Nation and World News

Pope: Greed, throwaway culture fuel 'hidden euthanasia' of elderly

Pope Francis greeted people during an encounter with the elderly in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 28.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.

In the presence of his predecessor, Pope Francis also thanked Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for staying to live at the Vatican and being like "a wise grandfather at home."

"A people who don't take care of their grandparents and don't treat them well is a people with no future. Why no future? Because they lose the memory (of the past) and they sever their own roots," he said.

USCCB president suggests Sept. 28 as day of prayer for upcoming synod

WASHINGTON -- Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has joined Pope Francis and the office for the Synod of Bishops in encouraging a universal day of prayer Sept. 28 for the upcoming synod on the family.

The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will take place at the Vatican Oct. 5-19.

Archbishop Kurtz, head of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, called the synod as "an important moment for the Church and for families."

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Bishop Cupich named to succeed Cardinal George as Chicago archbishop

Pope names panel to streamline marriage annulment process

VATICAN CITY -- Two weeks before the start of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, the Vatican announced the formation of a special commission to reform the process of granting marriage annulments.

"The work of the commission will start as soon as possible and will have as its goal to prepare a proposal of reform of the matrimonial process, with the objective of simplifying its procedure, making it more streamlined, and safeguarding the principle of the indissolubility of matrimony," said a Vatican statement Sept. 20.

Oklahoma archbishop calls Holy Hour 'a powerful witness of faith'

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City's archbishop called the overflow crowd at a Sept. 21 eucharistic Holy Hour "a powerful witness of faith."

More than 600 people filled St. Francis of Assisi Church for the prayer service led by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley. Another 1,400 people stood in overflow areas and outdoor prayer gardens to listen to his homily over loud speakers.

The Holy Hour was celebrated as a response to a Satanic "black mass" held the same day in a downtown arena.

Pax Christi leaders alarmed that airstrikes will aid ISIS recruiting

WASHINGTON -- Expanded airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria serve as little more than a recruiting tool for the extremist group and place more innocent people in danger, the leadership of Pax Christi International said.

The three top leaders of the Catholic peace organization also called upon the world, particularly the United Nations, to work together to seek nonviolent alternatives to stop the Islamic State's expansion and influence in Iraq and Syria.

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