Posts in Europe
The Georgian Saint revered for fighting Soviet communism

Gabriel Urgebadze changed the trajectory of his life when he lit a portrait of Vladimir Lenin on fire and told a crowd to follow Jesus instead. Today, more than a hundred pilgrims visit his grave everyday, praying for miracles.

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Halloween's Catholic origins often overlooked by the secular press

(OPINION) For many, Halloween is some extension of witchcraft and paganism. It’s a holiday, some Christians believe, that is celebrated by Satanists. It is also a big part of Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism. That’s the part most-often overlooked by the mainstream news media.

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Why the Vatican is debating priestly celibacy in the Amazon

A discussion in Rome this week will include whether the church should allow flexibility in its traditional vow of celibacy for priests to ordain married men in the remote Amazon. The decision could very well impact Catholicism around the world.

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Chaput-Martin feud highlights media distortion of Catholicism

Who is made a cardinal can be loaded with intrigue. It’s why the Catholic church is covered like a political institution and less like a religion. It is this dangerous tendency, largely on the part of the secular press, to reduce theological positions to political ones that has fueled divisions during the Pope Francis era.

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Jewish pilgrimage to a Ukrainian rabbi’s grave is growing

Pilgrimages to Rabbi Nachman’s grave site resumed at a trickle under communism. Now, more than 70 years after the devastation of World War II and communism, Jews of all kinds are visiting Uman and moving back.

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Cardinal Robert Sarah’s new book puts the spotlight on what ails the modern world

(BOOK REVIEW) Cardinal Robert Sarah’s new book examines the spiritual decline of the West amid scandals in the Catholic Church and secularization. He’s hopeful prayer can reverse the trend.

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'Notre Dame is our church’: Why famed cathedral must be rebuilt to its past glory

Despite Europe’s increased secularization, traditionalists argue Notre Dame’s renovation should include no contemporary flair as part of a larger effort by Christians to protect their religious heritage wherever it may be located around the world,

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This Eritrean Orthodox community is filling an empty church in Germany

Germany’s influx of refugees since 2015 tends to spark discussions about how the country will change. Overlooked is the number of Christian immigrants, like many Eritreans. A group of Eritrean Orthodox Christians are borrowing an empty church for their services and helping orient the latest arrivals to their new lives in Germany.

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Faith and Religion Search For Post-Communist Footing in Bulgaria

Paying for prayers, bishops with ties to the Kremlin and communist structures built around ancient churches — the society ruled by the Byzantines, then the Ottomans and then the Soviets is now reckoning with finding faith on its own.

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Don’t underestimate the Vatican’s power in Italian politics

(OPINION) Italy’s government has been plunged into chaos after the nationalist-populist coalition that had struck fear across the European establishment collapsed. It means that Italians could potentially be going to the ballot box once again this fall. It’s also a reminder of how powerful the Catholic church remains in determining the country’s politics.

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Meet the Vatican’s revamped press office and the challenges it faces

(NEWS ANALYSIS) The Vatican press office may be second only to the White House communications department when it comes to ranking the world’s busiest public relations operation. The upcoming Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region will be their first real test.

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A peek inside the restoration of New York’s historic Trinity Church

As Americans gather to celebrate Independence Day, it is worth remembering that historic Trinity Church in New York City played a significant role in the birth of America and remains the burial site of several Founding Fathers, including Alexander Hamilton.

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Vatican's soccer team had little choice but refuse to play in Austria

(COMMENTARY) The women’s soccer team representing the Vatican — yes, the Vatican has a women’s soccer team — canceled its planned international debut in Austria when sports, religion and politics made for a bad mix.

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Director Franco Zeffirelli's faith inspired his best movies

(COMMENTARY) The Italian director is known for many things, but will be most remembered for is his deep Roman Catholic faith, his an ardent support for the anti-abortion movement and his 1977 masterpiece movie Jesus of Nazareth.

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Can French politicians make Notre Dame great again?

Rebuilding Notre Dame will be a painstaking task. Estimated to cost in the billions, the cathedral has also become a political pawn in a broader fight between traditionalists and secularists. In a country divided politically — the recent European election was another reminder of this — the fate of Notre Dame very much rests in the hands of the country’s warring lawmakers.

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Is the Vatican playing a game of 'wag the dog' with the American press?

(COMMENTARY) Pope Francis is a great example of an international leader whose handlers like to control the message. Not too different from the White House press office, where access can often be very limited. That makes the papal news conference, the one that takes place aboard the pope’s flight on the way to Rome at the end of very trip, very important.

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