On March 15, 2011, the so-called Arab Spring arrived in the Middle Eastern nation of Syria taking the form of demonstrations calling for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. The growth of the demonstrations soon provoked Assad, whose family has been in power since 1971, into deploying the army against the uprising. The resulting civil war soon grew to its current state which finds approximately nine separate factions all pitted against the government.
The U.S. Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. The statement follows:
At 8 p.m. (Rome time) on February 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI’s reign as Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church came to an end. He had bid farewell to a large crowd gathered at the Vatican City a few hours earlier to travel to Castel Gandolfo, where he will live for about two months before moving to a monastery inside the Vatican City. Greeted by several hundred more of the faithful upon his arrival, the Pope offered his final apostolic blessing and departed the Castel Gandolfo balcony saying, “Thank you and good night. Thanks to all of you.”
On March 12, the cardinals of the Church gathered to begin the conclave to elect the successor of Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to being locked in the Sistine Chapel, the cardinals celebrated Mass together in preparation for the task ahead. While only those cardinals under the age of 80 are eligible to participate in the conclave, all of them joined in the Mass.
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Did you know that in and through your body you are given a gift and a task to be a window into eternity? Blessed Pope John Paul II states that “the body and it alone is capable of making visible the invisible, the spiritual and Divine.” Humanity, he said, is called to reveal God in and through the body.