EDITORIAL | On abortion and contraception, Vatican puts words in context

On successive days in mid-January, Pope Francis and his top collaborator at the Vatican made public statements that provided a lesson in Franciscan contextualization of highly loaded moral issues.

On Jan. 13, the pope told the Vatican diplomatic corps that he found it "horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

EDITORIAL | Birth of Jesus is a time to treasure all life

Christmas is a time to celebrate life, as we mark the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

The Church affirms that every life is a gift from God and as such has to be defended, from conception to natural death.

Today, with the resumption of executions in Missouri after a three-year absence due to questions over the method of lethal injection, it is time to once again reflect on life and society's use of the death penalty.

EDITORIAL | Person of the Year

It's quite an honor that Pope Francis has been named Time magazine's Person of the Year.

With his wide appeal and the great amount of attention to his pontificate so far, said Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, it should come as no surprise that he's been given this honor.

"Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly -- young and old, faithful and cynical -- as has Pope Francis," the magazine noted on its website. "With a focus on compassion, the leader of the Catholic Church has become a new voice of conscience."

Editorial | Super-charged to serve Christ

When Sherry Weddell, co-founder and co-director of the Catherine of Siena Institute, created "The Catholic Spiritual Gifts Inventory," she did so in response to the lack of availability of Catholic-specific methods of discerning gifts.

Based on the wisdom of Church teaching and tradition, the inventory gives Catholics a way to discover their God-given charisms. In the introduction to the inventory, Weddell said it was her prayer that Catholics "might experience the joy of finding and filling their unique place in the mission of Christ's body, the Church."

Thank you for your contributions to the Annual Catholic Appeal

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today, we announce and celebrate the success of the 2013 Annual Catholic Appeal. Thank you for contributing so generously in this "Year of Faith."

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