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Sign of peace at Mass: Vatican says it stays put, but urges education

Eileen Schwingle shares the sign of peace with a young man during Mass in July at the cathedral in Green Bay, Wis. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass) Posted on August 1st, 2014

In 2005, members of a synod of bishops formally questioned whether the sign of peace should be placed elsewhere in the Mass, for example at the end of the prayer of the faithful and before the offering of the gifts.


Cleric blames surge of rapes in India on pornography, loss of values

A demonstrator shouts slogans during a rape protest in Bangalore, India, July 19. A study by the New Delhi-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative discovered that two rapes have been reported every hour for the last 13 years, according to crime data collected by India's National Crime Records Bureau. (CNS photo/Stringer, Reuters) Posted on August 1st, 2014

Two rapes have been reported every hour for the last 13 years in India, and the rate of sexual violence is rising despite protests. Activists say many cases go unreported because of stigmatization and intimidation by culprits.


Church workers fight fear, myths as Ebola worsens in Sierra Leone

Posted on August 1st, 2014

It is hard for people in Sierra Leone not to lose hope as the death toll rises to 729 in three West African countries and worldwide fear grows over the worst Ebola outbreak on record, said the head of Caritas in the Archdiocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone.


With focus on Gaza, Islamists can kill at will in Iraq, Anglican cleric says

Boys look at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 1. One Anglican official said more than 1,500 people were killed in Iraq in late July in violence perpetrated by the Islamic State extremists. (CNS photo/Wissm al-Okili, Reuters) Posted on August 1st, 2014

Some Christian leaders working in Iraq feel that brutal Islamist militants are literally getting away with murder, now that the world’s attention is focused on Gaza’s increasingly desperate situation.


Desperation of people in Gaza spurs violence, church leaders say

A Palestinian family rides a motorcycle as they flee their house in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Aug. 1. (CNS photo/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, Reuters) Posted on August 1st, 2014

Israeli and Hamas leaders should use binoculars so they could see that “most of your victims are innocent people,” said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas Internationalis, adding that reconciliation requires recognizing each other as human beings.


Happily married to Jesus

The panel of women speaking at an information session July 30 at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center included consecrated virgins from all walks and from across the country. (Photos by Maria Tucker) Posted on August 1st, 2014

Dozens of women from across the United States who have vowed their virginity as spouses of Christ discussed their lives and unique roles as consecrated virgins, and what it means for the Catholic Church.


Some seeds take time to cultivate

Posted on August 1st, 2014

Deacon Michael Pascarella, who has been named to lead the permanent diaconate ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, hesitated when he heard God’s call to ordained ministry as a child, as a young man, and as a family man. Then he answered, and by grace, his life and ministry are full.


Meeting 200 Pentecostals, Pope Francis talks of unity

Posted on August 1st, 2014

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — His voice breaking with emotion, Giovanni Traettino, a Pentecostal pastor in southern Italy and longtime friend of Pope Francis, welcomed the pope, who said he knows people were shocked that he would make a special trip to visit a group of Pentecostals, “but I went to visit my friends.”


High in the Andes, Peruvian artisans create sacred art

Yony Romero, pictured in late June, paints a wooden panel that will be installed as the stations of the cross at the congressional chapel in Lima, Peru. (CNS photo/Elie Gardner) Posted on July 31st, 2014

Freddy Cerna is about the same height as the statue he carves from Italian Carrara marble. His backward baseball cap and buggy protective goggles are a sharp contrast to the delicate face he perfects with his carving tools. The statue of Mary, her hands folded in prayer, stares back at him.


Idaho campus ministers see colleges as ‘places of evangelization’

Campus ministers Pete Espil and Jesuit Father Jack Bentz pose for a photo July 21. (CNS photo/Mike Brown, Idaho Catholic Register) Posted on July 31st, 2014

They are, without a doubt, an odd couple. One is a Jesuit with a history in campus ministry, taking over the reins at St. Paul Catholic Student Center in Boise. The other is a tattooed, earring-and-bandanna-wearing, lifelong youth minister stepping in at St. John Catholic Student Center in Pocatello.


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