The term “natural law” appears frequently in discussions of law and morality. But what does the Catholic Church mean by the phrase? In discussions on morality and legal issues, we often hear the term “natural law.” However, almost every time I’ve seen it used outside the context of academic Catholic philosophy and theology, I see

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On July 26, 2016 terrorists associated with ISIS killed the 86-year-old priest while he was celebrating Mass. Five years ago today Fr. Jacques Hamel was murdered while celebrating Mass by two Muslim men pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.   The two men came into the Normandy church on July 26, 2016, yelling ““Allahu Akbar!”

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Without Christ, the apostles are not able to provide for the needs of the people. Diligent and well-intentioned, the disciples find themselves in a panic, because they recognize that they have not the means to care for the assembled crowd. No Christian, by his or her own competence, his or her own strength, is able

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JAPAN CROSS

Christians in Japan were forced into hiding during the 17th century. After 1871, a beautifully lacquered crucifix like this would have been displayed with pride. All eyes are on Japan as the summer Olympic Games officially begin today, after being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The attention will be on sporting

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Sen. Steve Daines introduces the Protecting Life on College Campus Act. In response to a new California law requiring public colleges and universities to provide abortion pills to students, a U.S. senator has introduced legislation that would ban federal funding of any college or university whose health centers perform abortions or offer abortion pills to

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The wildly popular multi-season series on the life of Jesus conclude the second season with a unique and inspiring take on the Beatitudes. “Honestly Father, when you assigned the class to watch a Jesus show I was pretty skeptical. Most of that kind of stuff isn’t any good. But this was really good!”  I teach

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Uttar Pradesh would deny larger families certain benefits. While China is rolling back its restrictions on the number of children a family may have, one of India’s largest states is toying with the idea of imposing a two-child-per-family limit. AsiaNews reported that Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced last week that the state wants

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There’s no getting around it, redemption costs. The price is high. Freedom from sin is won by the sacrifice of the blood of the Lamb. Unity is Bloody Business Traditionally July is the month of the year dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ. However, this theme can ring a bit dissonant in our lives,

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Prophets have not always been called prophets — not even in the Bible. In fact, the word prophet is a relatively new one. It was used to translate the Hebrew nevi’im into Greek around the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, and later adopted by early Christian Churches. And whereas the Greek prophétēs certainly says something

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A leader of the Syriac Orthodox Church called the decade-old economic sanctions, “misdirected” Advocates for Christian minorities in the Middle East called for an end to international economic sanctions against Syria on Tuesday at the International Religious Freedom Summit held in Washington, DC. “I am filled with anguish after witnessing the desperate starvation affecting my

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The congregation of the Daughters of the Resurrection appeals for prayers. The international pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need reports the kidnapping of a religious sister of the congregation of the Daughters of the Resurrection in Goma, in the region of Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to local ACN

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Saying hospitality is at the very core of Scripture is not an exaggeration. Saint Benedict of Nursia is customarily considered the father of Western monasticism. This is not to say that he was the first Christian monk. That title often goes to Anthony the Great, credited with starting the tradition. Monastic, eremitic Christian life was

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According to ACN’s Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021, the area has become one of the hotspots for militant jihadism in Africa. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has received news of a jihadist attack on Fantio and Dolbel, two towns in the Tillabéri region in southwestern Niger. Survivors of the attack fled

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After a year and a half without pilgrimages due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Patriarch of Jerusalem welcomed a group of tour guides, priests, and journalists. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, welcomed the first group of pilgrims to the Holy Land since the COVID-19 lockdown was put in place a year and a half

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His witness will inspire many others to work for the poor, fellow priest says. Fr. Stanislaus Lourduswamy, popularly known as Fr. Stan or Fr. Swamy, the Indian Jesuit who died of COVID-19 while under arrest, conducted a “relentless mission” to lift up the country’s tribal peoples and lower castes, said one of countless Indian leaders

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“It’s the death of dignity, and this is not a good way for a child of God to be gone,” says Miami priest Fr. Reginald Jean-Mary. A Miami Catholic priest who personally knew President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti called the leader’s assassination Wednesday morning “the death of democracy.” “It’s the death of dignity, and this

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Country becomes fifth in Europe to allow physician-assisted suicide. Now that Spain has become the fifth European nation to legalize physician-assisted suicide, the country’s Catholic bishops have called for a “strong movement” to protect human life. They also called for a provision allowing conscientious objectors to the new law to exercise their conscience and opt

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Italians especially express their good wishes to Pope Francis, bishop of Rome. “I wish my dear brother @Pontifex a speedy recovery to resume his dedication to humanity,” Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, said on his Twitter account on July 5. Pope François underwent colon surgery July 4 at the Gemelli polyclinic in Rome. He “reacted

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In the book of Esther, God is nowhere to be found. How did this book get into the Bible? Reading the Bible (and properly understanding it, as much as is actually possible) often proves to be a difficult task. It requires both patience and training. It demands attentiveness to detail, some general knowledge of the

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Alberta premier condemns “violent hate crime targeting Catholic community.” Another Catholic church in western Canada has burned down, but this time the structure was not on Indigenous land. Historic Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Morinville, Alberta, was destroyed in a fire Wednesday that officials are suspecting was arson. “Today in Morinville, l’eglise de Saint-Jean-Baptiste was destroyed in what

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Because of economic and political crises, Lebanon’s status as a safe place for Christians is no longer secure. The economic and political crisis in Lebanon, home to the Middle East’s largest Christian community, has deepened ahead of a historic July 1 meeting between Pope Francis and Christian leaders from the country. This week, the country’s

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Investigations continue, as blazes possibly related to discoveries of unmarked graves at former indigenous schools. A Catholic church in the Province of Alberta seems to be the latest in a string of attacks on churches in western Canada. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police east of Calgary said that they are investigating a fire that appeared

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If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible. Here are some numbers: 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian Each month, readers view more than 50 million

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Laughter helps us cope with difficult situations, improves our mood, and creates positive relationships with others. In a time like this, full of difficulties, doubts and conflicts, some people might say that all we can do is laugh or cry.  While sometimes crying is a healthy reaction, laughter can also be a valuable aid to

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The cave church in the Malta National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Melliehastands out from the others because it holds a wall painting of the Virgin Mary called Hodegetria (the Virgin who shows the way). The Rollo document of AD 1436, of Bishop De Mello,  clearly states that a parish already existed in Mellieħa.

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Pope emeritus lent several objects to the Rome show, mounted by liturgical artist Albano Poli. The 70th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Joseph Ratzinger — Pope Benedict XVI — is being celebrated in an art exhibit in Rome. The exhibit, titled “Cooperatores Veritas,” after Pope Emeritus Benedict’s episcopal motto, opens June 29 at Galleria

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USCIRF concerned about sentences for blasphemy and proselytizing. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) this week condemned several court decisions in Algeria that restrict Christians’ religious freedom in the country. “Recent decisions by Algerian courts to sentence Christians accused of blasphemy and proselytizing to multi-year prison sentences and to seal Protestant churches

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Abortion isn’t an “essential health service” nor a “human right.” The European Parliament is expected to vote a controversial report referring to abortion an “essential health service” and a “human right” on Wednesday this week. Presented by the Croatian MEP Predrag Fred Matić and titled: “The situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in

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As Americans continue to get vaccinated, bishops restore obligation. More and more dioceses are lifting the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation, with many restoring the obligation in the month of June. In the Diocese of San Diego, California, Bishop Robert McElroy this past week announced that Catholics will need to attend Mass in person

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Inspired by St. John Henry Newman, a holy English priest and poet wrote eloquent and moving thoughts about kindness. Priest and poet … this double vocation made Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), an English Calvinist theologian who converted to Catholicism, the author of magnificent spiritual reflections. As a poet, he was a friend of Wordsworth, and

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Three-child policy might not go far enough to counter foreseen economic woes. The People’s Republic of China might end all restrictions on family size by the end of 2025, the Wall Street Journal has reported. China ended its long-standing one-child-per-couple policy in 2016, and has since further loosened the restrictions. This spring, the Chinese Communist

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Franciscan Fr. Juan Antonio Orozco Alvarado, 33, apparently got in the way of rival drug gang gunfire. A priest was killed in a hail of bullets while he was on his way to celebrate Mass in north central Mexico Saturday. Franciscan Fr. Juan Antonio Orozco Alvarado, 33, apparently got in the way of rival drug

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In a video address to the 2021 Bratislava Forum, the pope urged political leaders to tackle the world’s socio-economic, ecological and political issues. In a video message to global leaders attending the 2021 Bratislava Forum, Pope Francis urged politicians to address the socio-economic, political and ecological ills that existed even before the COVID-19 crisis, according

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The mustard seed can be interpreted as the Church, or even the disciples, or as Christ. These understandings help to illuminate the mystery of Jesus’ parable, and aids us in coming to know the Lord better. And yet there is a fourth possibility. Jesus, teaching his disciples, tells them that the Kingdom is like a

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For many, the pandemic was an introduction to online education. Now, a Catholic educational organization is offering it as an alternative to in-person learning. It might not be for everyone, but some Catholic dioceses are getting ready to offer permanent online education for grammar school kids. While schools of all kinds struggled to keep up

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The story of St. Thomas Becket offers a glimpse into an era when the struggle between church and state came to a head – literally St. Thomas Becket was very much a man of the Middle Ages. He climbed the ladder of influence with extraordinary speed, and was cut down even faster. We don’t know

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The gift was a nod to to the pope’s commitment to the care of Creation. Pope Francis received Alexander Van der Bellen, President of the Republic of Austria, at the Vatican on June 7, the Holy See Press Office announced. The two discussed environmental and diplomatic issues, but the meeting was especially noteworthy because of

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