Nation and World News

Catholic high school students work to end bullying ‘Piece-by-Peace’

This is the graphic design of an award-winning board game called “Piece-by-Peace” created by three seniors at Mater Dei High School in Evansville, Ind. Each of the colors represents either a form of bullying, facts about bullying or information about combating bullying.

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Austin Bowen, Noah Harrison and Michaela Kunkler, seniors at Mater Dei High School in Evansville, have ideas about how to combat bullying. Those ideas have helped them each land a full scholarship to the University of Evansville.

The trio recently won the university's High School Changemaker Challenge; the grand prize is a full scholarship to the university for each member of the winning team.

Priests and marriage: Pope’s response not so new after all

Pope Francis greeted a new priest at an ordination Mass April 26, 2015, in St. Peter’s Basilica. In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit in early March, Pope Francis discussed the possibility of examining whether to allow married men to become priests.

VATICAN CITY — While Pope Francis' recent comments on the subject of married priests made headlines around the world, his response falls clearly in line with the thinking of his predecessors.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, published in early March, Pope Francis was asked if allowing candidates for the priesthood to fall in love and marry could be "an incentive" for combating the shortage of priestly vocations.

He also was asked about the possibility of allowing married "viri probati" — men of proven virtue — to become priests.

Marketing the Church requires local efforts, sharing Gospel

Irish Bishop Paul Tighe, adjunct secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, spoke March 10 at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. At right is Helen Osman, a communication adviser. Bishop Tighe said of the festival, “Despite all the sophistication, coolness, sarcasm and the irony at an event like this, I think if you speak with authenticity, there’s still a possibility of touching people’s hearts.”

AUSTIN, Texas — McDonald's, Apple, Starbucks and ... the Catholic Church?

In terms of recognizable organization names, the Catholic Church has to rank near the top. But, does it view itself as a brand to be marketed?

POPE’S MESSAGE | Shady business deals that threaten employment a ‘grave sin’

Pope Francis greeted people March 12 on a visit at the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa.

VATICAN CITY — Employers who make business deals that threaten people's livelihood commit a sin that robs men, women and their families of their dignity, according to Pope Francis.

"Whoever — because of economic maneuvering and business dealings that are not all clear — closes factories and businesses and takes work away from men and women commits a grave sin," the pope said March 15 before concluding his weekly general audience.

Faith and science closely linked

This artist’s concept shows what the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system may look like, based on available data about the planets diameters, masses and distances from the host star. The system has been revealed through observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope. The seven planets of TRAPPIST-1 are all Earth-sized and terrestrial, according to research published in 2017 in the journal Nature.

Recent headlines about the TRAPPIST-1 solar system and its seven Earth-sized planets have created quite a buzz among astrophysicists, astronomy lovers and the general population.

Surrounding a dwarf star, the system is relatively close at 40 light years from earth, and three of the planets are in the so-called habitable zone, which means a TRAPPIST-1 planet "easily could have developed a life form," Jesuit Father Robert J. Spitzer said Feb. 27 at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

With an important caveat.

Egyptian priest praises Muslim support of threatened Christians

Displaced Egyptian Christian families, who used to live in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, sat near their belongings after arriving Feb. 24 at a church in Ismailia. Catholic churches in Ismailia, with help from Caritas, have helped Coptic Orthodox fleeing Islamic State attacks in North Sinai.

OXFORD, England — A spokesman for Egypt's Catholic Church praised local Muslims for helping embattled Christians after a series of Islamic State attacks in Sinai.

Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Church, said Christians must differentiate between ordinary Muslims and extremists.

"Ordinary Muslims are kind and try to help however they can — they're often first on the scene, rescuing the injured and taking them to hospitals," he said March 3, as Christians continued to flee Egypt's North Sinai region.

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