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Francis appoints four presidents delegate for youth synod

Vatican City, Jul 16, 2018 / 10:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis appointed Saturday four cardinals as presidents delegate to the synod on youth, which will meet at the Vatican in October.

His July 14 appointments were Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon; Cardinal Désiré Tsarahazana of Toamasina; Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon; and Cardinal John Ribat of Port Moresby.

Each were appointed cardinal by Pope Francis.

The presidents delegate will take turns presiding over the synod on the pope's behalf. They are to guide the synod's work, delgate special tasks, and sign the synod's documents.

The Oct. 3-28 Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation will address questions of sexuality and gender, the role of women, and the desire for a Church which knows how to listen.

The synod's instrumentum laboris was issued last month, and key issues highlighted in it include increasing cultural instability and conflict, and that many young people, both inside and outside of the Church, are divided when it comes to topics related to sexuality, the role of women, and the need to be more welcoming to members of the LGBT community.

Forceful arguments characterize author’s rebuttal of atheism’s claims

Readers of “Inside the Atheist Mind” expecting a tame rebuttal to atheists such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins are in for surprise. Pulling no … Read More

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A good Christian shares the Gospel, pope says

VATICAN CITY — All Christians are called to be missionaries, concerned more with sharing the Gospel than with earning money or even with being successful at winning … Read More

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Organizaciones católicas ayudan en reunificación de niños

WASHINGTON — Algunos de los niños migrantes menores de 5 años que fueron separados de sus familias por el gobierno fueron reunificados con sus seres queridos el … Read More

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For young women and religious, joy radiates at Fiat Days retreat

EMMITSBURG, Md. — Counting on her fingers to keep track of points in an ice-breaker game she was playing with a young woman at the Fiat Days … Read More

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Seeking to support abbey, English monks brew ale — ‘seriously nice’

COALVILLE, England — Cistercian monks have opened the first Trappist brewery in England and are selling thousands of bottles of beer every day. The monks at Mount … Read More

The post Seeking to support abbey, English monks brew ale — ‘seriously nice’ appeared first on The Compass.

Indian officials seek to freeze bank accounts of Missionaries of Charity

BHOPAL, India — Indian officials are seeking to freeze bank accounts of the Missionaries of Charity following the arrest of a nun on child trafficking charges in … Read More

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

July 16 is the day that the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Mount Caramel. Mount Carmel is the mountain in the middle of the plain of Galilee on which the prophet Elijah called down a miracle of fire from the Lord, to show the people of Israel who had strayed that "The Lord is God!" and that the prophets of Baal were worshipping a false god.There is a tradition that traces the Carmelite Order's informal beginnings to the prophet Elijah himself, even though there is no evidence of this.The formal beginnings are attributed to a group of monks who, in the 13th century, began living and praying on the mountain. They venerated the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and from this verenration was derived the name Carmelite.In 1226 the rule of the order was apporved by Pope Honorius III, and 21 years later St. Simon Stock, an Englishman, was elected superior of the order. On July 16, 1251, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Simon and gave him the brown scapular and promised her protection to all those who wear the brown habit.Pope Pius X decreed in the early 20th century that this blessing of the Blessed Virgin would extend to all who wear the medal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was instituted by the Carmelites sometime between 1376 and 1386.

Kenyan court considers guidelines for 'safe abortion'

Nairobi, Kenya, Jul 15, 2018 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Kenya's high court is considering the state of health care in the country, as it hears a case brought on behalf of a young woman who died last month from complications which were related to a back-alley abortion she procured in 2014.

The girl, known by her initials JMM, was raped in 2014 at the age of 15. In December of that year, her guardian “received a call from a relative informing her that the former was vomiting and bleeding heavily at a local clinic where she had gone to seek treatment,” Akello Odenyo reported in The Standard, a Nairobi daily, May 28.

JMM had told clinic staff she had procured an unsafe abortion and that was sent to a variety of hospitals for post-abortive care.

In 2015, JMM's mother, along with the Federation of Women Lawyers and the Centre for Reproductive Rights, filed a suit against the Ministry of Health claiming JMM was not provided with proper post-abortion care and calling on the government to provide access to safe abortions.

JMM developed kidney failure, and died June 10, 2018.

The 2010 Kenyan constitution made abortion legal in certain circumstances – in the cases of emergencies and when the woman’s health is in jeopardy.

Since then, Kenya's health ministry “has withdrawn essential guidelines on conducting safe abortions and banned health workers from training on abortion,” according to Reuters.

The guidelines were removed in 2013 “after it emerged they were being used for unintended purposes,” according to the testimony of Dr. Joel Gondi, head of the Reproductive and Maternal Health Service Unit, The Star reported.

“The guidelines, amongst other things, provided clarity on who could perform abortions, safe-guarding against illegal practitioners,” reported Reuters. “The ban on training has meant fewer health professionals available to perform the procedure or after care.”

The suit filed on JMM's behalf maintains that the poor care she received following her abortion was a result of the lack of safe abortion services. Petitioners seek the reinstatement of the abortion guidelines, and an end to the ban on training health workers on performing abortion.

The Ministry of Health reported in May that the country had spent 533 million Kenyan shillings ($5.29 million) treating complications from back-alley abortions.

Evelyne Opondo of the Centre for Reproductive Rights said that “While JMM was entitled to quality post abortion care irrespective of whether it was within the law or otherwise, she did not receive it from the point of first contact with the health system. Instead there were several delays and missed opportunities to mitigate the adverse effect of the unsafe abortion on her health and life.”

JMM's mother said that her daughter's death “was entirely preventable,” and maintained that “Kenya has to make abortion safe and accessible.”

The Kenyan high court heard three-day of testimony this week in the case. It has been adjourned until Sept. 18, and a verdict is expected before the end of the year.

Among the testimonies heard by the court was that of Dr. Wahome Ngari, who said that figures on the number of back-alley abortions procured, which are used to argue for the expansion of abortion rights, are wildly inflated.

Ngari said that a report by a reproductive health firm which had been cited in the court and which estimated 400,000 unsafe abortions in 2002 was inaccurage.

The physician said the correct figure was 140,000, The Standard reported.

Such inflation “was used in Malawi to push the Government to repeal their abortion law,” he told the court.

Ngari said the focus on health care for pregnant women in Kenya should begin with blood loss.

“The reason pregnant mothers die in the country is haemorrhage, followed by infections, hyperactive disorders, prolonged or obstructed labour and lastly abortion. Anyone who wants to offer a solution should follow that order.”

A good Catholic proclaims the Gospel, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Jul 15, 2018 / 05:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- By virtue of their Baptism, every Catholic is called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ – a mission which cannot be separated from the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said Sunday.

“It is truly [our] Baptism that makes us missionaries,” the pope said in off-the-cuff comments July 15. “A baptized person who does not feel the need to proclaim the Gospel, to announce Jesus, is not a good Christian.”

The first necessary element of all authentic missionary discipleship is the “changeless center, which is Jesus,” he said. This is because proclaiming the Gospel cannot be separated from Christ or from the Church.

Announcing the Gospel “is not an initiative of individual believers, groups or even large groups, but it is the Church’s mission inseparably united with her Lord,” Pope Francis said. “No Christian proclaims the Gospel ‘on his own,’ but only sent by the Church who received the mandate from Christ himself.”

Speaking during his weekly Angelus address, the pope reflected on the Christian’s mission as seen when Jesus sends out his disciples “two by two” to preach repentance.

Jesus’ message to his disciples in this episode of the Gospel concerns not just priests, but every baptized person, who is “called to witness, in the various environments of life, the Gospel of Christ,” he said.

Like the disciples were warned, the message may not be welcomed, but this aligns with what Jesus himself experienced, the pope said, noting that he was “was rejected and crucified.”

“Only if we are united with him, dead and risen, can we find the courage of evangelization,” Francis said.

Noting that the center of the mission must always be Christ, he pointed to examples of saints from Rome who are examples of being “humble workers of the Kingdom,” such as St. Philip Neri, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, St. Frances of Rome, and Bl. Ludovica Albertoni.  

They did not work to advance themselves or their own ideas or interests, but acted always as messengers sent by Jesus, he said.

Pointing to the Blessed Virgin Mary as “the first disciple and missionary of the Word of God,” the pope concluded by asking her help to bring “the message of the Gospel to the world in a humble and radiant exultation, beyond any rejection, misunderstanding or tribulation.”