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Syrian brothers reunite at WYD, and ask the world to pray

Syrian brothers reunite at WYD, and ask the world to pray

KRAKOW, Poland, July 28, 2016–Among the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at World Youth Day are two brothers, recently reunited. “I’m from Syria,” Yousef Astfan, 34, told CNA. “It’s been divided.” Yousef first attended World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011. Now he’s in Krakow with his brother, 25-year-old Al Astfan, a first-time attendee who [...]

KRAKOW, Poland, July 27, 2016–Located just southeast of Krakow, the Wieliczka salt mine is famous for many things – most notably its underground chapels, made entirely out of rock salt. In fact, the chapels are so stunning that they have earned the mine a nickname: the ‘underground salt cathedral.’ Officially opened in the 13th century, [...]

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KRAKOW, Poland, July 26, 2016–In response to the murder of Father Jacques Hamel by believed Islamic State sympathizers, the French bishops have designated Friday, July 29, as a day of fasting. Msgr. Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, secretary general of the French Bishops Conference, discussed the decision July 26. “What happened in France had happened in other countries before, [...]

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Munich archbishop, Benedict XVI grieve deadly shooting

MUNICH, Germany, July 23, 2016–The archbishop of Munich has called for prayers for the victims of Friday’s deadly shooting at a shopping mall, and condemned acts of violence which “poison” society with fear. “This horrific crime deeply affects me and fills me with profound grief,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx is quoted as saying in a July 23 [...]

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WASHINGTON, DC, July 22, 2016–In light of recent incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the United States, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has invited all dioceses across the country to unite in a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities. He has also appointed a special [...]

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WASHINGTON D.C., July 23, 2016–After several shootings and increased racial tensions around the country, the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a national day of prayer and appointed a task force devoted to peace and unity. “I have stressed the need to look toward additional ways of nurturing an [...]

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ROME, Italy, July 21, 2016–Among the swarms of pilgrims registered for World Youth Day in Poland next week is a large group of Iraqi youth, who aim to witness to the joy of their faith despite ongoing violent persecution. “I want everyone to see a witness of faith, of suffering faith, and the faith of [...]

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Catechetical youth site aims to share mercy at World Youth Day

KRAKOW, Poland, July 19, 2016–Poland has been known as the heart of the Divine Mercy devotion since the 1930s and also boasts the homeland of the late Pope St. John Paul II. This year, an additional spotlight has been shed on the country as it hosts World Youth Day amidst the Jubilee Year of Mercy, [...]

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MADRID, Spain, July 19, 2016–Carmen Hernandez, co-founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, died today at home in Madrid, Spain. She was 85 years old.  Hernandez, along with Kiko Arguello and Fr. Mario Pezzi, made up the international team responsible for the ecclesial movement, which focuses on post-baptismal adult formation. It is estimated that the movement contains [...]

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MUNICH, Germany, July 18, 2016–Archbishop Georg Ganswein has criticized the German Church Tax process, calling its handling of people opting out of the controversial system “a serious problem.” In a wide-ranging interview published Monday in Schwäbische Zeitung, the Prefect of the Papal Household and secretary to both Pope Francis and Pope emeritus Benedict also spoke candidly [...]

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New religious laws in Russia not expected to hurt Catholic Church

MOSCOW, Russia, July 17, 2016–Last week, despite protests from religious leaders and human rights groups, Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a new set of laws that would restrict evangelization and missionary activity to officially registered Church buildings and worship areas. The laws fall under the umbrella of new anti-terrorism legislation, and prohibit sharing faith in [...]

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MUNICH, Germany, July 16, 2016–Figures released Friday by the German bishops’ conference draw a bleak picture of the ongoing decline of Catholicism in Germany. However, the head of the conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, described the Church July 15 as a continuing “strong force, whose message is heard and accepted”. With more [...]

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US bishops throw support behind conscience protections on marriage

WASHINGTON D.C., July 14, 2016–Two leading U.S. bishops have spoken out in favor of a proposed law which would ensure federal religious freedom protections to individuals and faith-based organizations who disagree with same-sex marriage. In a joint statement released Tuesday, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore voiced [...]

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, July 13, 2016–Religion classes in Belgium’s French-speaking primary and secondary schools will be cut in half starting in October 2016 and replaced with a weekly hour of citizenship classes. Critics worry that the new classes will promote abortion and homosexuality, and that the change could end up pushing teachers with a religious education [...]

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JUBA, South Sudan, July 12, 2016–Heavy fighting in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, prompted Church leaders in the country to issue a statement this week condemning the violence and asking for prayers. “We condemn all acts of violence without exception. The time for carrying and using weapons has ended; now is the time [...]

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Knights of Columbus launch novena for peace in response to US shootings

NEW HAVEN, Conn., July 10, 2016–In the wake of violence across the nation this week, the Knights of Columbus have issued a campaign encouraging people to join them in praying for peace.  “The violent episodes of the past week have shocked the conscience of our country,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. On July 7, five [...]

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