Category Archives: SPIRITUALITY

Sheherazade, Ouverture de feerie (arr. for 2 pianos)


Sheherazade, Ouverture de feerie (arr. for 2 pianos)

today’s holiday: Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo


Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine is best known for his spiritual autobiography, the Confessions, which details the excesses of his youth, his career as a teacher of rhetoric, his years as a believer in Manicheism and Platonism, and his belated conversion to Christianity. It is primarily for his writings that he is known as the patron saint of theologians and scholars, and one of the “Four Latin Fathers” of the Christian Church. When Spanish soldiers landed on the coast of Florida on St. Augustine’s Day in 1565, they named the U.S.’s oldest European community after him. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774)


Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774)

Seton was the first native-born US citizen canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Six years after she founded the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children, her husband died, leaving her with five young children. She later opened a free Catholic elementary school and is considered the mother of the US parochial school system. In 1813, she founded the Sisters of Charity, the first US religious order, and served as its superior until her death. Seton is the patron saint of what? More… Discuss

Liniştea de dinaintea furtunii la graniţa României cu Serbia. Cât de pregătiţi suntem pentru a primi refugiaţi din Orientul Mijlociu: „E o mare problemă!” | adevarul.ro


Situaţia imigranţilor din Balcani şi din apropierea graniţei cu România, în special de la frontiera dintre Serbia şi Ungaria, a pus în alertă şi autorităţile din ţara noastră.

Ştiri pe aceeaşi te

EXCLUSIV Refugiaţii care au speriat Europa. O noapte la gardul care se…

Ridicarea gardului de sârmă ghimpată de către Ungaria, pentru a împiedica invazia refugiaţilor din Serbia, ar putea crea un scenariu dramatic pentru România: refugiaţii care doresc să ajungă cu disperare într-o ţară Occidentală să îşi aleagă o nouă rută, cea prin România.

 

Deocamdată, acest scenariu este privit cu rezervă de autorităţi. Problema se află în mâinile Inspectoratul General pentru Imigrari (IGI), Departamentul Azil şi Integrare (DAI) – structură specializată a Ministerului de Intern, şi Înaltul Comisariat pentru Refugiaţi al Naţiunilor Unite (UNHCR), care sprijină guvernul în consolidarea sistemului de azil şi a legislaţiei în materie de azil.

 

„Inspectoratului General pentru Imigrări se ocupă de cererile şi dosarele celor care solitiă azil, ei sunt cei care le procesează cererile şi dau o decizie. IGI administrează cele şase centre regionale de recepţie şi proceduri pentru solicitanţii de azil: la Timişoara, Galaţi, Rădăuţi, Giurgiu şi Şomcuta Mare. Însă nu toţi solicitanţii de azil sunt cazaţi în centre, mulţi prefer să locuiască în oraş”, a declarat Gabriela Leu, purtător de cuvânt al Înaltul Comisariat pentru Refugiaţi al Naţiunilor Unite (UNHCR).

 

Centru pentru tranzit de la Timişoara, unic în lume

 

Centrul de la Timişoara este unul special, practic unic în lume. Acestea este împărţit între UNHCR – care a înfiinţat Centrul de Tranizt în Regim de Urgenţă, care primeşe refugiaţii în drumul lor spre destinaţia aleasă, şi IGI.

 

„Centrul de Tranzit de la Timişoara este unic în lume. A fost înfiinţat în 2008, în urma unui acord între Guvernul României, UNHCR şi Organizaţia Internaţională pentru Migraţie, semnat la .Aici ajung cei care urmează să fie relocaţi într-o altă ţară. Ei sunt scoşi de UNHCR din pericol, aduşi în România pentru a rezolva dosarele lor, iar apoi pleacă în altă ţară, în SUA, Australia, Marea Britanie, Canada, Norvegia, Olanda şi Suedia. Centrul poate primi 200 de persoane aflate în tranzit. Ei sunt refugiaţi în tranzit. Vin şi pleacă, există un flux. În paralel, IGI are în acelaşi perimetru un centru cu 50 de locuri pentru solicitanţii de azil”, a mai declarat Gabriela Leu.

 

Structuri guvernamentale care se activează în cazul de urgenţă

 

Numărul de cereri de azil inregistrate în Romania în ultimii ani a fost relativ constant, în medie 1.500 cerer pe an, cu excepţia perioadei 2011-2012 când au fost înregistrate 2.064 şi respectiv 2.982 cereri (flux mai mare datorat Primaverii Arabe).

 

„În cazul în care numărul azilanţilor va creşte, se va face o redistribuire la toate centrele de cazare din ţară. Există planuri pentru a face faţă creşterii numărului de solicitanţi de azil. Este un plan pus la cale de IGI şi alte structuri guvernamentale care se activează în cazul de urgenţă. Nu avem cum să facem estimări şi presupuneri. Totul depinde de traseele pe care le aleg migrabnţii pentru a ajunge în Uniunea Europeană. Aceşti oameni sunt epuizaţi, debusolaţi, vor să ajungă cât mai repede la destinaţie. Dar nu putem prezice se ce va întâmpla. Cert este că suntem pregătiţi. Dar se poate schimba totul în orice moment. În acest moment UNHCR face presiuni pe ţările din jur să îi primească pe refugiaţi, să le ofere cazare şi asistenţă, să primească ajutorul necesar. Este vorba de organizaţie a Naţiunilor Unite, ca atare problema trebuie rezolvată la nivel de diplomaţie ca ţările din Europa să găsească modalităţi legale să accepte refugiaţii. Ei nu pot fi trimişi înapoi. Trimiterea lor în ţarile de

via Liniştea de dinaintea furtunii la graniţa României cu Serbia. Cât de pregătiţi suntem pentru a primi refugiaţi din Orientul Mijlociu: „E o mare problemă!” | adevarul.ro.

Boris Godunov, Op. 70bis: Fountain Scene – Polonaise


Boris Godunov, Op. 70bis: Fountain Scene – Polonaise

Saint of the Day for Friday, August 21st, 2015: St. Pius X


Image of St. Pius X

St. Pius X

On June 2, 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto saw the light of earth at Riesi, Province of Treviso, in Venice; on August 20, 1914, he saw the light of heaven; and on May 29, 1954, he who had become the … continue reading

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today’s holiday: Great American Duck Race


Great American Duck Race

This uniquely American event started in 1980 in Deming, New Mexico. Up to 80 live ducks race for cash prizes in an eight-lane chute. There are races that include politicians’ heats and a media heat. Other features include a parade, dances, hot-air balloons, an arts and crafts exhibit, a pageant of people dressed like ducks, and a duck contest in which ducks are dressed like people. Race participants come from several states; spectators now number about 20,000, almost double the population of Deming. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Sunday, August 9th, 2015: St. Edith Stein


Image of St. Edith Stein

St. Edith Stein

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)Virgin and Martyr Edith Stein, born in 1891 in Breslau, Poland, was the youngest child of a large Jewish family. She was an outstanding student and … continue reading

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Tough lessons to learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: just war, nuclear disarmament :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Ruins of Nagasaki, shortly after the Aug. 9, 1945 atomic bombing of the city the United States. Public Domain, via National Archives and Records Administration.

By Kevin J. Jones

Denver, Colo., Aug 6, 2015 / 12:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The 70th anniversary of the US atomic strikes on Japan has prompted reflection, commemoration, and debate about the ethics of war and the world’s nuclear arsenal.

“There’s no winning in nuclear war,” Maryann Cusimano Love, an international relations professor at the Catholic University of America, told CNA. Hiroshima and Nagasaki teach “how horrific nuclear war is.”

“Many folks are not aware of how many nuclear weapons remain with us today and how dangerous these arsenals are,” she continued. “That is why the Catholic Church has continued to argue that we have to get rid of nuclear weapons, that the presence of these weapons is very dangerous for human life and very destabilizing.”

Seventy years ago, the only wartime use of nuclear weapons took place in the Aug. 6 attack on Hiroshima and the Aug. 9 attack on Nagasaki by the United States.

The Hiroshima attack killed around 80,000 people instantly and may have caused about 130,000 deaths, mostly civilians. The attack on the port city of Nagasaki killed about 40,000 instantly and destroyed a third of the city, the BBC reports.

The attacks took a heavy toll on all of Japan’s population, but Nagasaki was a historic center of Catholicism since European missionaries such as St. Francis Xavier arrived in the 16th century. After Japan’s rulers closed the country, in part due to fears of foreign domination, Japanese Catholics survived centuries of persecution before their freedom of religion was secured again in the 19th century.

via Tough lessons to learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: just war, nuclear disarmament :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Just a Thought: Some make their know their armor, while some make their ignorance their spear


Just a Thought: ” Some make their know their armor, while some make their ignorance their spear.”

-George-B.

Saint of the Day for Friday, August 7th, 2015: St. Cajetan


Image of St. Cajetan

St. Cajetan

In 1523, the Church was in sad shape. People could not get the spiritual nourishment they needed from the large numbers of uneducated and even immoral priests who took their money but returned … continue reading

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Catholic News Service: Our Father Prayer in Ohlone Indian language: Blessed Junipero Serra Canonization


Catholic News Service: Our Father Prayer in Ohlone Indian language Blessed Junipero Serra Canonization 

Published on Aug 6, 2015

In preparation for the canonization in America next month of Blessed Junipero Serra, take in these images of some of the historic California missions as an Ohlone Indian descendant recites the Our Father in an early native tongue.
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The Missions of California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
The Missions of California
Missions cover 2007.jpg
Directed by R.J. Adams
Produced by Diane C. Adams
Written by R.J. Adams
Distributed by History Quest Video
Release dates
United States April 10, 2007
Running time
60 mins.
Country U.S.A.
Language English language

The Missions of California is an in-depth documentary covering every aspect of the twenty one California Missions chronologically from San Diego to the Wine Country of Napa-Sanona by using a combination of HD color footage, crystal clear archival film and a rare collection of historic photographs.

Synopsis

Re-tracing the footsteps of the early Spanish Padres along the historic El Camino Real, the film captures and beauty and essence of these legendary landmarks from the inside out. The film also features many of California’s most important events such as the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the great California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century as well many of the state’s most famous personalities.

The Missions

 

Fotografia zilei: Cand pisica si cainele simt nevoia de armonie, unde sant oamenii care simt nevoia de ura?


Fotografia zilei: Cand pisica si cainele simt nevoia de armonie, unde sant oamenii care simt nevoia de ura?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10205600005933117&set=a.1554038684537.95806.1042282421&type=1

Greece in crisis – and what Catholics are doing to help : Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Elise Harris

Athens, Greece, Aug 6, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Greece’s financial and political situation reaches a fever pitch in complexity, Caritas has stepped up and is offering help to the growing number of poor and migrants inhabiting the country.

“Here everything is blocked, everything is difficult. There isn’t work, there isn’t anything. Also Greeks are looking for work, everyone is. It’s a very, very difficult situation,” Father Andrea Voutsinos told CNA Aug. 5.

Fr. Voutsinos is the director of Caritas Greece, which is part of the regional Caritas Europe branch and the wider, all-encompassing Caritas Internationalis.

In a July 5 referendum Greek citizens voted heavily against Europe’s latest bailout offer after the country failed to repay their creditors large amounts of their more than $300 billion debt. The vote raised concerns that the country could suffer a worse economic disaster and lose its place in the eurozone.

Greece has been in financial crisis for years. Economically the weakest nation in the eurozone, it was hit hard during the 2008 global financial crisis. Beginning in 2010, it began receiving financial bailouts, on the condition that it adopt austerity measures such as pension cuts, tax hikes and public sector layoffs.

These austerity measures were a primary motivation in the negative referendum vote, which has left Greece with an increasingly uncertain future.

Unemployment in Greece is currently 25 percent, and individuals are unable to withdraw more than $70 a day from ATMs.

Amid the country’s ongoing dilemma, including a rising number of needy families and a growing number of refugees flooding in from the Middle East, Caritas Greece has been expanding their initiatives to assist more people.

The organization recently launched a new program called “Estia,” aimed at reaching out to families who have nothing, Fr. Voutsinos explained.

In addition to helping families with basic food needs, Caritas also offers assistance in paying for bills and medical insurance, since in Greece you can’t be admitted to the hospital unless you pay, the priest said.

“If they don’t have any work, they can’t bring anything home to live on. We are sending help daily,” he noted, including funds for electric, gas and water bills.

Caritas Greece also runs a large daily soup kitchen, this year feeding nearly 300 extra mouths, including several who are elderly.

However, the country’s growing number of poor is “only half the concern,” Fr. Voutsinos said, explaining that there is also an increasing worry over what to do with the number of refugees who enter into Greece’s southeastern islands from Turkey, making their way to Athens and beyond.

More than 90,000 refugees have entered Greece from the so far this year, most of them from the Middle East, the priest said, and he expects to see even more of an increase before the end of the year. Among those who come are many from Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Every day more arrive from Turkey because it’s so close,” he said. With nowhere to go the refugees often make their way to Athens and sleep on the streets or in parks.

“There is great poverty, because the people don’t have the possibility to buy what’s necessary to eat.” So Caritas tries to help feed them, he said.

In addition to their other initiatives, the charitable organization also has a special project for Syrians who come to Greece, helping them in integrate as well as offering meals through their soup kitchen, assisted by the Missionaries of Charity.

The refugees who come “are looking for a better world,” the priest said, “but when they enter it’s not a better world.”

Despite the various projects Caritas is involved in, Catholics in Greece are a minority, making it difficult to raise the necessary funds in order to meet the country’s rising needs.

With the dominating religion being the Greek Orthodox practice, only 200-300,000 Catholics live in the country, “but by now also the Greek Catholics have lost work. They also ask us for help, but we don’t always have the money because we also have to sustain the parishes,” Fr. Voutsinos said.

As a result, the Caritas branches of Europe, Italy, Latin America and North America have all donated to the Greek branch in order to ensure they have enough funds to continue assisting their needy community.

Pope Francis recently offered his solidarity with Greece ahead of the country’s July referendum, calling for prayer and an attention to human dignity when entering into political debate.

“The news from Greece regarding the economic and social situation of the country is worrying,” Vatican press director Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a July 1 statement on behalf of Pope Francis. The Pope, he said, “invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people.”

Fr. Voutsinos said that the Pope’s words were a consolation for them, but that difficulty remains, and “everyone is a little afraid for the future.”

Tags: Economic crisis, Greece, Caritas Internationalis

via Greece in crisis – and what Catholics are doing to help :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Thursday, August 6th, 2015: St. Hormisdas Pope


Image of St. Hormisdas Pope

St. Hormisdas Pope

Pope from 514-523, successor to St. Symmachus, and father of Pope St. Silverius  Born in Frosinone, Campagna di Roma, Italy, he was an Italian, although he had a Persian name. Married and … continue reading

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2015-08-06 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has appealed to the international community to take action against the continuing persecution of Christians and religious minorities.

In a letter addressed to the Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem and Patriarchal Vicar in Jordan, Maroun Lahham, Pope Francis has expressed his solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Jordan who have fled persecution describing them as the martyrs of today.

Upon the invitation of Archbishop Lahham and of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouwad Toual, the Secretary General of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Nunzio Galantino is currently visiting Jordan to mark the 1st anniversary of the arrival of Iraqi refugees in the nation.

During his visit, Archbishop Galantino will participate in a number of meetings and events and will visit some refugee camps.

Please find below Vatican Radio’s translation of the Pope’s letter:

Your Excellency Mons. Lahham

Dear brother, I take advantage of the visit to Jordan of His Excellency Archbishop Nunzio Galantino, Secretary General of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, to reach with a word of hope so many people who oppressed by violence, have been forced to abandon their homes and their land.

Time and time again I have wished to give voice to the atrocious, inhuman and inexplicable persecutions of those, who in many parts of the world – and especially amongst Christians – are victims of fanaticism and intolerance, often under the eyes and in the silence of all. They are the martyrs of today, humiliated and discriminated against for their faith in the Gospel.

My words, which appeal for solidarity, are the sign of a Church that does not forget and that does not abandon her children who have been exiled on account of their faith: they must know that a daily prayer is raised for them, and that we are grateful for the witness they offer.

My thoughts also go to the Communities that have not looked away and are taking care of these brothers of ours. You proclaim the resurrection of Christ by sharing the pain and by giving help to hundreds of thousands of refugees. Bowing before the misery that risks stifling their hope, your fraternal service illuminates the dark moments of their existence.

May the Lord reward you as only He can, with an abundance of gifts.

And may world opinion be more attentive, sensitive and sympathetic before the persecutions carried out against Christians, and in general, against religious minorities.

I renew my hope that the international community will not assist in silence without taking action in the face of this unacceptable crime, a crime that constitutes an alarming drift from the most basic of human rights which prevents a rich cohabitation between peoples, cultures and faiths.   

Please, I ask you to pray for me.
May the Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you. 

FRANCISCUS
     

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope: divorced and remarried people not excommunicated


2015-08-05 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis resumed his General Audiences on Wednesday, following the summer holiday. In his catechesis, the Holy Father continued his teaching on the family, reflecting on the situation of those who have divorced and entered into a second union.

Listen to Christopher Wells’ report:

“The Church knows well,” he said, “that such a situation contradicts the Christian Sacrament.” However, he continued, the Church, as a Mother, always seeks the good and salvation of all her children. The Pope said it is important for the Church to foster a true welcome for these families in our communities. The Church must always show her pastoral care for those in such situations, especially the children.

Pope Francis noted that the Church in recent decades has developed a greater awareness of the need to be welcoming toward the divorced and re-married. He emphasized that they are still part of the Church – they are not excommunicated, and should not be treated as such, but rather must be encouraged, with their families, to participate in the Church’s life: through prayer, listening to the Word of God, the Christian education of their children, and service to the poor. He pointed to the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who called for careful discernment and wise pastoral accompaniment, while recognizing that there are no “simple solutions” to the difficulties wounded families face.

via Pope: divorced and remarried people not excommunicated.

discover beautiful music with Andras Schiff: Piano sonata op. 24, no. 78 “Fur Therese” (“Beethoven most beautiful melody”)


Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 24 in F-sharp major, Op. 78

Amazing music/performances: Beethoven String Quartet No 2 Op 18 in G major Alban Berg Quartet


Beethoven String Quartet No 2 Op 18 in G major Alban Berg Quartet

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, August 4th, 2015: St. John Vianney


Image of St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day – August 4 Universally known as the “Cure of Ars),” St. John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made … continue readin

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Shroud of Turin featuring positive (L) and negative (R) digital filters. Credit: Dianelos Georgoudis via Wikimedia Commons.

Shroud of Turin featuring positive (L) and negative (R) digital filters. Credit: Dianelos Georgoudis via Wikimedia Commons.

.- The Shroud of Turin has different meanings for many people: some see it as an object of veneration, others a forgery, still others a medieval curiosity. For one Jewish scientist, however, the evidence has led him to see it as a meeting point between science and faith.

“The Shroud challenges (many people’s core beliefs) because there’s a strong implication that there is something beyond the basic science going on here,” Barrie Schwortz, one of the leading scientific experts on the Shroud of Turin, in an CNA.

Admitting that he did not know whether there was something beyond science at play, he added: “That’s not what convinced me: it was the science that convinced me.”

The Shroud of Turin is among the most well-known relics believed to be connected with Christ’s Passion. Venerated for centuries by Christians as the burial shroud of Jesus, it has been subject to intense scientific study to ascertain its authenticity, and the origins of the image.

The image on the 14 feet long, three-and-a-half feet wide cloth is stained with the postmortem image of a man – front and back – who has been brutally tortured and crucified.

Schwortz, now a retired technical photographer and frequent lecturer on the shroud, was a member of the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project which brought prestigious scientists together to examine the ancient artifact.

As a non-practicing Jew at the time, he was hesitant to be part of the team and skeptical as to the shroud’s authenticity – presuming it was nothing more than an elaborate painting. Nonetheless, he was intrigued by the scientific questions raised by the image.  

Despite his reservations, Schwortz recounts being persuaded to remain on the project by a fellow scientist on the team – a NASA imaging specialist, and a Catholic – who jokingly told him: “You don’t think God wouldn’t want one of his chosen people on our team?”

And Schwortz soon encountered one of the great mysteries of the image that still entrances its examiners to this day.

He explained that a specific instrument used for the project was designed for evaluating x-rays, which allowed the lights and darks of an image to be vertically stretched into space, based on the lights and darks proportionately.

For a normal photograph, the result would be a distorted image: with the shroud, however, the natural, 3-D relief of a human form came through. This means “there’s a correlation between image density – lights and darks on the image – and cloth to body distance.”

“The only way that can happen is by some interaction between cloth and body,” he said. “It can’t be projected. It’s not a photograph – photographs don’t have that kind of information, artworks don’t.”

This evidence led him to believe that the image on the shroud was produced in a way that exceeds the capacities even of modern technology.

“There’s no way a medieval forger would have had the knowledge to create something like this, and to do so with a method that we can’t figure out today – the most image-oriented era of human history.”

“Think about it: in your pocket, you have a camera, and a computer, connected to each other in one little device,” he said.

“The shroud has become one of the most studied artifacts in human history itself, and modern science doesn’t have an explanation for how those chemical and physical properties can be made.”

While the image on the Shroud of Turin was the most convincing evidence for him, he said it was only a fraction of all the scientific data which points to it being real.

“Really, it’s an accumulation of thousands of little tiny bits of evidence that, when put together, are overwhelming in favor of its authenticity.”

Despite the evidence, many skeptics question the evidence without having seen the facts. For this reason, Schwortz launched the website http://www.shroud.com, which serves as a resource for the scientific data on the Shroud.

Nonetheless, he said, there are many who still question the evidence, many believing it is nothing more than an elaborate medieval painting.

“I think the reason skeptics deny the science is, if they accept any of that, their core beliefs have been dramatically challenged, and they would have to go back and reconfigure who they are and what they believe in,” he said. “It’s much easier to reject it out of hand, and not worry about it. That way they don’t have to confront their own beliefs.”

“I think some people would rather ignore it than be challenged.”

Schwortz emphasized that the science points to the Shroud being the burial cloth belonging to a man, buried according to the Jewish tradition after having been crucified in a way consistent with the Gospel. However, he said it is not proof of the resurrection – and this is where faith comes in.

“It’s a pre-resurrection image, because if it were a post-resurrection image, it would be a living man – not a dead man,” he said, adding that science is unable to test for the sort of images that would be produced by a human body rising from the dead.

“The Shroud is a test of faith, not a test of science. There comes a point with the Shroud where the science stops, and people have to decide for themselves.”

“The answer to faith isn’t going to be a piece of cloth. But, perhaps, the answer to faith is in the eyes and hearts of those who look upon it.”

When it comes to testifying to this meeting point between faith and science, Schwortz is in a unique position: he has never converted to Christianity, but remains a practicing Jew. And this, he says, makes his witness as a scientist all the more credible.

“I think I serve God better this way, in my involvement in the Shroud, by being the last person in the world people would expect to be lecturing on what is, effectively, the ultimate Christian relic.”

“I think God in his infinite wisdom knew better than I did, and he put me there for a reason.”

Tags: Shroud of Turin

Promote the common good and give workers a raise, Catholic leaders tell Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Credit: fsecart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

By Matt Hadro

Washington D.C., Jul 31, 2015 / 05:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders are calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage, for the good of low-wage workers and their families.

“An economy thrives only when it is centered on the dignity and well-being of the workers and families in it,” stated a letter to members of Congress from Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami and Sister Donna Markham, OP, president of Catholic Charities USA. Archbishop Wenski chairs the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

The current federal minimum wage is not enough for a father working full-time to raise a child out of poverty, the letter said. Furthermore, the wage is static and only increases when Congress raises it – it is not tied to inflation, meaning that in real terms, its falls every year.

“This leads to increased demand for Charities’ services and reliance on the social safety net to make ends meet,” the letter added.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, enacted in 2009 as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act. President Obama has repeatedly pushed for Congress and businesses to raise the minimum wage, most recently calling for it to be hiked to over $10 an hour. In February, 2014 he signed an executive order raising the wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers.

Minimum wage increases have sparked a debate about their influence on businesses and low-wage workers. Supporters argue that according to studies employment is not significantly affected by moderate wage increases, and that pay hikes benefit workers far more than any subsequent drop in employment rates may hurt them.

Opponents claim that mandatory wage hikes disproportionately affect small businesses who may not have the resources to increase wages that big businesses have, and thus must cut low-wage jobs. Many low-wage workers are not fathers with children, they argue, but are younger, less experienced workers who would lose valuable work experience if their jobs were cut because of a wage increase.

Certain businesses have already increased their minimum wages without any law being passed first. For example, the CEO of Seattle-based Gravity Payments made headlines earlier this year by taking a pay cut down to $70,000 a year from $1 million and giving all his employees a pay raise.

In their letter to Congress, Archbishop Wenski and Sister Markham referenced St. John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus, which was written on the 100-year anniversary of the landmark social encyclical Rerum Novarum, on capital and labor.

They quoted the encyclical that “society and the State must ensure wage levels adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family, including a certain amount for savings.”

“This requires a continuous effort to improve workers’ training and capability so that their work will be more skilled and productive, as well as careful controls and adequate legislative measures to block shameful forms of exploitation, especially to the disadvantage of the most vulnerable workers,” the encyclical continued.

Tags: Minimum wage, Minimum wage hike

via Promote the common good and give workers a raise, Catholic leaders tell Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

 

The Papacy Through History: Popes of the Catholic Church


Popes of the Catholic Church

 - (Public Domain)The Papacy Through History

With the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope Francis in 2013, there have been 266 popes in the history of the Catholic Church. The pope is the spiritual leader of Catholicism and the visible head of the Catholic Church. He is the successor to Saint Peter, the first among the apostles and the first pope of Rome. Taken together, the following articles provide a comprehensive list of all the popes of the Catholic Church, divided up by historical era, as well as the years that they reigned.

Biographies of the popes will be linked off of each article; check back often to see which biographies have been added.

Angelus Domini 2015.08.02 : Reserve your seat…


Angelus Domini 2015.08.02

Saint of the Day for Friday, July 17th, 2015: Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne


Saint of the Day for Thursday, July 16th, 2015: St. Carmen


Image of St. Carmen

St. Carmen

According to my resources, the name Carmen is a derivation of Carmel which is one of the titles given to Our Blessed Mother, namely, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is the patronal feast of the … continue reading

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today’s holiday: St. Swithin’s Day


St. Swithin’s Day

When Swithin, the bishop of Winchester, England, died in 862, he was buried according to his wish, outside the cathedral in the churchyard, in a place where the rain from the eaves poured down. This request was reversed after his canonization, when clerical authorities tried to move his remains to a site within the church. According to legend, the heavens opened and there was a heavy rainfall—a show of the saint’s displeasure. This led to the popular belief that if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day, it will rain for 40 days; but if it is fair, it will be dry for 40 days. More… Discus

Stairway to Heaven live (Rodrigo y Gabriela)


Stairway to Heaven live (Rodrigo y Gabriela)

Antony singing If It Be Your Will (sometimes , people find their voice, and once in a while they recognize genius)


Antony singing If It Be Your Will (poem and song by the genius of Leonard Cohen )


Bird on a wire-Perla Batalla_ Special_Features “I’m Your Man”

Va amintesc: Din Muzica Popoarelor: Irish & Celtic Music Collection 1


Irish & Celtic Music Collection 1

great compositions/performances: Ennio Morricone – Cinema Paradiso (In Concerto – Venezia 10.11.07)


Ennio Morricone – Cinema Paradiso (In Concerto – Venezia 10.11.07)

2,441,426

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 14th, 2015: St. Kateri Tekakwitha


Image of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

St. Kateri Tekakwitha

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin, was canonized on 10/21/2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Kateri was born near the town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656, the daughter of a Mohawk warrior. She … continue reading

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today’s holiday: Tekakwitha Feast Day


Tekakwitha Feast Day

The first Native American to be beatified, Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) is a venerated figure among both Catholics and Native Americans. Catholic churches hold mass on her feast day, during which congregants may offer prayers to God through her intercession. Among the North American churches and shrines, sites that have noteworthy feast day celebrations are the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda, New York, where she first encountered Christianity, and the Kateri Center at the Saint Francis-Xavier Mission at Kahnawake, Quebec, where she lived following her conversion. More… Discuss

quotation: My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt. Anna Sewell


My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.

Anna Sewell (1820-1878) Discuss

Pope to Paraguay’s poor: faith without solidarity is dead|CNA (“SOLIDARITY IS THE MESSAGE OF THE ENTIRE CITY”)


Pope Francis waves to the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Wednesday General Audience on May 27, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/Catholic News Agency

Pope to Paraguay’s poor: faith without solidarity is dead

.- On his final day in South America Pope Francis visited the poorest neighborhood in Paraguay’s capitol, encouraging residents to practice solidarity, because without it one’s faith is either hypocritical or dead.

“Jesus didn’t have any problem with lowering, humbling himself unto death for each one of us out of this solidarity among brothers, this love that his Father had for each one of us,” the Pope said in off-the-cuff remarks July 12.

“Remember; when a faith doesn’t have solidarity, it’s weak, it’s ill or it’s dead. It’s not the faith of Jesus.”

He said that faith makes us aware of our commitment and solidarity, with others, which he said is “a human and Christian virtue that many, many, including ourselves, need to understand. A faith which does not draw us into solidarity is a faith which is dead, or which lies.”

The strongest witness their community can give is one of solidarity, he said, explaining that the devil will try to cause division, and if that happens “he breaks you and steals your faith. Solidarity among brothers and sisters. This solidarity is the message for the whole city.”

On the final day of his July 5-13 tour of South America Pope Francis stopped to visit the Bañado Norte neighborhood in Paraguay’s capital Asunciòn, where roughly 100,000 of the poorest of the poor live. Before coming to Paraguay, the Pope visited the nations of Ecuador and Bolivia.

Before giving his speech, the Pope heard testimonies from two residents, who spoke out against the abuse of human rights, the low economy and poor living conditions in the neighborhood.

Angélica Viveros, a member of Bañado Norte’s Saint Philip and James parish, told the Pope that “in the sickness, death, uncertainty, hunger and now the floods forcing thousands of families to abandon our home, we feel the strength, the protection and the closeness of God our Father and Mary our Mother.”

For them to be a part of the Church, she said, means “to feel and touch the suffering flesh of Jesus in the poor who live excluded, in the child on the street, in the Father of the family without work, in the women who are victims of violence, in the youth without horizons due to a lack of opportunity to study and work.”

She said that this is part of their prayers, as well as for residents to participate in fostering unity and solidarity so that everyone lives a dignified live, and they “stop being manipulated by political opportunists who exploit our needs.”

María García, another resident and coordinator of the “Organizations of the Bañados,” lamented how high land and housing prices, low incomes and destruction of indigenous habitats cause the forced displacement of many people and the shantytowns to grow.

The state, she said, “isn’t concerned about us and doesn’t look at us with good eyes. We are not see as subjects with rights, but we are, as we often say, their ‘social liability.’ We are a problem to be solved.”

For the state, she said, the problem is not their needs and wants, but it is “us, our very existence.”

She demanded a “genuine recognition” of being an inseparable part of humanity as a whole, and called for regularized land tenure at affordable costs, that they have the means to improve the land that they already have, and for the possibility of health care and a dignified education.

In his speech, Pope Francis told the residents of Bañado Norte to think about how Mary and Joseph were also left with nothing when they were forced to leave their homes, family and friends in order to a place where they had nothing and knew no one.

“That was when that young couple had Jesus. That was how they gave us Jesus. They were alone, in a strange land, just the three of them,” he said.

However, soon shepherds began to arrive, people just like them who had to leave their homes to find better opportunities for their families, the Pope observed, noting that their lives were also affected by both harsh weather many other hardships.

(But) when they heard that Jesus had been born, they went to see him. They became neighbors. In an instant, they became a family to Mary and Joseph. The family of Jesus.”

This is what happens when Jesus enters into our lives, Francis continued, explaining that faith brings us closer and makes us neighbors to each other. It also awakens a commitment of solidarity, he said.

“A faith which does not draw us into solidarity is a faith which is dead. It is a faith without Christ, a faith without God, a faith without brothers and sisters.”

The first to show this solidarity was Jesus Christ, he said, explaining that “God came in the midst of this people that he elected to accompany them, and he sent his son to this people to save them, to help them…Jesus had solidarity with this people.”

“When faith doesn’t have solidarity, it’s weak, it’s ill or it’s dead. It’s not the faith of Jesus.”

Pope Francis told residents that he, like the shepherds, wants to be their neighbor and to bless their faith and communities. He said that the faith which Jesus awakens in us is what allows us to dream about the future, and to work for it even in the present moment.

He encouraged them to be missionaries, and “to keep spreading the faith in these streets and alleys. Be neighbors above all to the young and the elderly. Be a support for young families and all families which are experiencing difficulty.”

Francis concluded his speech by commending each of the residents and their families to the care of the Holy Family, praying that the witness of Jesus, Mary and Joseph would be light for their path and an encouragement in times of difficulty.

“May the Holy Family always help us to be shepherds who can accompany, support and encourage our families,” he said, and asked the residents to keep him in their prayers.

Tags: Pope Francis, Serving the poor, Pope in South America, Pope in Paraguay

Via Pope to Paraguay’s poor: faith without solidarity is dead|CNA

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, July 8th, 2015: St. Grimbald


Image of St. Grimbald

St. Grimbald

Benedictine abbot also called Grimwald, invited to England by King Alfred in 885. Grimbald arrived in England and declined the see of Canterbury, preferring to remain a monk. He became the abbot of … continue reading

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Saint of the Day for Monday, July 6th, 2015: St. Maria Goretti


Image of St. Maria Goretti

St. Maria Goretti

Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her … continue reading

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From Saints Peter and Paul Pray for Us.


Sts-Peter-and-Paul - Pray for Us

Sts-Peter-and-Paul – Pray for Us (access CBCP News from EUZICASA)

CBCP News

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Download this cool graphic at our website
http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=58893

Great compositions/performances: ALEXANDER BORODIN – String Quartet No 2 in D major


ALEXANDER BORODIN – String Quartet No 2 in D major

Great compositions/performances: Antonin Dvorak , String Quintet No. 3, In E Flat Major, Op 97, by Dvorak Quartet, with Josef Kodousesk, viola


Henry David Thoreau — ‘A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. … ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

Antonin Dvorak,String Quintet No.3, In E Flat Major, Op 97(It is a Viola Quitet)

NEW AT EUZICASA: WIDGET – CIDSE – TOGETHER FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE (CHANGE FOR THE PLANET -CARE FOR THE PROPLE-ACCESS THIS NEW WEBSITE FROM EUZICASA)


CIDSE - TOGETHER FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE (CHANGE FOR THE PLANET -CARE FOR THE PROPLE-ACCESS THIS NEW WEBSITE FROM EUZICASA)

CIDSE – TOGETHER FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE (CHANGE FOR THE PLANET -CARE FOR THE PROPLE – ACCESS THIS NEW WEBSITE FROM EUZICASA)

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:15

“Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today

Written by 

CIDSE Press release, 1 July 2015: “Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @ChangeandCare #change4planet

CIDSE, the international alliance of 17 Catholic development organisations from Europe and North America, will today launch (1s July 2015) a three year (2015-2017) campaign on sustainable lifestyles: “Change for the Planet – Care for the People.”

“CIDSE and its members call for policy changes and sustainable lifestyle choices. We believe that collective and individual changes are crucial to respond to the urgency we face through climate change, environmental degradation and the consequence they have on people’s lives.” said Bernd Nilles, CIDSE Secretary General.

The campaign links Catholic development work for social justice with the promotion of sustainable living. The global over-exploitation of natural resources puts people and planet at risk, and those suffering most are vulnerable communities and the poor. Furthermore, ethical standards being overlooked in the production phase and throughout the supply chain creates a situation which is tolerant and creates further human rights violations. People often want to consume fair and sustainable products, but politics and markets do not follow this demand, by putting profit before people’s interest.

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato si’, states: “Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies”. This campaign aims at contributing to these changes. As Pope Francis affirms, we are convinced that “a change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power”.

“Change for the Planet – Care for the People” therefore calls for a radical change in people’s lifestyles towards living simply and making different and more conscious choices. This campaign will focus over the next three years on energy and food consumption, by calling for better policies as well as on everybody to do their share. Through social media activities, workshops and events we will invite people to make a difference through their daily choices, and to contribute this way to building a better world: cut the amount of the energy you use, buy local and sustainably produced food, place priority on taking public transport, and eat less meat- are examples of daily practices that count. Several successful models of sustainable living all around the world already exist, and our campaign will also be a platform for them to resonate and be tried out by other people. The campaign will further connect people and mobilise the Catholic movement.

In 2015 we especially look to the UN Climate summit in Paris – COP21 (30 November – 12 December) as the key political opportunity to call for a fair global deal for people and planet. Central to this is phasing out fossil fuels and phasing in 100% renewables with sustainable energy access for all. We want to show people’s power to bring about the change we call for, and which policy makers are not delivering. We join our voice with the voices of thousands of people that will mobilise before and during COP21 in Paris and all around the world calling for new models of well-being and development in order to prevent further climate change and to promote justice.

Follow “Change for the Planet- Care for the People” on Facebook and Twitter: @ChangeandCare #change4planet

 

Note to the editors
CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies working together for global justice. Our 17 member organisations from Europe and North America come together under the umbrella of CIDSE to fight poverty and inequality. We challenge governments, business, churches, and international bodies to adopt policies and behaviors that promote human rights, social justice and sustainable development. These are important elements of our mission, which we try to achieve through joint advocacy, campaigning and development cooperation work. We work with people of all faiths and none.
http://www.cidse.org/who-we-are.html
www.cidse.org

For additional information please contact:

Chiara Martinelli
Campaign coordinator
martinelli(at)cidse.org

Valentina Pavarotti
Communications Officer
pavarotti(at)cidse.org

 

“Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today (NEW WIDGET TO ACCESS CIDSE TO FOLLOW SHORTLY AT EUZICASA)


CHANGE FOR THE PLANET CARE FOR THE PEOPLE (VISIT THE WEBSITE)

CHANGE FOR THE PLANET CARE FOR THE PEOPLE (VISIT THE WEBSITE)

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:15

“Change for the Planet – Care for the People”- a new CIDSE sustainable lifestyle campaign launched today

Written by 

Pope Francis: Greed corrupts and is at the root of many wars Vatican Radio


Pope Francis: Greed corrupts and is at the root of many wars Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis warns against the corrupting effects of greed and accumulating wealth for ourselves, saying they are at the root of wars and family divisions. His words came during his homily at his morning Mass on Friday (June 19th) at the Santa Marta residence.

Listen to this report by Susy Hodges:

Taking his inspiration from the day’s gospel reading where Jesus warned his disciples not to accumulate treasures on the earth but instead in heaven, the Pope reflects on the many dangers posed by greed and human ambition. He said these vices end up corrupting and enslaving our hearts and rather than accumulating wealth for ourselves we should be using it for the common good.

Greed corrupts and destroys

“In the end this wealth doesn’t give us lasting security. Instead, it tends to reduce your dignity. And this happens in families – so many divided families. And this ambition that destroys and corrupts is also at the root of wars. There are so many wars in our world nowadays because of greed for power and wealth. We can think of the war in our own hearts. As the Lord said, ‘Be on your guard against avarice of any kind.’ Because greed moves forward, moves forward, moves forward… it’s like a flight of steps, the door opens and then vanity comes in — believing ourselves to be important, believing ourselves to be powerful… and then in the end pride (comes). And all the vices come from that, all of them. They are steps but the first step is avarice, that desire to accumulate wealth.”

Pope Francis conceded that it’s not easy for an administrator or politician to use resources for the common good and an honest one can be considered a saint.

“There’s one thing that is true, when the Lord blesses a person who has wealth, he makes him an administrator of those riches for the common good and for the benefit of everybody, not just for that person. And it’s not easy to become an honest administrator because there’s always that temptation of greed, of becoming important. Our world teaches you this and it takes us along that road. We must think about others and realise that what I own is for the benefit of others and nothing that I have now can be taken with me. But if I, as an administrator, use what the Lord gives me for the common good, this sanctifies me, it will make me a saint.

Don’t play with fire

The Pope said we often hear many excuses from people who spend their lives accumulating wealth but he stressed the only treasures we should be storing up are the ones that have value in ‘the handbag of Heaven’.

“It’s difficult, it’s like playing with fire! So many people calm their consciences by giving alms and they give what they have left over. This is not an administrator: the administrator’s job is to take (what is needed) for himself or herself and whatever is left over is given to others, all of it. Administering wealth means a continual stripping away of our own interests and not believing that these riches will save us. It’s fine to accumulate riches, it’s fine to accumulate treasures but only those who have a value, let’s say, in ‘the handbag of Heaven.’ That’s where we should be storing them u

via Pope Francis: Greed corrupts and is at the root of many wars Vatican Radio.

No Global author at Vatican Event on Climate and poverty Reduction (access the report from euzicasa)


No Global author at Vatican Event on Climate and poverty Reduction (access the story here)

No Global author at Vatican Event on Climate and poverty Reduction (access the story here)

(Vatican Radio) A Catholic climate scientist and a secular Jewish feminist formed an “unlikely alliance” in the Vatican press office on Wednesday to present a two day conference entitled ‘People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course’. The conference, which will take place at the Pontifical Augustinianum University in Rome, includes some 200 political, religious and civil society leaders from all continents who’ll be discussing Pope Francis’ new encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in light of a climate summit to be held in Paris next December.  

The two day conference, which opens on Thursday, has been organised by the Pontifical Justice and Peace Council, together with CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Philippa Hitchen has the details….

via  ‘No Global’ author at Vatican event on climate and poverty reduction  

Radio Vaticana: The approach of Peter (A Photogalery at Radio Vatican website! Check it out from euzicasa!)


RADIO VATICANA_ THE APPROACH OF PETER

Radio Vaticana: The approach of Peter (A Photogalery at Radio Vatican website! Check it out from euzicasa!)

Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 4th, 2015: St. Elizabeth of Portugal


this day in the yesteryear: Henry David Thoreau Begins Two Years of Simple Living (1845)


Henry David Thoreau Begins Two Years of Simple Living (1845)

In 1845, Thoreau, an American author and naturalist, built himself a cabin on the shore of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. He spent the next two years, two months, and two days there, observing nature, reading, and writing. He also kept a journal that he later used to write his masterpiece, Walden, or Life in the Woods, which compresses his time there into a single calendar year and uses the passage of the seasons to symbolize human development. What were Thoreau’s enigmatic last words? More… Discuss

Human dignity must be center of political debate – Pope on Greek debt crisis :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)



Pope Francis greets Greek pilgrims at a General Audience address in St. Peter’s Square, June 25, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
Pope Francis greets Greek pilgrims at a General Audience address in St. Peter’s Square, June 25, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

By Ann Schneible

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2015 / 11:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Wednesday called for prayer for the people of Greece, shortly after the nation defaulted on a significant loan payment on its more than $300 billion debt.

“The news from Greece regarding the economic and social situation of the country is worrying,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, Holy See press officer, said in a July 1 statement. “Pope Francis invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people.”

Greece faces a debate over the role of austerity measures, such as pension cuts and tax hikes, as it negotiates new financial bailouts with its creditors. The country’s unemployment rate is above 25 percent, and individuals are unable to remove more than $70 a day from ATMs.

The Vatican’s statement adds that “the dignity of the human person must remain at the centre of any political and technical debate, as well as in the taking of responsible decisions.”

“The Holy Father wishes to convey his closeness to all the Greek people, with a special thought for the many families gravely beset by such a complex and keenly felt human and social crisis.”

A June 30 deadline for Greece to make a roughly $1.7 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund came and went yesterday.

The country, which is part of the eurozone, has been in financial crisis for years. Economically the weakest nation in the eurozone, Greece was hit hard during the 2008 global financial crisis. Beginning in 2010, it began receiving financial bailouts, on the condition that it adopt austerity measures such as pension cuts, tax hikes, and public sector layoffs.

Greece’s unemployment rate is now around 25 percent and its banks have been closed, with ATM withdrawals limited to roughly $66 a day.

The current ruling party, Syriza, was elected in January on an anti-austerity platform. The next month, Greece negotiated an extension on repaying its debt, but yesterday’s default threatens a breakdown of the situation and raises fears of Greece leaving the eurozone.

Greece will hold a referendum July 5 whether or not to remain in the eurozone, and whether or not to support the terms offered by its creditors for a further, third bailout of some $32 billion lasting two years. Germany, the largest creditor to Greece, is strongly in favor of austerity measures in the Mediterranean country as a condition of another bailout.

Greece is also facing a July 20 payment deadline of more than $3.8 billion to the European Central Bank.

It is feared that without another bailout or an extension of Greece’s repayment deadlines, the nation’s crisis could affect the economic stability of the eurozone.

via Human dignity must be center of political debate – Pope on Greek debt crisis :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Friday, July 3rd, 2015: St. Thomas


Image of St. Thomas

St. Thomas

St. Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas … continue reading

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