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Pope Francis Expands Commission for the Protection of Minors (697)

Eight new members were appointed to the Vatican commission on Wednesday.

12/18/2014 Comments (2)

– Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis appointed eight new members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Wednesday, completing the ranks of the commission with a balanced geographical representation.

“The commission was enlarged with the purpose of having an interdisciplinary view, with different perspectives coming from several parts of the world,” Msgr. Robert Oliver, secretary of the pontifical commission, commented to CNA Dec. 17.

The eight new members come from Africa, Oceania, Asia and South America.

Father Luis Manuel Ali Herrera comes from Colombia, where he serves as a professor of pastoral psychology and director of the psychology department in the Conciliar...READ MORE

Filed under clergy abuse, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, msgr. robert oliver, pontifical commission for the protection of minors, pope francis, vatican

William May: The Theologian Who Renounced His Dissent From ‘Humanae Vitae’ (1501)

The influential pro-life teacher and defender of Catholic moral ethics died on Dec. 13.

12/18/2014 Comments (1)
Pontifical JPII Institute

William E. May, 1928-2014

– Pontifical JPII Institute

SILVER SPRING, Md. — William E. May, a professor who retracted his one-time dissent from Humanae Vitae and became an influential pro-life teacher and defender of Catholic moral ethics, died on Saturday.

“Teaching was everything to Dr. May,” recalled former student Kathleen Buckley Domingo. “He treated all of us as though we were so important and sharing his wisdom with us was the most important thing he could do.”

“Dr. May never minced words and didn't go out of his way to be gentle. He told you what you needed to hear so that you could go be a better disciple, a better evangelizer,” Domingo told CNA on Dec. 17.

May died Dec. 13, after suffering from an infection; he was 86.

He was a...READ MORE

Filed under humanae vitae, john paul ii institute, the catholic university of america, theology of the body, william e. may

Cardinal Parolin Played Key Role in U.S.-Cuba Negotiations (1421)

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Vatican secretary of state and his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, had spoken often in the past year, a Vatican source said.

12/18/2014 Comments (6)
Flickr/U.S. Department of State

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before their bilateral meeting in New York City on Sept. 23.

– Flickr/U.S. Department of State

VATICAN CITY — While Pope Francis is being widely credited for helping to restore diplomatic and economic ties between the U.S. and Cuba, he was helped in large part by his secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

President Barack Obama announced yesterday a re-establishment of diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba after more than a year of secret talks in Canada and at the Vatican.

An informed source close to the talks told the Register the contribution of Cardinal Parolin was “definitely significant” and that, as a highly respected Vatican official among Rome diplomats, he had built up a “very good relationship” with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The source said Cardinal...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, cardinal pietro parolin, fidel castro, john kerry, ken hackett, pope francis, raul castro, u.s.-cuba relations, u.s.-vatican relations, vatican

What Can Pro-Lifers Expect in the 2015 Congress? (1304)

They played a big part in victories in five key states in the November midterms.

12/18/2014 Comments (3)

WASHINGTON — In the November midterm elections, Republicans took control of Congress for the first time since 2006, thanks in part to pro-life activists, who flooded five critical states with millions of dollars to help the GOP claim victory.

On Dec. 11, the GOP-led House had its first opportunity since the midterms to show pro-life leaders and activists it heard them on issues like protecting the unborn, protecting conscience rights and defunding Planned Parenthood, when it released a bipartisan omnibus spending bill. The outcome was less than a resounding pro-life success, an outcome that has left pro-life advocates hoping that the new Congress can deliver better results next year.


Filed under abortion, abortion non-discrimination act, congress, dustin siggins, marjorie dannenfelser, pro-life

Prison Inmates Participate in Gift Exchange With Pope Francis (3208)

Prisoners at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., were amazed to receive gifts from the Holy Father.

12/18/2014 Comments (3)
Wikimedia Commons

Sing Sing Correctional Facility

– Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK — Inside the chapel of Our Lady of Hope at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, inmates sitting in the penitentiary’s chapel pews were amazed by what they had received from Pope Francis.

Denis Martinez, a convicted felon of 11 years serving time at Sing Sing, sent an original drawing of three crucifixes on Calvary as a gift to Pope Francis.

Other inmates sent messages along with the drawing to the Pope, as a symbol of their respect for him.

Much to their surprise, the inmates at the prison, which was established in 1825, received a gift in return from the Holy Father, who sent Martinez and his fellow prisoners a rosaries, blessed holy cards and a promise to keep them in his prayers....READ MORE

Filed under advent, catholic faith, catholic news agency, christmas, corporal works of mercy, national catholici register, pope francis, prison, sing sing

U.S. Church Leaders Applaud New U.S.-Cuba Ties (2170)

But not all Catholic lawmakers in Washington are happy with the new development.

12/18/2014 Comments (23)
T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

Sen. Jeff Flake (r), R-Ariz., with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., discusses the efforts to retrieve U.S. contractor Alan Gross from prison in Cuba on Dec. 17 in Washington.

– T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The United States and Cuba have normalized diplomatic relations for the first time in more than 50 years, with the help of the Vatican and the personal intervention of Pope Francis.

Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, said it was “long past due” for the U.S. to establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba.

“Our conference has long held that universal human rights will be strengthened through more engagement between the Cuban and American people,” he said.

The bishop of Las Cruces, N.M., added that the bishops’ conference strongly supported the review of Cuba’s current status as a designated state sponsor...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop thomas wenski, barack obama, bishop oscar cantu, cold war, communism, cuba, internatinal relations, national catholic register, peter jesserer smith, pope francis

Surprise! Marriage Is the Foundation of Catholic Social Teaching; Children are a Blessing and More! (1843)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/18/2014 Comment

Click on Surprise! Marriage Is the Foundation of Catholic Social Teaching by Dr. Jeff Mirus of Catholic Culture link to read more.

Surprise! Marriage Is the Foundation of Catholic Social Teaching by Dr. Jeff Mirus of Catholic Culture - BigPulpit.com

These Children are a Blessing – Randy Hain, Integrated Catholic Life™

Pope Francis Does Not Gather Moss – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

How to Craft a Wooden Monstrance for Kids – Lacy, Catholic Icing

A Video Reflection for the Third Week in Advent - Shaun McAfee, Epic Pew

English Bishop Threatens Parishioner Over Church Closures – Catholic Herald

Defense of the Immaculate Conception: Part 1 and Part 2 – Nick Hardesty, Catholic Stand

Cardinal De Paolis: Catastrophe if Divorced and/or Remarried Receive Communion – Fr. Z's Blog

What’s Keeping You from...READ MORE

Filed under advent, cardinal de paolis, catholic social teaching, christmas, crafts, divorced, france, immaculate conception, marriage, monstrance

The Visitation’s Phantom Issue: Why Communities Decline or Thrive (3239)


12/17/2014 Comments (10)
Facebook/Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

Many communities that retain traditional forms of religious life are flourishing.

– Facebook/Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

The final report on the apostolic visitation of institutes of women religious in the United States, issued on Dec. 16, presents a strong appreciation of the value of consecrated life in the Church and the contributions made by the thousands of religious women who have dedicated themselves to the apostolic work of the Church.

But the overall message is that the days of 175,000 women religious staffing parish schools, hospitals, orphanages and other charities are over, and they will not be returning anytime soon. The task now is to care for the aging, retired religious and to nurture the communities that are still able to receive new members.

The report, issued by the Congregation for...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic visitation of women's religious communities, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, congregation for the institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, consecrated women, donna bethell, evangelii gaudium, lcwr, leadership conference of women religious, nuns, perfectae caritatis

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