In the nation’s capital and across the country, Catholics gathered to mark the end of the Fortnight for Freedom observance that calls them to celebrate religious freedom and grow in awareness of efforts the Catholic Church sees as threats to that freedom, chief among them the federal government’s contraceptive mandate.
Job creation, respect for the environment and the second chances God grants to every sinner were recurring themes as Pope Francis visited the southern Italian region of Molise July 5.
The patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad called the current situation in his country “perhaps the darkest and most difficult period in (the church’s) recent history.”
One of the Irish survivors of clerical sexual abuse who met Pope Francis July 7 described the encounter as a “huge vindication” for her.
I know that these wounds are a source of deep and often unrelenting emotional and spiritual pain, and even despair. Many of those who have suffered in this way have also sought relief in the path of addiction. Others have experienced difficulties in significant relationships, with parents, spouses and children. Suffering in families has been especially grave, since the damage provoked by abuse affects these vital family relationships.
Asking for forgiveness, Pope Francis told abuse survivors that “despicable actions” caused by clergy have been hidden for too long and had been “camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained.”
A Vatican investigation has led to the expulsion of a former Vatican ambassador from the priesthood in response to allegations of sexually abusing minors.
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The Supreme Court’s June 30 ruling that certain businesses, based on their religious objections, can be exempted from a government requirement to include contraceptives in their employee health insurance coverage means “justice has prevailed,” said two U.S. archbishops.
On Oct. 24, 1963 — a little more than eight months before President Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act into law — Bishop Robert E. Tracy of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, urged the Second Vatican Council to take a tough line against racism. Speaking for the American bishops, he said doing that would “greatly help the bishops to teach their people.”
Scared, tired and hungry, immigrants, mostly mothers with their children, have been arriving at the McAllen and Brownsville bus stations at odd hours.
Most hope to travel farther to connect with waiting family members.
Pope Francis expressed his participation in the “unspeakable suffering” of the families of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found June 30 in Hebron, West Bank.