Pair who were in Benghazi say they felt God’s protection in firefight

January 26, 2016 WASHINGTON (CNS) — Not only are there no atheists in foxholes, but some of the denominational differences seem to disappear, too, once you’re under heavy fire. That was the situation that Mark Geist and Kris Paronto found themselves in working as military contractors in Benghazi, Libya. It was their book, co-written with…

Pro-life pilgrims stuck on highway in snow find fellowship, blessings

January 26, 2016 ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — Catholic youths from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were among those stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike overnight on the way home from the annual March for Life in Washington. And they had stories to tell that include attending an impromptu roadside Mass complete with a…

Pope tells Iran’s president he has ‘high hopes’ for peace

January 26, 2016 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Vatican, Pope Francis told him he had high hopes for peace. And while Pope Francis usually asks those he meets for their prayers, the Shiite cleric pre-empted the pope’s request and said, “I ask you to pray for me.” President…

Papal envoy opens eucharistic congress by declaring war on poverty

January 25, 2016 CEBU, Philippines (CNS) — The 51st International Eucharistic Congress kicked off with Pope Francis’ representative, Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, declaring war on poverty. “The Eucharist calls for … a third world war against poverty,” said Cardinal Bo, “a third world war against the cruelty of dogs getting fed with sumptuous,…

Pope plans to visit Sweden to commemorate Reformation anniversary

January 25, 2016 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will visit Sweden in October to participate in an ecumenical service and the beginning of a year of activities to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Leaders from the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation had already been set to meet Oct. 31,…

Pope: Six mission dioceses in Canada will transition to normal status

January 25, 2016 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has decided that six dioceses in Canada, previously considered mission territories under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, will transition to normal status. The dioceses of Keewatin-Le Pas, Churchill-Hudson Bay, Moosonee, Grouard-McLennan, Mackenzie-Fort Smith and Whitehorse now fall under the normal, or…

March for Life marks 43rd anniversary of Roe decision legalizing abortion

January 22, 2016 WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic admonitions about inclusion mixed with strong political language before the March of Life got underway Jan. 22 in Washington. At a Jesuit-sponsored Mass for life at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church that morning, Father Paddy Gilger’s homily reminded a small group of students that because Jesus made an effort…

Blizzard won’t stop march, but safety concerns cancel some trips to D.C.

January 21, 2016 WASHINGTON (CNS) — Sometimes being pro-life means making difficult decisions. Because of a predicted snowstorm in Washington, the St. Louis archdiocesan Catholic Youth Apostolate canceled its Generation Life pilgrimage to the March for Life. About 2,200 teens, adult chaperones, volunteers and staff were expected to participate in the 43rd annual march Jan….

Foot-washing ritual not limited to men, Vatican says in new decree

January 21, 2016 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Following a request by Pope Francis, the Vatican issued a decree specifying that the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual can include “all members of the people of God,” including women — a practice already observed by the pope and many priests around the world. In a letter dated December…