Dr. Gordon Neufeld – A Vancouver-based developmental psychologist

Dr. Gordon Neufeld.

How can families remain strong and loving? How can parents and children have healthy, loving relationships? These are some of the great questions of our time, a time in which the traditional family is under attack from many sides. And there seems little doubt that the harm caused by the breakdown of the traditional family […]

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Zelja Markic – Head of the Croatian citizens’ group “In the Name of the Family”


On December 1, Croatia took a stand against the growing worldwide tide in favor of the legal recognition of homosexual marriage. One of the leaders against such recognition was Zelja Markic, head of the citizens’ group “In the Name of the Family,” which helped organize voters against the initiative. For her role in recognizing that the fundamental characteristic […]

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José Maria Di Paola, “Padre Pepe” – This Argentine priest works in the slums of Buenos Aires


He is “one of the men whom I respect the most and to whom I listen attentively, and not just because he is a priest,” Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) said in 2010. “He is a man of God who does my soul and my spiritual life much good.” The man he was speaking […]

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Gregory III Laham – Patriarch of the Greek Melchite Church in Syria


Patriarch Gregory is pastor of the Greek-Catholic community in Syria, where violence against Christians has been escalating. The patriarch, with more than 150,000 faithful, is an advocate for the diminishing and endangered Christian communities in the Near and Middle East. He promotes reconciliation as the anchor of salvation for Syria and for the future of […]

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Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin – Auxiliary Bishop of Shanghai, China

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin

The Auxiliary Bishop of Shanghai, China, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, has been under house arrest in Sheshan Seminary in China since July 2012. For his steadfast faith in the face of the governmental power which has impeded him from exercising his religious ministry, we are proud to include Bishop Ma among our “Top Ten” people of 2103 for […]

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Reggie Littlejohn – A graduate of Yale Law School and Founder and President of Women’s Rights without Frontiers

Reggie Littlejohn.

China’s one-child policy, after more than 40 years, is beginning to end. After four dec­ades and the deaths of millions of children through abortion (a majority of them girls), the government has loosened — though not ended — its cruel “one-child” policy. The change, rumored in November, was announced at the end of December. The […]

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Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk – Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk.

Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 43, was born in 1970 in Ukraine, then under Communist rule and part of the Soviet Union. Still, despite the policy of state atheism, he received and maintained his Christian faith. Now he has become the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the largest Eastern-rite Church in union with Rome. For his […]

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Sister Antonietta Colacchi – Nun of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and Director of the Dispensary of Santa Marta


“Our days are marked by the joy of being a Christian, by the brightness of a smile, and by the warmth of gratitude!” Sister Antoinetta Colacchi said to Pope Francis on December 14 when the Pope visited the Dispensary of Santa Marta in Vatican City, which she directs. The dispensary is a small clinic tucked […]

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Athanasius Schneider – Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakhstan

Athanasius Schneider.

“Preferential option for the poor”: this formula has long been used in the Church, in line with the teachings and commands of Our Lord, to indicate that the Christian faithful should accord preferential treatment to the less advantaged and fortunate sections of society, the marginalized, downtrodden, powerless, defenseless, vulnerable. And who are the “poorest of […]

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Louis Raphaël I Sako – Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon

Louis Raphaël I Sako.

Could the entire Middle East be without Christians? Even to ask that question seems shocking, but the reality is that, after 2000 years of a significant Christian presence in the region, the events of recent years have raised this question. “We must not resign ourselves to think of a Middle East without Christians,” Pope Francis […]

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Men of the year: Benedict XVI and Francis

Two men gave remarkable testimonies of faith to the world during 2013: Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned his office on February 28, and Pope Francis, who was elected to be his successor on March 13. Pope Benedict, in his courageous decision to step down, taken after a long period of meditation and reflection, gave an […]

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Pope Consults in Rome with Oriental Patriarchs

Pope Francis attends a meeting with the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches in Syria, Iraq and and other parts of the Middle East.

The Holy Father met with the Patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches at the Vatican on November 21.  As Bishop of Rome, the Pope meets with the heads of the Churches in communion with him to be updated on the life of particular Churches. Prior to announcing his trip to the Holy Land, the Pope […]

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Pope Francis to Visit Holy Land in May

Pope Francis.

Only three Popes have visited the Holy Land. Now it has been announced that Pope Francis, walking in Paul VI’s footsteps, will visit Christ’s homeland May 24-26.  Fifty years after Paul VI, the first ever Pope to set foot in Jesus’ birthplace, made his 1964 journey to the Holy Land, Pope Francis is preparing to […]

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“Never Be Afraid of Tenderness”

Christmas: "It is the encounter with Jesus. God has always sought out his people, led them, looked after them and promised to always be close to them.

In this exclusive interview, Pope Francis speaks about Christmas, hunger in the world, the suffering of children, the reform of the Roman Curia, women cardinals, the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), and his upcoming visit to the Holy Land.  “For me Christmas is hope and tenderness….” Francis talks to La Stampa and Vatican […]

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Benny Lai

The late Benny Lai.

Benny Lai, the dean of the journalists accredited to the Holy See, a prolific essayist and author, died in Rome on December 12 at the age of 88. He had been covering Holy See affairs for more than 60 years, since the early 1950s. Lai had been sick for some time and passed away at […]

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Recognition of the Holy See’s Progress

René Bruelhart. (CNS photo) 
In the circle, Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, Undersecretary for Relations with States.

Interview with René Bruelhart, director of AIF, the Financial Information Authority of the Holy See, on the good results of recent financial reforms.  René Bruelhart is the Director of the AIF, the “Financial Information Authority” of the Holy See/Vatican City State, and was a member of the Holy See Delegation led by Msgr. An­toine Camilleri, […]

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The Pastoral Geopolitics of the Domus Sanctae Marthae

Pope Francis greets a Swiss Guard as he arrives at the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican Oct. 24 (CNS photo).

The first months of Pope Francis’ pontificate and the new view of the Vatican and the Church. The text was first published on the Il Sismografo website on December 20.  Geopolitics is synthetically, but appropriately, referred to as the discipline dealing with the relation between politics and geography. Also, a country’s foreign policy is deeply […]

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Shuffle of Bishops, Non-renewal of Burke and Rigali, Raise Eyebrows


Pope Francis did not renew the memberships of some well-known cardinals to the Congregation for Bishops, which is in charge of the choices of bishops worldwide. The reasons are not yet clear, but observers are watching closely, and commenting… Pope Francis has Vatican-watchers turning somersaults as they parse his every decision in an attempt to […]

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Pope Francis’ Homily at Christmas Midnight Mass

Pope Francis during Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 24 (Gaazka photo)

1. ”The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1). This prophecy of Isaiah never ceases to touch us, especially when we hear it proclaimed in the liturgy of Christmas Night. This is not simply an emotional or sentimental matter. It moves us because it states the deep reality of what we […]

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“Christmas Is Time to Feel God’s Closeness, Experience Peace”

December 31, 2013, St. Peter’s Square, Vigil of the Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. After the Te Deum of thanksgiving for the past year, Pope Francis went to visit the Manger Scene in the Square. The Holy Father prayed before the representation of the birth of Jesus (Galazka photo)

At St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis celebrates his first solemn Christmas midnight Mass as pontiff.  Celebrating the first Christmas since his election, Pope Francis preached the goodness and tenderness of God, and prayed that men and women around the world would allow God’s grace to transform them into peacemakers. “Let us allow our hearts to […]

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