VATICAN CITY — Last year, more than 13 million people around the world watched Pope Francis explain one of his specific prayer intentions each month.
The 90-second, personal explanations in "The Pope Video," first launched in January 2016, encouraged people to join an estimated 50 million Catholics who already had a more formal relationship with The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network — better known by its former title, the Apostleship of Prayer.
By Mark Pattison | Catholic News Service | twitter: @MeMarkPattison
WASHINGTON — The U.S. abortion rate is down to its lowest level since the Supreme Court made abortion legal virtually on demand in 1973, and the rate is half of its early-1980s peak.
According to a study issued Jan. 17 by the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate for U.S. women ages 15-44 is 14.6 per 1,000 in 2014, the last year for which statistics are available. The figure represents a 14 percent decline from the 2011 numbers, and less than half of the 1981 rate of 29.4 abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age.
By Cyndi Wooden | Catholic News Service | twitter: @Cindy_Wooden
VATICAN CITY — When a group of German Christians was asked in 2014 to prepare materials for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, their choice of a "wall" as a symbol of sin, evil and division explicitly referred to the Berlin Wall.
The German reflections on the power of prayer to bring down walls and the Gospel call to reconciliation were adopted by the World Council of Church's Faith and Order Commission and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and proposed to Christians worldwide for the Jan. 18-25 octave of prayer.
By Junno Arocho Esteves | Catholic News Service | twitter:@arochoju
VATICAN CITY — Parents are charged with guarding the faith given to their children at Baptism and helping them become true witnesses by example rather than just rules, Pope Francis said.
By asking the Church for faith for their children through the sacrament of baptism, Christian parents have the task of helping their children to grow so that they "may be witnesses for all of us: also for us priests, bishops, everyone," the pope said during a Mass in the Sistine Chapel.
At Mass Jan. 8, the feast of the baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis baptized 28 infants — 15 boys and 13 girls.