Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
CNS News: On his March 23 trip to Naples, Pope Francis spoke with young people, as translated in LifeSiteNews, and said, “Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion.”
The Daily Signal: Culture is central because it affects everything else. Francis highlights that a “throwaway culture” harms both social and physical ecology: “When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities—to offer just a few examples—it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.”
Mirror of Justice: I would argue that, from a moral perspective, opposing decarbonization is not that different from supporting legalized abortion—you might not be the acting moral agent, but you are still complicit in the structures of sin. Putting it another way, it might not be formal cooperation with evil, but it is certainly material.
Aleteia: Last Saturday, in an address to the Italian Science and Life Association, the Holy Father listed the “scourge of abortion” as the number one contemporary attack on human life.
Breitbart: During a recent Vatican conference centered on the challenges women face throughout the world, Pope Francis used the words of Pope Benedict to affirm the link between the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and those regarding social ethics.
National Catholic Register: A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.
Winnipeg Free Press (AP): China’s president warned in a key policy speech that religions must be independent from foreign influence, as the government asks domestic religious groups to pledge loyalty to the state.
Vatican Radio: The many Christians who are being persecuted in our times “are martyrs” Pope Francis said on Wednesday, at the end of his General Audience.
Aleteia: If you’re a Catholic who’s been involved in one way or another in the act of abortion—undergoing the procedure or performing one or encouraging someone to get one—and you happened to pick up the New York Post last week, you might have discovered some surprising ideas.
Aleteia: Sunday, May 10th, marked the 5th annual March for Life in Rome. Thousands of marchers gathered on the Via della Conciliazione in front of St. Peter’s Square to bear witness to the sanctity and inviolability of human life from conception until natural death.
Catholic News Agency: As our brief turn came we shared the work of our global legal ministry, Alliance Defending Freedom, Pope Francis presented an almost laser-like focus, asked a thoughtful question, giving generously of his very limited time to really hear and understand what we were saying, and offering his encouragement and blessing.
Aleteia: The Pope also stressed that we must restore honor to marriage and the family or “children will come into the world increasingly uprooted” from the covenant between man and woman, and “even from the maternal womb.”
Vatican Insider: At the General Audience the Pope said women’s mistrust is understandable and condemned male chauvinism and the exploitation of the female body in the media. He also sent out an appeal for Earth Day
Aleteia: Pope Francis on Wednesday devoted his general audience catechesis to children, calling them the “greatest blessing which God has bestowed on man and woman.” Even if they suffer in this life, he said, “children are never a mistake.” In fact, he added, “their sufferings are only reasons for us to love them even more.”
Aleteia: The world is seeking hide the persecution against Christians, Pope Francis said Sunday following the deadly blasts that hit two churches in a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan.
Ecumenical News: Pope Francis has thanked the Church in Libya and the ecclesial communities in North Africa for their courage and for being a peaceful presence in an area where freedom of conscience is under threat.
Crux (RNS): The Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy “the nation signed with the blood of the cross.”
Catholic News Agency: Despite the recent death of a long-imprisoned Chinese bishop, there are mixed signals suggesting the People’s Republic of China wills an improved relationship with the Holy See.
Public Discourse: The family is only whole and safe when it is founded on the complementarity of masculine and feminine.
Yahoo News (AP): Pope Francis is urging families to put aside their iPhones and Twitter feeds and learn to talk to one another again.
Catholic News Agency: Remarking on Pope Francis’ strong words against the threats which “ideological colonization” poses to the family, the Vatican’s spokesman told journalists Friday that same-sex marriage falls within this category.
Russell Moore on Vatican trip: World’s religious leaders optimistic about their fight against the sexual revolution
The Christian Post: Leaders from most of the world’s major religious groups who gathered at the Vatican last month for a conference on marriage left optimistic that they can win their fight against the forces of the sexual revolution emanating from the West, Dr. Russell Moore said.
Mirror of Justice: There are men and women of extraordinary wisdom and insight who transcend their particular communities and traditions to be teachers of mankind. Plato was one. So was St. Augustine. So were Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
National Review: We stood, as for a head of state, and Pope Francis was ushered into the very room in the Vatican in which the bishops held the famous synod on the family this October. With his warm smile and a quiet “Buongiorno,” he opened the historic Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman this Monday in Rome.
Catholic News Service: A month after closing a Synod of Bishops on the family stirred by controversy over divorce, same-sex unions and other nonmarital relationships, Pope Francis will open an interreligious conference dedicated to traditional marriage.
Catholic Vote: On November 17-19, 2014, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will host a colloquium in Vatican City, in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on the subject of theComplementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage. It is a global, interreligious meeting featuring representatives from 14 religious traditions and 23 countries. The colloquium will be opened by Pope Francis.
Religion News Service: The Vatican will host religious leaders from across the religious spectrum later this month for a conference where they are expected to defend traditional marriage as between a man and a woman.
Religion News: The Vatican issued an urgent appeal Thursday (May 8) for the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
LifeNews: “Speaking before the Italian pro-life group Movimento per la Vita, Pope Francis thanks pro-life activists for ‘promoting and defending human life from its conception.’”
Pope Francis: Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we conclude our catechesis on the sacraments with the sacrament of Matrimony, which brings us to the very heart of God’s loving plan for the human family. The Triune God created us – men and women – in his image and calls us to mirror the mystery of his love. Married couples carry out this vocation in a full and definitive communion of life. As ‘one flesh,’ they become living icons of God’s love in our world, building up the Church in unity and fidelity. Christian marriage also reflects the mystery of Christ’s own faithful and sacrificial love for his body, the Church. Christian spouses thus receive a special consecration and a special mission. While a noble vocation, marriage is not an easy one: it must constantly be strengthened by a living relationship with the Lord through prayer: mornings and evenings, at meals, in the recitation of the Rosary, and above all through the Sunday Eucharist. Today let us pray for all families, especially those experiencing difficulties, so that by God’s mercy they can always be joyful models of faith, love and generous service in our communities.
Catholic News Agency: Cardinal Burke’s comments came in his address to Alliance Defending Freedom’s Catholic Media Symposium, held in Rome from March 24-27. . . . Alan Sears, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, said the media symposium ‘comes at a pivotal point for liberty and for people of faith all around the world.’”
Michael Severance at the Acton Institute: “In reality, of course, the Affordable Care Act effectively seeks to force Catholic institutions to violate the Church’s moral teachings on a number of critical human life issues. As we speak, landmark injunctions involving Christian business owners have reached the Supreme Court for hearings, with the help of legal groups like the Becket Fund and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which have fought tooth and nail to protect religious freedom in America and around the globe. (ADF, coincidentally just finished their Rome summit with the Catholic media today, educating them on their current religious rights cases in Europe and elsewhere.)”
Reuters: “Pope Francis and Vatican officials on Thursday told U.S. President Barack Obama they were concerned about ‘religious freedom’ in the United States, an apparent reference to the contraception mandate in Obama’s health care plan.”
Josh Encinias at National Review: “Chief justice at the Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke called president Obama’s policies “anti-life” and “anti-family” in an interview with Polonia Christiana magazine, transcribed by Life Site News.”
Vatican Radio: “Representatives of the Catholic, Anglican and Muslim worlds gathered for the first time ever in the Vatican press office on Monday for the launch of a Global Freedom Network aimed at eradicating human trafficking by the end of the decade.”
Fox 11: “A Madison-based religious freedom group has sent letters to the city of Green Bay, taking issue with the mayor’s recent letter to Pope Francis. . . . Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation, says it is not the business of government officials to invite a religious leader to the city they are elected to represent.”
Vatican Radio: “This is because the world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t tolerate the announcement of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes. And so we have persecutions: with words, with insults, the things that they said about Christians in the early centuries, the condemnations, imprisonment. But we easily forget. We think of the many Christians, 60 years ago, in the labour camps, in the camps of the Nazis, of the communists: So many of them! For being Christians! And even today. But (people say) ‘today we are better educated and these things no longer exist.’ Yes they do! And I tell you that today there are more martyrs than during the early times of the Church.”
Vatican Radio: “Cardinal Peter Turkson on Tuesday highlighted the importance of religious freedom saying ‘It is important to preserve and defend religious freedom because it concerns “each person’s freedom to live according to their own deeper understanding of the truth.’”
Catholic World News: “The House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations also heard testimony on the worldwide persecution of Christians from representatives of Alliance Defending Freedom, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and Impulso 18, as well as from Catholic writer John Allen.” The post includes a link to video of the entire hearing.
LifeSiteNews: “The UN committee that issued the report last week demanding that the Catholic Church change its teachings on abortion, homosexuality and extra-marital sex, has hit back against criticisms, saying that it was issued only after ‘objectively examining all relevant information.’”
Claudia Rosett at The Wall Street Journal: “The U.N. releases only generic statistics on violations committed by personnel working under its flag. The U.N. doesn’t share with the public such basic information as the names of the accused or the details of what they did to people the U.N. dispatched them to protect. Blue berets accused of sex crimes are simply sent back to their home countries, where in the majority of cases they drop off the radar.”
Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary: “The views of the UN committee may represent the views of many associated with the world body and, indeed, perhaps, of the majority of Americans. But for a United Nations agency to demand that one of the world’s great religions change its beliefs in this manner is outrageous.”
Elyssa Koren at Catholic News Agency: “The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child just issued a report chastising the Holy See for its failure to comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child on various grounds. In a clear overreach of its mandate, the Committee lectures the Catholic Church on its teachings regarding homosexual behavior and abortion.”
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child report is available here.
Austen Ivereigh at Catholic Comment: How the Holy See was ambushed by a UN kangaroo court
Marco Rubio at National Review: “Unfortunately, the U.N. also chose to use the opportunity to make political statements about Catholic doctrine on abortion, contraception, and marriage, issues at the core of the Church’s teachings about human rights and the dignity of life. In doing so, the U.N. — with the seemingly limitless worldwide injustices it could be condemning or investigating — trampled on the religious-freedom principles outlined in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
AP: “[T]he U.N. committee also severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and said it should change its own canon law to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care are guaranteed.”
Catholic Culture: “Under the amended concordat, which was signed by the apostolic nuncio and Malta’s foreign minister on January 27, ‘parties will be able to continue an action for the nullity of a marriage celebrated as a canonical marriage before the civil courts notwithstanding the fact that one of the parties may have filed an action for nullity of the marriage before the ecclesiastical tribunals after the commencement of the civil action.’”
RFI: “Pope Francis is expected to raise planned changes to French law on abortion and euthanasia when President François Hollande meets him at the Vatican on Friday. An improvised bomb went off near a French church in Rome overnight.”
Catholic Culture: The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has issued a statement on the baptism of infants born to surrogate mothers.
The Guardian: Outgoing head of Organisation of Islamic Co-operation also says west should do more to combat anti-Muslim prejudice
LifeNews: Tens of thousands of pro-life Spaniards rallied in central Madrid at an open-air Roman Catholic mass Sunday where they showed enthusiastic support for the government’s moves aimed at rolling back the abortion “reforms” initiated by the previous government.
NC Register: Msgr. Renzo Pegoraro, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, deplores the majority Catholic country’s effort to extend its euthanasia law.
Vatican Information Service: “The link between Christianity and freedom is thus original and profound”, he continued. “It has its roots in the teaching of Christ himself and Saint Paul appears as one of its most strenuous and brilliant defenders. Freedom is intrinsic to Christianity, for it was, as Paul says, for freedom that Christ set us free”. While the Apostle referred to interior freedom, this “naturally also has consequences for society”.
CNSNews: Pope Francis yesterday called for people to pray for the release of 12 Greek Orthodox nuns who were kidnapped on Monday from their convent in Maaloula by Syrian rebels possibly tied to the terrorist Al Nusra front.
Religion Clause Blog: On Monday, the U.S. State Department held a conference call with reporters (full transcript) to explain its decision to move the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See to a location within the same compound in Rome that houses the U.S. Embassy to Italy and the U.S. Embassy to the United Nations offices in Rome.
LifeNews: The Obama administration has offended the Catholic Church before by putting in place ambassadors who support abortion and flout the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. Now, President Barack Obama is taking this further and launching what could be the first step in pushing the United Nations to remove the Holy See’s official status at the UN.
AFP: “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians,” he said after meeting with patriarchs from Syria, Iran and Iraq, before calling for “the universal right to lead a dignified life and freely practise one’s own faith to be respected.”
Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart stands by confessional despite abuse recommendations | ABC.net.au Video
ABC.net.au (includes video): The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne has stood by the church’s stance on keeping information on abuse gained through the confessional secret, despite a Victorian Parliamentary inquiry recommending withholding information relating to child abuse be criminalised.
AP: The Vatican has quashed hopes that there might be some wiggle room on one of its longstanding rules about the indissolubility of marriage.
Washington Post: A recent poll of Latinos for their religious and political preferences confirms Latino Catholics’ movement towards social justice and the Democratic Party.
ProLife.org.uk: On September 20th, during a Papal Audience, a man drew close to Pope Francis, carrying with him a somewhat suspicious looking bag. Inside were half a dozen surgical instruments of various types and sizes which he, Dr Antonio Oriente from Messina, ex-abortion gynaecologist, wanted to deliver at all costs to the Holy Father.
The Guardian: Pope Francis offered an olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic church on Friday, when he denounced abortions as a symptom of today’s “throw-away culture” and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them.
Kathyrn Jean Lopez of NRO at Fox News: Not everything in the world is about sex and politics. That message may take the New York Times a few more homilies and interviews with Pope Francis to understand. The Catholic Church – or at least those preachers and teachers who are outspoken on matters concerning human sexuality, especially when catechetical discussions are turned into clashes in the public square for political or cultural reasons – is often accused of being obsessed with sex. But the obsession might just be the media’s.
Catholic News Agency: During their first meeting in Strasbourg, France, held Sept. 12-14, the legal advisors to the European Bishops’ Conference warned of an increase in legal restrictions against religious freedom.
AP: Pope Francis urged the Group of 20 leaders on Thursday to abandon the “futile pursuit” of a military solution in Syria as the Vatican laid out its case for a negotiated settlement that guarantees rights for all minorities, including Christians.
Vatican Information Service: To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution. Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community. Moreover, all governments have the moral duty to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country’s borders”.
AP: The Vatican is ramping up its opposition to threatened military strikes against Syria as it draws attention to Pope Francis’ plans to host a day of fasting and prayer for peace this weekend.
AP: Pope Francis and Jordan’s king stressed Thursday that dialogue and negotiations are the only way for ending Syria’s civil war, the Vatican said.
DFWCatholic: Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, Wis., implored Catholics to speak up for religious freedom and for truth after explaining the link between the two at a lecture in Arlington, Va., on Aug. 23.
“Cardinal George hopes gay marriage is blocked, says pope’s remarks were misinterpreted” | Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times: “If they had the votes, they would have passed it already,” the cardinal said of gay-marriage supporters in response to my assertion that it’s only a matter of time at this point before a law is passed.