Articles Posted by marshmallow

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  • Bishop Fellay: SSPX ‘Does Not Seek Primarily a Canonical Recognition’

    06/29/2016 2:05:40 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 20 replies
    The superior general of the Society of St. Pius X said in a June 29 statement that the Society “does not seek primarily a canonical recognition.” “In the great and painful confusion that currently reigns in the Church, the proclamation of Catholic doctrine requires the denunciation of errors that have made their way into it and are unfortunately encouraged by a large number of pastors, including the Pope himself,” said Bishop Bernard Fellay. The prelate’s new statement comes one month after he expressed optimism about an accord between the Vatican and the Society, which was founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre....
  • Brussels Archbishop Deals Potentially Fatal Blow to Rising Vocation Numbers

    06/29/2016 1:58:45 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 11 replies
    LifeSite News ^ | 6/28/16 | Jan Bentz
    BRUSSELS, June 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Primate of Belgium, who has been in office less than a year, has closed down, for dubious reasons, a priestly fraternity that had been blessed with many vocations. At the end of last year, Jozef De Kesel was named the archbishop of Belgium's main See, Mechelen-Brussels, the successor of the traditionally-minded Archbishop André Léonard. While his predecessor was outspoken concerning pro-life issues and attacks on human sexuality, De Kesel promotes a church "not closed within herself" and that gives "reverence to homosexual people." Now De Kesel has taken yet another step towards the...
  • Supreme Court Justice Alito: 'Those Who Value Religious Freedom Have Cause for Great Concern'

    06/29/2016 1:50:27 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 26 replies
    The Stream ^ | 6/29/16 | Kelsey Harkness
    The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear a case challenging a Washington state law that forces a family-owned pharmacy to dispense emergency contraceptives is an “ominous sign” for those who value religious freedom, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said. “If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern,” Alito said Tuesday in a critical dissent. Alito was joined in his dissent by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas, falling one justice short of the four needed for the...
  • Benedict Endorses Pope Francis in Unprecedented Vatican Ceremony

    06/28/2016 10:24:02 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 27 replies
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 8/28/16 | AP
    Backing from retired pope at event to mark his 65th year as a priest may help Francis gain favour among church conservativesBenedict XVI has endorsed Pope Francis’s ministry in an unprecedented Vatican ceremony featuring a reigning pontiff honouring a retired one on the 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest. The ceremony in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for the former’s tradition-minded papacy. Francis had invited the entire Vatican Curia, or bureaucracy, to celebrate Benedict’s anniversary, and prelates turned out in...
  • Vatican Disputes Report of 'Takeover' at Joseph Ratzinger Foundation

    06/28/2016 10:15:05 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    The Vatican has issued a statement denying an Italian media report that Pope Francis has taken control of a foundation established by Pope Benedict XVI to promote theological studies. The Joseph Ratzinger- Benedict XVI Foundation was set up in 2010, and organize conferences and provide scholarships for theologians. The foundation was endowed by the funds generated by royalties from the many published works of Benedict XVI. However, the Vatican press office pointed out, from its inception the foundation was designed to be controlled by the Roman Pontiff, so that when Benedict XVI resigned and Pope Francis succeeded him, the control...
  • Moscow Patriarchate Tells Constantinople Democracy is Irrelevant in Church Life

    06/28/2016 10:08:48 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    Interfax ^ | 6/27/16
    Moscow, June 27, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church reminds the Constantinople Patriarchate about incomparability of democracy traditions with taking decisions at the Council. The discussion started with the words of the Constantinople archbishop who made it clear that all decisions taken by the inter-Orthodox Council on Crete would be compulsory for all Orthodox Churches, including those who did not participate in it. "You come from a democracy. Everyone can vote. Now some people choose not to vote. Does that mean you don't live in a democracy?" Archbishop Job of Telmessos said resuming the results of the session on Friday...
  • Gay Catholic Groups Want the Vatican to Do More Than Apologize

    06/27/2016 5:51:08 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 41 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 6/27/16 | Jim Yardley
    ROME — Leaders of gay Catholic groups on Monday praised Pope Francis for saying that all Christians and the Roman Catholic Church owed an apology to gays for previous mistreatment, even as the groups called on the church to take more concrete steps to repudiate past teachings and condemn anti-gay violence. Streaking across the sky on Sunday night in his papal airliner, returning from a visit to Armenia, Francis also visibly winced, momentarily overcome with emotion, when a journalist, Cindy Wooden, mentioned the recent attack at an Orlando gay nightclub and noted that Christians are sometimes blamed for stigmatizing homosexuals....
  • Vatican Selling out Egyptian Christians to Buy Good Relations with Islam, Claim Copts

    06/27/2016 3:40:05 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 27 replies
    Anglican Ink ^ | 6/25/16 | Ashraf Ramelah
    Pope Francis, who is “building bridges to build peace” around the world, has naturally reached out to embrace Sunni Muslims. Last month, for the first time after years of Vatican silence, Pope Francis summoned to his private library in Rome grand imam Ahmed El-Tayeb of Cairo’s Al-Ahzar Mosque Institute. Absent a press release before this event, the Pope was quoted as saying, “this meeting is the message” – leading all to dwell on the meaning and purpose of their 25 minutes together. Christians, especially Egyptian Coptic Christians, have observed the Catholic pope give the “sign of peace” to the grand...
  • Pope to Armenian Orthodox: ‘Let Us Race Towards Full Communion!'

    06/27/2016 3:35:46 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 10 replies
    ‘With great joy, we are walking together on a journey that has already taken us far,’ the Holy Father declared today at an ecumenical meeting in Yerevan, Armenia.YEREVAN, Armenia — Working toward full communion is a project of love, humility and peace, Pope Francis told Armenian Orthodox leaders gathered at an ecumenical meeting on Saturday. “With great joy, we are walking together on a journey that has already taken us far, and we look confidently towards the day when by God’s help we shall be united around the altar of Christ’s sacrifice in the fullness of Eucharistic communion,” he said....
  • Pope Francis Says Church Should Apologise to Gays

    06/26/2016 6:01:17 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 61 replies
    BBC ^ | 6/26/16
    Pope Francis has said that the Roman Catholic Church should apologise to gay people for the way it has treated them. He told reporters that the Church had no right to judge the gay community, and should show them respect. The pontiff also said the Church should seek forgiveness from other people it had marginalised - women, the poor, and children forced into labour. The Pope has been hailed by many in the gay community for his positive attitude towards homosexuals. But some conservative Catholics have criticised him for making comments they say are ambiguous about sexual morality. Speaking to...
  • Mexican Bishop and His Clergy: We Will Go to Jail Rather than Bless Gay ‘Marriages’

    06/26/2016 5:45:50 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 18 replies
    LifeSite News ^ | 6/25/16 | Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
    June 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Following a declaration by the Mexican Supreme Court nullifying state laws prohibiting “marriage” to people of the same sex, Nuevo Laredo Bishop Gustavo Rodríguez Vega has issued his own declaration along with the clergy of his diocese, assuring the faithful that he will suffer imprisonment rather than cooperate with such unions. “They can’t require an institution like this Church to go against its principles,” the archdiocesan clergy are quoted as saying in various local and national news reports. “Let the Supreme Court send the bishops and the priests to jail, whomever they want, but the...
  • One Priest’s Concern About Recent Remarks by the Pope

    06/26/2016 5:38:07 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 44 replies
    The National Catholic Register ^ | 6/24/16 | Msgr Charles Pope
    I would like to make, as a parish priest in trenches, a few remarks concerning the Pope’s recent statements in Rome at a gathering of priests and seminarians. Others have admirably remarked on his troubling remarks on marriage and cohabitation. I will not add to those. But I would like to focus on two other reported remarks the Pope made about priests to the effect that some of us are cruel, are putting our noses into people’s moral life and possibly that he even called some of us animals. And while most of these remarks, recorded and widely reported, were...
  • Catholic Institutions Cleared the Path for the Latest Assault on Religious Freedom

    06/26/2016 5:28:38 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    Catholic Culture ^ | 6/24/16 | Phil Lawler
    As a result of the latest federal ruling against religious freedom—and pending the result of what seems an inevitable court challenge— Catholic churches in California are now required to provide abortion coverage in their employees’ health-insurance programs. The US Catholic bishops are rightly outraged. It's easy to blame the Obama administration, which has been so consistently hostile to the claims of religious freedom. But probe a little deeper, and you realize that the American Catholic bishops themselves deserve a goodly part of the blame, for a failure to implement a clear Vatican directive 25 years ago. This week’s ruling from...
  • Pope Genocide Comments Show 'Crusader Mentality' - Turkey

    06/26/2016 5:21:10 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 14 replies
    BBC ^ | 6/26/16
    Turkey says Pope Francis' description of the WW1 mass killing of Armenians as genocide shows "the mentality of the Crusades". The pontiff's remarks have "no relation to reality", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said. Armenia and many historians say up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed by Ottoman Turkish forces in 1915. But Turkey disputes the figure and denies the deaths constituted genocide. It says the deaths were part of a civil conflict triggered by WW1. The row continues to sour Turkish-Armenian relations, drawing in other countries such as Germany, whose parliament recently declared the killings to be...
  • Cardinal Canizares: "I Shall Continue Even If They Crucify Me"

    06/25/2016 7:41:53 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 16 replies
    OnePeter5 ^ | 6/24/16 | Maike Hickson
    On 16 June, it was reported that the courageous prelate from Spain, Cardinal Archbishop of Valencia, Antonio Cañizares Llovera, was being investigated by the government of the Spanish Province of Valencia for his purportedly abusive remarks about the increasingly disintegrating pressure on the traditional family exercised by applied gender theory and the so called “gay empire.” The report said: The government of the Spanish province of Valencia has opened an investigation against the Cardinal Archbishop of Valencia, Antonio Cañizares Llovera, following numerous complaints over a sermon in which he denounced the influence of the “gay empire” on society. If prosecuted...
  • Catholic Priests in Montreal Banned from Being Alone with Children

    06/25/2016 7:34:18 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 6/24/16 | Harriet Sherwood
    New policy, which includes church workers and volunteers, intended as ‘safety net’ against allegations of sex abuse, but critics say move is ‘too little, too late’Catholic priests in Montreal will be banned from being alone with children to provide a “safety net” against allegations of abuse. Archbishop Christian Lepine has issued a decree to implement the policy, which also covers lay workers and volunteers. According to the decree, the move was to “ensure the safety and integrity of the people to whom we bring the Gospel message and offer our pastoral care”. But, it added, it was also “to preserve...
  • Is Francis the Last Pope? A Rare Interview with Archbishop Ganswein

    06/25/2016 7:24:35 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    Catholic News Agency ^ | 6/25/16 | Anian Christoph Wimmer
    Rome, Italy, Jun 25, 2016 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- What is Benedict XVI's own view of his historical resignation? What has the fall-out been from his secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein's controversial remark on an “expanded petrine office”? What about the “Prophesy of Malachy,” which allegedly sees Francis as the last pontiff? In a recent and candid conversation, veteran journalist and EWTN Rome correspondent Paul Badde sat down with Archbishop Gänswein, who gave his take on these and a number of other questions. The German archbishop currently serves Pope Francis as Prefect of the Papal Household, and has also maintained...
  • Vatican Denies Involvement in Chinese Bishop's Reversal on Patriotic Association

    06/24/2016 7:05:55 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    After Cardinal Joseph Zen protested the silence of Vatican officials in the wake of a shocking public statement by Shanghai's Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the Vatican issued a short statement denying any role in the matter. Bishop Ma sent shock waves through the Catholic Church in China when he posted an apology on his blog for his "errors of words and deeds against the Patriotic Association." Bishop Ma had previously been a leading figure in opposition to the government-backed Patriotic Association; he had been under house arrest since announcing at his episcopal ordination that he was breaking from the group....
  • Miami Prelate Laments Persecution of Christians, Criticizes Bishop’s Post-Orlando Remarks

    06/24/2016 7:01:02 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    CNN ^ | 6/24/16
    In his homily at a Fortnight for Freedom opening Mass, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami lamented the persecution of Christians and took issue with remarks made by Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg following the June 12 Orlando nightclub shooting. Preaching in Coral Gables, Florida, Archbishop Wenski said that “in the second decade of the 21st century, some 150,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year” and that “these modern-day martyrs are victims of a despotism in its hardest and harshest form.” “A new religious intolerance is being established in our country,” he continued. “We see this when Christian...
  • Pope Praises Armenia's Christian Past, but Avoids 'Genocide'

    06/24/2016 6:55:07 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 6/24/16 | AP
    YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Pope Francis hailed Armenia's steadfast Christian heritage on Friday as he arrived in the former Soviet republic for a three-day visit to commemorate the centenary of the Ottoman-era slaughter of Armenians that the pope himself has called a "genocide." In a largely Orthodox land where Catholics are a minority, Armenians seemed genuinely honored to welcome a pope who has long championed the Armenian cause from his time as an archbishop in Argentina and now as leader of the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church. Small groups of residents lined his motorcade route, and a gaggle of schoolchildren wearing...
  • Work Begins to Try to Save Christianity’s Holiest Shrine: Jesus’ Tomb

    06/23/2016 6:44:10 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 39 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 6/20/16 | William Booth
    JERUSALEM — Work has begun to save the holiest shrine in Christendom. It won’t be a simple patch-and-paint job. This is the alpha and omega of restoration projects. They are going to repair Jesus’ tomb — with titanium bolts. Over the next nine months, a team of Greek conservationists will restore the collapsing chapel built above and around the burial cave where the faithful believe that Jesus was buried and rose from the dead after the Crucifixion. To fix the chapel, which is buckling under its own weight, the crew will have to enter a few square meters of the...
  • Early Christianity Comes to Life in Holy Land Museum

    06/23/2016 6:40:32 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Our Sunday Visitor ^ | 6/22/16 | Judith Sudilovsky
    New exhibit route at the Israel Museum highlights origins of Christianity and pilgrimage in JerusalemFor many Christian pilgrims worldwide, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a once-in-a-lifetime highlight of their faith. Few, however, may reflect on the fact that they are a link to a religious ritual that has played out for centuries — one that dramatically changed the landscape of Jerusalem during the Byzantine era of the fourth and seventh centuries A.D. It was during this period that the Byzantine Empire began funneling tremendous amounts of funds to support infrastructure for the growing flow of Christian pilgrims who...
  • In 'Shocking' Move, California Churches Forced to Cover Abortions

    06/23/2016 6:32:14 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    Washington D.C., Jun 22, 2016 / 04:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Obama administration has rejected a challenge to the State of California’s requirement that health care plans include abortion coverage. A major federal budget amendment intended to protect abortion foes does not apply, it ruled. Leaders with the U.S. bishops’ conference said it was “shocking” that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allowed the State of California to force all employers, including churches, to fund and facilitate elective abortions. “Even those who disagree on the issue of life should be able to respect the conscience rights of those...
  • Vatican Silence Over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin Causing Confusion and Controversy

    06/22/2016 10:26:02 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    AsiaNews ^ | 6/21/16 | Bernardo Cervellera
    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.Vatican...
  • Vatican Marks Laudato Si’ Anniversary with New Website

    06/22/2016 10:18:29 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/21/16 | Cindy Wooden
    The website has been launched by the Pontifical Council for Justice and PeaceMarking the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace launched a new website dedicated to the document and efforts around the world to put its teaching into practice. The site — www.laudatosi.va — “witnesses not only to the impact of the encyclical, but also the creativity and generosity of the people of God everywhere in the world,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, council president. The council celebrated the first anniversary of the document, Laudato Si’ on June 20 with a...
  • It’s About More Than Restrooms

    06/21/2016 6:10:06 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 19 replies
    Diocese of Oklahoma City ^ | 5/29/16 | Archbishop Paul S. Coakley
    Earlier this year I came across an “all gender” restroom in the airport of a large American city. I had never seen such a thing. I snapped a picture. It struck me as strange, certainly not something I would expect to find in Oklahoma, for example. That may be about to change. The media have been highlighting recent legal attempts in some states to keep boys out of girl’s restrooms and vice versa. This latest restroom controversy is a manifestation of the new battleground over “gender.” This battle, however, is about more than who can use which restroom. According to...
  • Assad Receives Patriarch and 6 Cath Bishops: "the President is Planning a New Secular Constitution"

    06/21/2016 4:18:14 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    Agenzia Fides ^ | 6/17/16
    Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Syrian President Bashar Assad is planning a new Constitution for the nation led by him, to ensure equal rights for all citizens and eliminate discrimination toward religious minorities. These are some of the projects for the future confided by the same Assad to a delegation of the Syriac Catholic Church, composed by Patriarch Ignace Youssif III accompanied by six Bishops, received by Syrian President in Damascus on Monday, June 13. During the meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, Assad expressed his intention to remove from the new Constitution, even the provision which binds the...
  • Pan-Orthodox Council Opens with Call to Unity

    06/21/2016 4:11:39 AM PDT · by marshmallow
    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Pentecost on June 19 to open the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. In recent weeks, four of 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches chose not to send delegations to the council. “Our Orthodox Church has the supreme gift and blessing of possessing the treasure of truth and preserving intact the gift of the All-Holy Spirit, which 'has filled the whole world' (Wis. 1:7), and it is obliged to give the contemporary world a testimony of love and unity, and to reveal the hidden hope that lies within it,” he...
  • Orthodox Churches Council Opens on Crete Despite Russia's Absence

    06/19/2016 5:15:29 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 6/19/16
    A historic gathering of Orthodox Churches has opened on the Greek island of Crete, despite the absence of four denominations including the Russians. The Holy and Great Council had been billed as the first meeting of fellow Church leaders since 787 AD. The Russians decided to stay away after the Churches of Antioch, Bulgaria and Georgia refused to take part after disputes about the meeting. The council, which began on Sunday, has been 55 years in preparation. It will run until 27 June. On Sunday morning, clerics attending the council celebrated Orthodox Pentecost in the Cretan town of Heraklion, the...
  • The Canizares Case in Spain is a Litmus Test for Pope Francis

    06/18/2016 11:28:42 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    OnePeter5 ^ | 6/17/16 | Maike Hickson
    As has been recently reported in several media outlets, Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, the Archbishop of Valencia, Spain, is now under harsh attack from feminist, homosexual, and other progressive groups for having defended the traditional family and for accusing the promoters of gender ideology and of the “gay empire” of attacking the family. Cañizares said the following, for example, in a homily on 13 May, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima: We have [cumulative]legislation contrary to the family, the acts of political and social forces, to which are added movements and acts by the gay empire, by ideologies such...
  • Pope's Comments on Modern Marriage Raise Storm of Criticism

    06/18/2016 11:12:11 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 18 replies
    Reuters ^ | 6/17/16 | Phillip Pullella
    Pope Francis has said the "great majority" of Catholic marriages being celebrated today are invalid because couples do not fully realize it is a lifetime commitment, drawing sharp criticism from Church conservatives. The pope, who has come under fire before for making spontaneous comments about doctrinal matters, was speaking at a question-and-answer session with priests, nuns and parish workers on Thursday night in a Rome basilica. "We are living in a provisional culture," Francis said in response to a man who spoke of "the crisis of marriage" and asked how the Church could better prepare young couples. "Because of this,...
  • Vatican Transcript Alters Pope’s Bombshell Remark on Validity of Catholic Marriages

    06/18/2016 11:07:55 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 21 replies
    LifeSite News ^ | 6/17/16 | John Jalsevac
    June 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The official Vatican transcript of controversial remarks made by Pope Francis this week, in which he speculated that the “great majority” of Catholic marriages are in fact invalid, significantly alters his words. While a video of the pope’s remarks show clearly that he used the Italian words “grande maggioranza” (great majority) to indicate the proportion of marriages that he believes are “null,” the official Vatican transcript changes those words to the more measured “parte” – i.e. a part, portion, or some. Yahoo News reports that a Vatican spokesperson stated that the Pope’s words may at...
  • San Diego Bishop: Combat ‘Anti-Gay Prejudice’ in Catholic Community

    06/17/2016 8:57:27 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 18 replies
    In a statement issued after the Orlando shooting, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego called upon Catholics to “combat ever more vigorously the anti-gay prejudice which exists in our Catholic community and in our country.” “The shootings in Orlando are a wound to our entire society, and this time the LGBT community has been specifically targeted and victimized,” he said. “We pray for the many victims in Orlando who were targeted for death simply because of their sexual orientation, and we grieve with their loving families and friends.” “We pray for the Muslim community in our nation, who have acted...
  • The Great Majority of Christian Marriages are Valid

    06/17/2016 8:43:04 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 16 replies
    In The Light of the Law ^ | 6/17/16 | Ed Peters
    Last time a ranking prelate (Cdl. Kasper) opined that half of all marriages were null his attribution of such a reckless assertion to Pope Francis himself could be dismissed as hearsay, deflected as referring to marriage in general and not Christian marriage in particular, or at least minimized as describing merely ‘many’ or even ‘half’ of all marriages. But none of those qualifications can be applied to blunt the impact of the pope’s startling claim “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null”.If last time was bad, this time is very bad. Consider: Marriage is that natural human relationship...
  • Patriarch to Orthodox Leaders: Do not Abandon ‘Sacred Mission’ of Unity

    06/17/2016 8:33:20 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/16/16 | Cindy Wooden
    Patriarch Bartholomew urges fellow leaders to attend Pan-Orthodox CouncilEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has called on his brother patriarchs and primates of the Orthodox churches to honour their commitments and join him for the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church. Four of the churches – the Antiochian, Bulgarian, Georgian and Russian Orthodox – announced they would not attend the gathering scheduled for June 19-26 on the Greek island of Crete. The patriarchs and primates of the 14 autocephalous or self-governing Orthodox churches met in Switzerland in January and voted unanimously to convene the Council, which would be the...
  • Church of the Nativity’s Face-Lift Reveals Ancient Treasures

    06/17/2016 8:30:08 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 12 replies
    Pilgrims who visit next Easter will be able to see the extraordinary work that has been done to the roof, walls and 900-year-old mosaics.BETHLEHEM — Christians planning on making a Holy Land pilgrimage — for many, a once-in-a-lifetime journey — may want to wait until Easter 2017, when the scaffolding used to restore the ancient Church of the Nativity is expected to come down. While the $15-million repair, conservation and restoration of the church, which is revered as the site of Jesus’ birth, will not be absolutely completed for another couple of years, due to a funding gap, pilgrims who...
  • Deep Fears About Modernity Lie Behind the Unravelling of the Pan-Orthodox Council

    06/16/2016 4:44:22 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 7 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/16/16 | Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith
    For some even the slightest change in relations with Rome will end up with tradition being swept awayThe fate of the Pan-Orthodox Council, which is due to start its deliberations in Crete this Sunday, hangs in the balance. At present it seems that the Bulgarians will definitely not be there, neither will the Antiochenes, and it looks as if the Serbs, Georgians and the Russians are pulling out as well. There is a useful summary of what is going on in this article at the Guardian website. The trouble, for us outsiders, is that it is very difficult to understand...
  • Vatican Calls Loretto Head to Rome to Discuss Sisters' “Dissent”

    06/16/2016 4:38:02 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    The National Catholic Register ^ | 6/14/16 | Ann Carey
    The president of the Sisters of Loretto has expressed surprise that she has been summoned to the Vatican to discuss several “areas of concern” regarding her order. This summons was contained in a letter from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) to Sister Pearl McGivney, the president of the Loretto Sisters. She informed the order’s members about the summons in a June 1 letter that was leaked to the National Catholic Reporter. The Reporter’s June 9 article stated that the summons “may raise questions” for other U.S. sisters because the Vatican “has at...
  • Chaldean Patriarchate Responds to Criticism of Invitation to Fast 1 Day with Muslims During Ramadan

    06/16/2016 4:32:10 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 12 replies
    Agenzia Fides ^ | 6/14/16
    Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The request made by the Chaldean Patriarchate to all Iraqi Christians to unite for a day of fasting practiced by Muslims during Ramadan (see Fides 13/06/2016) has provoked some criticism, also expressed "with innappropriate words" through social network. To clarify the true extent of the initiative and unravel possible misunderstanding, the Chaldean Patriarchate, through its official channels, has called the practice of fasting, prayer and penance as ordinary tools with which, from apostolic times, the Churches of the East and all Christian communities over the world express their supplications to the Lord, even before the situations...
  • Doctrinal Text Looks at Increasing Harmony Among Church Groups

    06/16/2016 4:25:48 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/14/16 | Cindy Wooden
    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's letter to bishops around the world has been publishedLocal bishops have an obligation to welcome new movements and communities and guide them, while the groups have an obligation to obey the local bishop and avoid the appearance of setting up a parallel church, said a new Vatican document. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s letter to bishops around the world on “the relationship between hierarchical and charismatic gifts in the life and mission of the Church” was released today. The hierarchical gifts — teaching, sanctifying and governing — are those...
  • Vatican Doctrine Chief Downplays Expectations Over Women Deacons

    06/16/2016 4:21:55 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 6/14/16 | AP
    Pope Francis commissioned a study into the role of women deaconsThe head of the Vatican’s doctrine office is suggesting little new will come from a study commissioned by Pope Francis into the role of women deacons, according to Associated Press. Cardinal Gerhard Muller says the Vatican is putting together a list of experts for the study. But he says the focus will be historic in nature, studying the role of women deacons in the early church, and that regardless a comprehensive study was completed in 2002. That study found that female deacons of the early Church cannot be compared to...
  • Patriarchs Call for Liberation of Iraqi Lands Where Christians Lived

    06/15/2016 9:23:07 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/14/16 | Catholic News Service
    In a joint statement, Syriac patriarchs said 'the wound of forced emigration is still bleeding'Syriac patriarchs, marking the two-year anniversary since ISIS expelled Christians from a large part of Iraq, denounced “the ethno-religious genocide” of their people and called for the liberation of those areas. Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan and Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch in a joint statement, stressed that “the wound of forced emigration is still bleeding.” “Two years passed since the uprooting of our Syriac people from the land of our ancestors in Mosul and the Nineveh Plain,...
  • Italy Wrestles with Pope’s Annulment Reform

    06/15/2016 9:20:15 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Crux ^ | 6/13/16 | Andrea Gagliarducci
    Pope Francis' annulment reform appears to require each diocese to have its own marriage tribunal, but many Italian bishops are defending their system of regional tribunals as both more efficient and less expensive, basically under the heading of, "If it's not broken, don't fix it."With a letter sent Wednesday to the general secretary of the Italian bishops’ conference, Pope Francis established a bilateral working group on the reform of the process of investigating marriage nullity. His June 8 letter to Bishop Nunzio Galantino, 67, the Bishop Emeritus of Cassano all’Jonio, stated that the working group is to be chaired by...
  • Criminal ‘Hate Speech’ Case Opens Against Spanish Cardinal

    06/15/2016 9:03:43 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 11 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 6/14/16 | Thomas Williams
    On Tuesday, the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Valencia initiated criminal proceedings against the Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, who has been charged with inciting “hate crimes,” after the prelate spoke out in a homily against a reigning “gay empire,” criticized radical feminist groups, and decried Europe’s open-door policy toward migrants. “The family is haunted today, in our culture, by an endless threat of serious difficulties, and this is not hidden from anyone,” Cañizares said in his May 13 homily, pronounced on the eve of the International Day Against Lesbophobia, Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, at a Mass celebrated in the...
  • Pope Francis Rejects Donation from Argentinian President with 666 in Sum

    06/15/2016 8:58:37 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 11 replies
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 6/14/16 | Uki Goni
    Centre-right leader Mauricio Macri gave 16,666,000 pesos to educational foundation backed by pope, reports sayThe frosty relationship between two of the world’s most prominent Argentinians appears to have taken a turn for the worse after it emerged that Pope Francis rejected a charitable donation from the government of President Mauricio Macri – at least partly – because the sum included the figure 666. Earlier this month, the centre-right president made a donation that totaled 16,666,000 pesos (slightly under $1.2m) from the Argentinian government to the Scholas Occurentes educational foundation, which is backed by the pope and is based on a...
  • Will Egypt's Copts Get to Build More Churches?

    06/14/2016 6:27:46 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    AL Monitor ^ | 6/9/16 | Rania Rabeaa Elabd
    The draft law on the construction of churches has renewed the crisis that has existed between the ruling regimes and the Copts in Egypt since the Ottoman era. Over the years, Egypt’s Christians have requested the state to promulgate a law governing the construction of houses of worship, regulating the building of mosques for Muslims and churches for Christians, in light of the challenges in obtaining permission to build new churches, despite the growing Christian population. A law was issued on Oct. 17, 2001, governing only the construction of mosques, with no mention of the building of churches. In Egypt,...
  • How Paul VI Abolished the Index of Prohibited Books, 50 Years Ago Today

    06/14/2016 6:19:42 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 12 replies
    The Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/14/16 | Richard Upsher Smith, Jr.
    Fifty years on, we publish a translation of the CDF’s 'Clarification' and 'Ordinance' regarding Paul VI’s Integrae ServandaeIn establishing the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Integrae Servandae, Pope Paul VI gave the congregation the duty of “carefully examin[ing] books that have been reported”, etc., but he made no mention of the status of the Index of Prohibited Books.[1] The following clarification by the CDF of Paul VI’s intention, issued in response to queries received, stated that the Index with its associated penalties would no longer be in force; however, the point of the Index, the safeguarding of...
  • Pan-Orthodox Council Will Not be Legitimate if Held Without Some Churches - Metropolitan Hilarion

    06/14/2016 6:11:08 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Interfax ^ | 6/13/16
    Moscow, June 13, Interfax - The Pan-Orthodox Council can only be legitimate if all local Churches without exceptions participate in it, the Moscow Patriarchate said. "Some people now say that it's their problem that they have refused, they don't have to participate, but we will go ahead anyway in the composition that will be there and will make decisions and they will become binding for everyone. It doesn't happen that way," Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, told a briefing in Moscow on Monday. He said that all Churches have to participate in the...
  • The UN Ruled that Ireland's Abortion Ban Violates Human Rights

    06/14/2016 6:07:13 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 8 replies
    Catholic News Agency ^ | 6/13/16 | Kevin J. Jones
    Dublin, Ireland, Jun 13, 2016 / 03:18 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-life groups in Ireland are charging that a United Nations human rights committee contradicted its mission when it ruled that the Republic of Ireland’s laws against abortion violated a woman’s rights. The ruling’s critics included Niamh Ui Bhriain of Ireland’s Life Institute. “Instead of protecting the most vulnerable, the U.N. has chosen, yet again, to champion abortion, and has trampled on the right of people with disabilities,” she said. She charged that the committee “seriously undermined its credibility by rushing to support abortion.” Ui Bhriain told CNA the committee used...
  • Vatican Official Uncritically ‘Welcomes’ UN Development Goal – Despite its Pro-Abortion Language

    06/13/2016 8:50:16 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    LifeSite News ^ | 6/10/16 | Pete Baklinski
    GENEVA, Switzerland, June 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis’ representative to the United Nations told the World Health Assembly in Switzerland last month that the Holy See “welcomes” goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focused on ensuring “healthy lives,” and the goal’s 13 targets. However, the representative is coming under fire because one of the 13 targets included in his praise, specifically target 3.7, calls for “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.” The UN defined these terms at the 1994 Cairo conference to mean providing women with “modern contraception” for “family planning” and with “safe...