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Trust in God to help change society, pope says in Mexico’s heartland

March 26th, 2012 Posted in Featured, International News

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Catholic News Service

SILAO, Mexico — Celebrating Mass in the Catholic heartland of Mexico, Pope Benedict XVI told a nation and a continent suffering from poverty, corruption and violence, to trust in God and the intercession of Mary to help them bring about a “more just and fraternal society.”

“When addressing the deeper dimension of personal and community life, human strategies will not suffice to save us,” the pope said in his homily during the outdoor Mass at Guanajuato Bicentennial Park March 25, the second full day of his second papal visit to Latin America. “We must have recourse to the one who alone can give life in its fullness, because he is the essence of life and its author.”

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Pope in Mexico as ‘pilgrim of faith, of hope, and of love’

March 26th, 2012 Posted in Featured, International News

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Catholic News Service

SILAO, Mexico — Arriving in Mexico on his second papal visit to Latin America March 23, Pope Benedict XVI said he came as a “pilgrim of faith, of hope, and of love,” promoting the cause of religious freedom, social progress and the Catholic Church’s charitable works.

Bells tolled and the assembled crowd cheered as Pope Benedict XVI appeared through the door of his Alitalia plane at Guanajuato Internal Airport in central Mexico. He was greeted by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and other dignitaries, including Archbishop Jose Martin Rabago of Leon and Archbishop Carlos Aguilar Retes of Tlalnepantla, president of the Mexican bishops’ conference and the Latin American bishops’ council, CELAM.

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‘The Hunger Games’ rated for adults, possibly OK for mature teens

March 23rd, 2012 Posted in Featured, Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Though presumably targeted at teens, the dystopian adventure “The Hunger Games” involves enough problematic content to give parents pause. Responsible oldsters will want to weigh the matter carefully before giving permission for clamoring kids to attend.

At first glance, the depressing futuristic premise of the piece, inherited from Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy of novels, on the first volume of which the film is based, makes it seem unlikely fare for a youthful audience.

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Federal agency’s conscience rule gives church officials some hope

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — A little publicized policy directive from the U.S. Agency for International Development is getting a closer look from religious freedom advocates and promoters of conscience protections in federal law.

Months in development, the directive offers one of the broadest and most inclusive conscience protections to faith-based organizations funded by USAID to operate AIDS treatment and prevention programs and other health care programs around the world, Catholic observers said.

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Onboard papal flight: Pope calls for patience in bringing freedom to Cuba

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Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO MEXICO — En route to Latin America for his second papal visit to the region, Pope Benedict XVI called for patience with the Catholic Church’s effort to promote freedom in communist Cuba and criticized Catholics who participate in illegal drug trade or who ignore their moral responsibilities to seek social justice.

The pope, flying to Mexico March 23, followed his usual practice of taking a few preselected questions from reporters on the papal plane.

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Pope Benedict’s trip to Mexico and Cuba to highlight regional issues

March 21st, 2012 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , , , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict’s trip to Mexico and Cuba March 23-28 will be a relatively brief one, consisting of a little more than two days in each country. Yet his visit is bound to highlight a wide range of prominent issues affecting an entire continent of crucial importance to the Catholic Church.

The pope arrives in Leon, in central Mexico, late afternoon local time March 23. His first full day’s schedule will be light, no doubt reflecting concerns for the health of the pope, who turns 85 April 16. Pope Benedict’s flight will have taken him across eight time zones, to a city 6,000 feet above sea level (compared to only 70 in Rome).

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Aspiring Franciscans learning from their elders at Jeanne Jugan

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Staff reporter

 

NEWARK — Inside the Jeanne Jugan Residence, two young men who are just beginning their journey as Franciscans are helping bring companionship and the faith to others, many of whom are more than 50 years older than them.

Casey Cole and Dennis Bennett are among five postulants who are in the midst of their formation for the Franciscans’ Holy Name Province. Two others are working at St. Francis Inn Ministries in Philadelphia, which includes a soup kitchen, women’s shelter, thrift store and social services center. The other one is in parish ministry at St. Paul’s in Wilmington, where the five live.

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Bishop William E. Lori named to Baltimore

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WASHINGTON —- Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., to be the new archbishop of Baltimore, and he also named new bishops for the dioceses of Rockford, Ill., and Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla.

The appointments and the resignation of 76-year-old Bishop Thomas G. Doran of Rockford were announced in Washington March 20 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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Bishops disappointed with White House meeting on health law mandate

March 19th, 2012 Posted in Featured, National News

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s definition of religious institutions that could be exempt from the new federal health care mandate on contraception appears “here to stay” and “non-negotiable” according to a U.S. bishop who met with White House officials March 14.

“We find that to be distressing and it does not bode well for future discussions,” said Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, who attended the meeting along with Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., immediate past chairman of the bishops’ domestic policy committee.

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U.S. bishops urge Catholics to fast for religious liberty – update

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The first version of this story from Catholic News Service incorrectly reported that the U.S. bishops set March 30 as a day of prayer and fasting for religious freedom. That date was only set by Pennsylvania bishops for their state.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops are urging Catholics and “all people of faith” across the nation to join them in prayer and fasting for religious freedom and conscience protection.

Among current threats to religious liberty, they said, is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that forces employers, including religious ones, to provide coverage of contraception/sterilization in their health plans.

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