“Like hiring a hitman”

Pope Francis compares abortion to contract killing

In his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis said that abortion “suppresses innocent and helpless life in its blossoming.” “Is it right to take a human life to solve a problem? It's like hiring a hitman,” Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 10, in a departure from his prepared remarks. “Violence and the rejection of life are born from fear,” the pope added. For … [Read more...]

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On the hot seat in El Cajon

Crowd peppers San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy with tough questions at "listening session" held at Our Lady of Grace Church

On October 4th, San Diego's Bishop Robert McElroy held the third in a series of eight "listening sessions" that he said would “focus on seeking input from people in the pews" regarding the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and the actions required to heal from the scandal. A crowd of roughly 300 people filled the parish hall of Our Lady of Grace in El Cajon. The hall … [Read more...]

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Church tax battle in trial

City of San Rafael wants to tax church buildings, normally exempt from property tax, calling it a “special tax”

Can cities tax church buildings, normally exempt from property tax, if they call it a “special tax”?  That’s the question that was argued today in Marin County Superior Court. Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), representing Valley Baptist Church in San Rafael, took the church’s case to trial. 
 
In 2010, San Rafael adopted the Paramedic Services Special Tax, which would allow … [Read more...]

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Historic day for Byzantine Catholics in western U.S.

St. Stephen Byzantine Catholic Cathedral celebrates 50 years in Phoenix

Stephen Byzantine Catholic Cathedral, the cathedral for the Phoenix-based Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy, celebrated 50 years of serving the faithful with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Sept. 30. The liturgy, how Eastern Catholics refer to the Mass, marked the cathedral’s jubilee. “It’s a feast day to remember,” said the eparchy’s Bishop John S. Pazak, … [Read more...]

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Kim Jong Un invites Pope Francis to meet in Pyongyang

North Korean dictator seeks meeting with pontiff in hermit kingdom's capital city

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has invited Pope Francis to meet in Pyongyang, a South Korean spokesman said Tuesday. Pope Francis is already set to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in Oct. 18 for an audience at the Vatican Apostolic Palace, where Moon will personally deliver the invitation from Kim Jong Un. President Moon, a Catholic, will also participate in a … [Read more...]

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Grassroots group demands “forthright, truthful answers” from Bishop McElroy

Concerned Catholics of San Diego was formed in reaction to sex abuse scandal

"Acting with urgency and with purpose," local Catholic lay leaders have launched Concerned Catholics of San Diego (CCSD), a grassroots initiative spearheaded by attorney Charles LiMandri. The first order of business: Seek "truthful answers" from San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy about the sex-abuse crisis. "The Catholic Church, including here in San Diego, is facing an … [Read more...]

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“We have nothing to hide”

In letter to faithful, Oakland Bishop Michael Barber says names of all credibly accused priests in diocese will be released in about 45 days

The following is an excerpt of a letter from Bishop Barber of Oakland: Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, In the wake of recent reports of scandal in the Catholic Church, I have decided the Diocese of Oakland will release the names of all clergy — diocesan, religious order and extern priests — who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor. This is the latest … [Read more...]

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“Open and scandalous rebellion”

In scathing letter to Archbishop Vigano, Cardinal Marc Ouellett, prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, refutes charges against Pope Francis

The Vatican’s prefect for the Congregation for Bishops released a letter Sunday morning refuting charges Pope Francis lifted sanctions against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and saying that charges made by a former Vatican ambassador are an “unjustified attack” on the pope “cannot come from the Spirit of God.” “Your current position seems to me incomprehensible and … [Read more...]

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Statue of Mary envisioned for San Ysidro near U.S.-Mexico border

40-foot-tall monument would stand as symbol to welcome immigrants and refugees headed to the U.S., planned for hilltop parking lot at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

Inspired by the Statue of Liberty, a 40-foot-tall monument of Mary, mother of Jesus, will stand as a symbol intended to welcome immigrants and refugees headed to the U.S. The statue will go up on the hilltop parking lot of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in San Ysidro, where community members convened Friday to kick off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $1 million to build … [Read more...]

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“We’ve come to the sorrowful realization that the problem is at the top”

Oxnard man files federal lawsuit alleging that Vatican leaders have orchestrated a cover-up of priests accused of abuse and top church leaders who have concealed evidence of the abuse

Manny Vega, of Oxnard, is suing the Vatican and taking on Pope Francis in pursuit of the one thing he’s convinced his nearly 20-year-fight as a clergy abuse survivor and victim advocate has not brought. The litigation, filed Wednesday in federal court for the Central District of California, alleges Vatican leaders have orchestrated a cover-up of priests accused of abuse and … [Read more...]

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