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  • Vatican II's approach to Jews, other Christians differs, professor says

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Second Vatican may have followed much the same structure when writing its documents on how the Catholic Church should relate to other religions and to other Christian denominations, but the approaches differ, according to a professor of systematic theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

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  • Abundance of media connects people far and wide to Romero beatification

    SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- The use of modern media to move and consume news of the beatification of Oscar Romero might be a fitting tribute to the Salvadoran archbishop. Though he lived simply, among the few remaining belongings left in a room where he lived as archbishop of San Salvador, visitors will notice a tape recorder. Archbishop Romero kept an audio diary -- high technology in those days, and an instrument to transmit the Gospel and his message of peace to a mass audience.

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  • Reaction mixed to Tsarnaev death sentence in Boston Marathon bombing

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Reaction was mixed to the May 15 jury sentencing of death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Tsarnaev had been convicted April 8 of all 30 counts lodged against him in the bombing, which killed three people and injured hundreds. Of those 30 counts, 17 carried the death penalty, and jurors imposed the death sentence on six of those -- all in connection with placing a bomb on Boylston Street along the marathon route.

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  • U.S. will fall in love with Pope Francis when he visits, says speaker

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) -- America will fall in love with Pope Francis when he visits in September. That is the prediction of Austen Ivereigh, author of "The Great Reformer, Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope," who was the main speaker at the Brooklyn Diocese's May 13 celebration of World Communications Day.

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  • Catholic archbishop teaches the Quran to Christians, Muslims alike

    UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio (CNS) -- There's a book that Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald believes can inspire Christians to appreciate the God of all creation. And it's not just the Bible. Archbishop Fitzgerald, who retired at the end of 2012 as the papal nuncio to Egypt, said the Quran, with all of its names for God, can help Christians deepen their faith and inspire them to see God in new ways.

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  • No easy moral resolution to Vergara-Loeb dispute over frozen embryos

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Are frozen embryos human beings worthy of dignity and respect or are they property subject to contractual obligations? That is the legal question surrounding the dispute between actress Sofia Vergara and her former fiance, businessman Nick Loeb, over two female embryos they created in 2013. Loeb, who wants to bring the pregnancies to term using a surrogate, has asked a court in Santa Monica, California, to void an agreement they both signed that the embryos could be brought to term only with the consent of both mother and father.

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  • Benedictine nuns make their home on the range

    VIRGINIA DALE, Colo. (CNS) -- Sister Maria Walburga Schortemeyer is at home wading through the mud and manure of a barnyard in boots, work pants, a fleece jacket, and her white veil. Minutes later, in the black-and-white habit of a Benedictine nun, she is equally at home singing psalms and praying the Divine Office in a chapel with other nuns.

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  • Sister Prejean tells Boston jury Tsarnaev told her of regret for victims

    BOSTON (CNS) -- Sister Helen Prejean, the death penalty abolition advocate, told a jury May 11 that convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev expressed remorse in discussions with her. Sister Prejean, the Sister of Saint Joseph of Medaille and author of, "Dead Man Walking," said during the defense's portion of the sentencing phase of Tsarnaev's trial that she had met with him five times since March. In their conversations, she said, he eventually discussed his feelings about the victims of the April 15, 2013 bombing that killed three and left more than 260 people injured.

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  • Circus center ring becomes stage for death-defying feats and religion

    FAIRFAX, Va. (CNS) -- Brazilian trapeze artist Estefani Evans flies through the air above the center ring, mesmerizing the gasping spectators below. The 25-year-old performer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus soared to different heights in that same center ring at the Patriot Center in Fairfax when she received the Catholic sacrament of confirmation in a special Mass held for her, her colleagues and their children.

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  • South Georgia spiritual refuge helps women overcome addictions

    ALBANY, Ga. (CNS) -- Struggling with alcoholism, Regina knew she had to get "re-centered" with God to help with her addiction. A Catholic from Atlanta, Regina had been convicted of her second driving under the influence offense and the court ordered her to enter rehabilitation as part of her sentence.

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  • New documentary on Thomas Merton celebrates centennial of monk's birth

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Morgan Atkinson's new documentary on Thomas Merton, the famed Trappist monk from the Cistercian abbey in Gethsemani, Kentucky, was "40 years in the making," he joked. Actually, it was closer to two, but it was Atkinson's own pilgrimage to Gethsemani 40 years ago that not only broadened his exposure to Merton, but led him to become a Catholic himself.

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  • Notre Dame awards Knights of Columbus Evangelium Vitae Medal

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) -- Praised for their "heroic and tireless efforts" to affirm a culture of life, the Knights of Columbus received the University of Notre Dame's Evangelium Vitae Medal. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson received the award for the Knights during ceremonies at the university April 26.

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  • Awaiting ecology encyclical, Catholic groups prepare for pope's message

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Few papal encyclicals have been as eagerly awaited as Pope Francis' upcoming statement on the environment. While no date other than early summer for its release has been announced, anticipation is building among Catholics as well as non-Catholics and advocates for the environment. Based on the pope's past statements, they expect the document will call people to protect human life and dignity through greater appreciation and preservation of God's creation.

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  • 5,000 join March for Marriage three days before Supreme Court arguments

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called same-sex marriage "the greatest social experiment of our time" and said that "children do not need experiments," but rather the love of a mother and father at the third annual March for Marriage rally supporting traditional marriage on Capitol Hill.

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