World News

Tue

12

Feb

2019

Perspective: The Church and the Venezuelan Crisis

We Are Millions March in Venezuela, 2015. (Image in the public domain)
We Are Millions March in Venezuela, 2015. (Image in the public domain)

by Patrick Stallwood

            

Over the last five years, the news cycle has bent an eye on Venezuela’s intensified political and humanitarian crisis. The country’s administration has blamed many of its problems on economic sanctions levied against it by the United States since Hugo Chavez’s revolution. The United States, on the other hand, has blamed the crisis on a severe mismanagement of funds by the Venezuelan government. As living conditions worsen for many citizens in this majority-Catholic nation, it becomes increasingly important to consider the duties of the Church in the midst of the crisis.

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Tue

12

Feb

2019

Pope Francis Celebrates Historic Mass in the UAE

© Mazur|catholicnews.org.uk
© Mazur|catholicnews.org.uk

by Tess Daniels

 

Pope Francis visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 3-5 in a landmark trip that marked the first-ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam. 

 

The Pope’s visit was a remarkable step for the UAE, a country not ordinarily known for its religious freedom. Granted, the UAE is more tolerant of different religions than some of its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia. Though the UAE’s constitution establishes Islam as the country’s official religion, it also “guarantees freedom of worship as long as it does not conflict with public policy or morals,”according to a 2017 State Department report. The UAE has dedicated this year to “tolerance,” promoting openness to people and cultures from around the world. 

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Tue

12

Feb

2019

First New Catholic Church Since Communist Revolution Opens in Cuba

The Parish of the Sacred Heart while still under construction. (Photo courtesy of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Tampa)
The Parish of the Sacred Heart while still under construction. (Photo courtesy of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Tampa)

by Quentin Bet

 

January 26 was a rainy day in Sandino, Cuba, but the spirits of this small rural community were anything but dampened. On this day, the town opened a new Roman Catholic church—the nation’s first since its communist revolution 60 years ago. The bright yellow building, named the Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, underwent 4 years of construction before opening its doors last month. To commemorate the inauguration, the parish held its first official Mass. Though the church was designed to seat 200 people, the Mass drew a crowd of 500.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

World Youth Day 2019 Draws Hundreds of Thousands to Panama

Faithful and priests from around the globe gather for Mass at World Youth Day.
Faithful and priests from around the globe gather for Mass at World Youth Day.

by Adriana Watkins

 

An open-air Sunday Mass on January 27 finished the World Youth Day (WYD) event in Panama City, Panama, which drew hundreds of thousands of participants. The gathering spanned five days and featured opportunities for prayer, Confession, Communion, fellowship, cultural celebrations, and music. In addition to the many bishops, thousands of priests, and hundreds of thousands of young people, Pope Francis came from Rome to say Mass and speak directly to young Catholics. He remained in Panama for three days before returning to Vatican City on Sunday evening.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

New York and Massachusetts Legislation to Expand Access to Abortion

Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House

by Justin Schnebelen

 

On the 46th anniversary of the watershed Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which declared access to abortion a fundamental women’s right, New York and Massachusetts brought forward legislation which expands abortion access and confidentiality.

 

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act, which expands pre-existing abortion access to 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, wholly unrestricted. The bill also extends the window for abortions in circumstances where there is an “absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” The language in the bill mimics that of legislature in states like Massachusetts, which also allows abortion up to 24 weeks. By that stage of pregnancy, an unborn child is usually viable outside the womb.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

St. John’s Seminary Rector Reassigned to Worcester

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

On January 1, Monsignor James P. Moroney, the now former rector of St. John’s Seminary, was reassigned as the interim rector of the St. Paul’s Cathedral and Office for Divine Worship, Worcester. The return to his home diocese comes after having been on sabbatical for the fall semester at the request of Cardinal O’Malley. The sabbatical was mutually agreed upon by Msgr. Moroney and Cardinal O’Malley to ensure the independence of the investigation into complaints about behavior at the seminary. As covered in the September issue of The Torch, two former seminarians made public complaints about behavior unfitting for a seminary, including drunkenness, intimidation, bullying, and sexual abuse. At the time of publication, the investigation has not yet finished its review of the seminary.

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Fri

25

Jan

2019

17,000 People Attended SEEK2019 to Grow in Faith

Photo courtesy of Olivia Colombo
Photo courtesy of Olivia Colombo

by Olivia Colombo

 

On January 3 through 7, over 17,000 people gathered in Indianapolis for SEEK2019, this year’s conference hosted by FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students). The event featured keynotes from well-known Catholics, and offered opportunities to grow through participation in the sacraments and in community.

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

Consecrations to Mary on the Rise Throughout U.S.

by Mary Rose Corkery

 

The Church has confirmed that in 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima, Portugal, and revealed her divine wishes and promises to three local shepherd children. Among other messages, Mary announced, “God wishes to establish devotion in the word to my Immaculate Heart.” Many Americans are paying renewed attention to these instructions, as a number of dioceses throughout the nation are being consecrated to the Blessed Mother.

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