste with Same-Sex Attraction - Melinda Selmys, Sexual Authenticity

The Hermit Who Lived on a Pillar for 33 years - Catholic Herald

After 35 Years of Protestantism: Conversion Story of Chris Birkbeck - Coming Home Network

How Much Should a Priest Own? - Fr. John Bartunek, Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Annunciation the Ark and the Angels - Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Standing on my Head

The Station Churches of...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop charles chaput, beauty, catholic blogosphere, god, moral absolutes, same-sex attraction, sola scriptura, sr. margaret mcbride, st daniel the stylite, station churches

Pope Announces Trip to Mexico and Cuba (3402)

Papal voyage prior to Easter will be Benedict’s second to Latin America.

12/12/2011 Comment
Ernesto Gygax/CNA

Mexican pilgrims gather at the Vatican in April for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, who visited their country several times. Pope Benedict XVI today announced his first pilgrimage to Mexico and Cuba.

– Ernesto Gygax/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI confirmed Dec. 12 that he will visit Cuba and Mexico in March next year.

The Holy Father made the announcement at St. Peter’s Basilica during an evening Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Mass marked the bicentenary of the independence of many Latin American nations, including Mexico.

The announcement confirmed remarks Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi made to reporters on Nov. 10, when he noted that the Pope hoped to visit a Spanish-speaking country in the region, Mexico being the largest one. Father Lombardi also identified Cuba as “another country that really wants to see the Pope,” adding that a papal visit there could offer...READ MORE

Filed under cuba, john paul ii, latin america, mexico, new evangelization, pope benedict xvi

Cardinal Wuerl Leads Vigil Outside LeRoy Carhart's Maryland Business (4207)

1,000 pro-lifers join archbishop of Washington on frosty night to mark year of late-term abortions.

12/12/2011 Comments (7)
2000 Reuters photo

Dr. Leroy Carhart reportedly chose Maryland for his late-term abortion business “because it has some of the least-restrictive abortion laws in the nation, is centrally located on the East Coast and because Germantown is accessible from three airports.”

– 2000 Reuters photo

GERMANTOWN, Md. — During a frosty night graced by a Christmas carol, but not a hint of yuletide cheer, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., marked the first anniversary of LeRoy Carhart’s arrival at an abortion business in his diocese.

Far removed from the holiday activity on Capitol Hill, Cardinal Wuerl led a solemn candlelit procession and prayer vigil at a Germantown, Md., abortion facility, Reproductive Health Services, where Carhart began providing late-term abortions a year ago. The cardinal served as the chief celebrant for a Mass preceding the vigil at Mother Seton Catholic Church, located a few blocks from the business in this suburb north of the District of Columbia.


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Cardinal John Foley, the 'Voice of Christmas' at the Vatican, Dies at 76 (3534)

Philadelphia native was well known for his narration of midnight Mass from St. Peter’s.

12/12/2011 Comments (6)
2010 CNA photo/Alan Holdren

Cardinal John Patrick Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, speaks in the Vatican Press Office.

– 2010 CNA photo/Alan Holdren

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to Cardinal John Patrick Foley, who died today, recalling his “distinguished service” to the Holy See and commending his “noble soul” to God.

The American cardinal passed away in his sleep in the early hours of Dec. 11th at Villa St. Joseph, the archdiocesan home for retired priests in Darby, the Pennsylvania town where he was born. He was 76 and had been battling cancer for some time.

In a communiqué published by the Vatican Dec. 12, the Holy Father recalled “with gratitude the late cardinal’s years of priestly ministry in his beloved Archdiocese of Philadelphia, his distinguished service to the Holy See as president of the Pontifical...READ MORE

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Archbishop Chaput Talks Politics ... and Philadelphia (6833)

Catholics need to be more involved in politics, Philly archbishop says.

12/12/2011 Comments (11)
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Archbishop Charles Chaput

– Archdiocese of Philadelphia

In the wake of his surprisingly frank pastoral letter on the challenges ahead for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, and as a presidential election draws near, we spoke with Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, the author of Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life during his ad limina visit. During a wide-ranging interview, he reflected with characteristic directness on the distinct but overlapping roles of Catholic bishops, the laity and politicians. 

The Capuchin archbishop spoke from Rome with Register correspondent Edward Pentin on Dec. 10. 

What have been the highlights of your ad limina visit to Rome?

The highlight is always the...READ MORE

Filed under 2012 presidential election, archbishop charles chaput, bishops, new evangelization, politics, religious freedom, sexual abuse

'Fountain of Your Joy' Draws the Faithful to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (3562)

A visit to the famous Mexican apparition site for the Dec. 12 feast.

12/12/2011 Comments (1)
Christopher White

– Christopher White

“Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the fountain of your joy?” These are the words that the Blessed Virgin Mary spoke to Juan Diego in December 1531 on the very site that a church and shrine now stand in her honor — and which are remembered each Dec. 12.

Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Catholicism, first encountered the Blessed Virgin on Tepeyac Hill, a rural area north of what was then Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). The Virgin appeared to Juan Diego and told him that she wanted a church built on the very spot she was standing so that the entire world could know of her compassion. She instructed him to tell the bishop of Tenochtitlan.


Filed under marian apparitions, mary, mexico, our lady of guadalupe

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