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28 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (5)

Why only 10 commandments?

Full Question Why were God's commandments limited to ten? It seems that the additions of “Thou shall not rape,” “Thou shall not condone slavery,” and “Thou…

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25 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

10-year-old girl prays for miracle and God delivers

Ten-year-old Aysha lived in Kafer, Iraq, just outside the ISIS-held city of Mosul. The Islamic State fought fiercely just outside her village, leaving a trai…

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12 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

For Lincoln diocese, audit adds to its effective child protection plan

The Diocese of Lincoln will now take part in the U.S. bishops' audit of the implementation of the youth protection charter – a move it says adds to a well-funct…

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06 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (28)

Should I leave the Church because of my homosexuality?

Full Question I am a homosexual. I am also a Catholic who loves my religion but feels that it is against me. Should I abandon my Catholic beliefs, since I …

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09 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Irish Church's new leader honored, humbled as he takes helm

Vatican City, Sep 9, 2014 / 08:54 am .- As Cardinal Sean Brady resigns at the customary age of 75, newly appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland E…

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04 Jun 2015 Articles No comments

The Excessive Sorrow and Insecurity in the Children of the Divorced (COD)

Children of divorce are not meant to be prisoners of their past. Recently on a national Catholic radio talk show on the impact of divorce on youth, several mot…

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09 Jun 2015 Vatican Comments (1)

Priest appointed by Pope Francis to investigate traditionalist order dies after stroke

Fr Fidenzio Volpi, the apostolic commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, has died after suffering a stroke. Fr Volpi was appointed to overse…

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22 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

What is Just War?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraphs 2302-2317, authoritatively teaches what constitutes the just defense of a nation against an aggressor.…

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12 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

Am I wrong for making the sign of the cross over my children's homes?

Full Question I read recently that lay people are not supposed to make the sign of the cross on others. I make the sign of the cross with holy water and a …

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Tense political divide doesn’t stop Christian unity over Middle East

Washington D.C., Sep 11, 2014 / 03:03 am .- Despite strained political differences, Christian leaders at a historic ecumenical conference voiced the need for unity in the face of the mass persecution of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

“For the love of God, we’re here to talk about the Christians and we’re here to be united,” said Andrew Doran, executive director of In Defense of Christians, at a Sept. 10 speech at the non-profit’s inaugural summit in Washington, D.C.

In Defense of Christians was founded to advocate for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. The organization’s gala dinner on Wednesday was attended by over 1200 people including patriarchs and bishops of over a dozen Christian churches from countries throughout the Middle East.

“The last time a summit like this happened is probably in the fifteenth century,” Doran later told CNA.

Doran followed a controversial keynote address by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). The senator began the speech by saying that attendees were “united in defense of Christians” and “united in defense of Jews.” Cruz denounced what he called religious bigotry as a “cancer with many manifestations,” criticizing state and non-state actors such as Syria, Iran, ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas.

Cruz told the crowd that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.” Cruz’s statement was met with negative outbursts from some in the audience. Other attendees tried to quiet those outbursts, while still others called for the senator to refocus his statements on the persecution of Christians.

Some Christians in the Middle East have criticized Israeli military policy, particularly for its impact on Palestinian Christian communities, such as the one in Bethlehem.

Cruz responded to the backlash by saying “those who hate Jews hate Christians,” adding that those who persecute Christians also “target Jews for their faith.” Cruz did not mention the persecution of numerous minority Muslim communities across the region.

“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews,” Cruz said before he left the stage, “then I will not stand with you.”

After Cruz left the stage, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, implored the attendees of the conference to remember its purpose “to truly have a witness today with unity and the solidarity that we came here to be part of.”

“The Middle East has been a cradle of culture and civilization for more than 2,000 years,” the cardinal said, adding that over the millennia Christians there have built “a culture of tolerance and unconditional acceptance for the other as other.”

Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan, Syriac Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, pointed out the dire situation for many in the region and said that Christians in the Middle East “are on the verge of genocide.”

He decried “all acts of violence against humans,” calling instead for peace.

Metropolitan Joseph Zahlawi, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, echoed Younan’s comments, saying that the differences between people are “part of the gift from God.”

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