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Volume 26 @ Number 17 @ January 10, 2016 @ $15 per Year

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The Holy Door Opens

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Culp: From Death To Life

The Bi-Weekly Publication of The Catholic Diocese of Lexington

Turn to Little Sisters, Page 8

Pope Francis delivers his 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and to the world) blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015. Photo: L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP

Elise Harris

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN NEWS). In his Christmas "Urbi et Orbi" blessing Pope Francis prayed for all affected by war and conflict, asking that the salvation of the in- fant Jesus be given above all to chil- dren who suffer. "The Child Jesus. My thoughts turn to all those children today who are killed and ill-treated, be they in- fants killed in the womb, deprived of that generous love of their par- ents and then buried in the egoism of a culture that does not love life," the pope said on Christmas Day. "Be they children displaced due to war and persecution, abused and taken advantage of before our very eyes and our complicit silence," he

Pope 'to the city and to the world": deliver children who suffer due to violence

said, and also denounced the death of many children due to bomb at- tacks, including in the Holy Land, where Jesus was born. "Even today, their impotent silence cries out under the sword of so many Herods. On their blood stands the shadow of contemporary Herods." Pope Francis spoke to those gath- ered in St. Peter's Square to hear his Christmas message and receive the special blessing which goes out "to the city and the world." The Roman Pontifflamented the killing of children in Pakistan dur- ing the previous week's attack on a military school by the Taliban, and noted that today, on Christmas, there are "so many tears" being shed in union with the infant Jesus. He also prayed for all those suf- fering due to various conflicts in the world, particularly in the Middle East, Ukraine and Nigeria. He of- fered specific prayers for displaced families in Iraq and Syria, and for the many, ongoing conflicts on the African continent. Pope Francis concluded by pray- ing for all effected by the Ebola epidemic, and asked that the Holy Spirit would "enlighten" the hearts of all to recognize in the infant Jesus the salvation offered by God to each and every person. n

Matt Hadro

WASHINGTON DC (CNA/EWTN NEWS). Religious sisters should not be forced to choose between caring for the poor and obeying their conscience, the Little Sisters of the Poor told the Supreme Court in a re- cent legal brief, adding that this is what the government is demanding of them through the HHS mandate. As Little Sisters of the Poor, we offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they are welcomed as Christ," said Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor. We perform this loving ministry because of our faith," she continued, adding that the Little Sisters "cannot possibly choose

Little Sisters to SCOTUS: Don't make us pick between faith and the poor

Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, talks to media during court proceedings. Photo: Peter Zelasko/CNA

between our care for the elderly poor and our faith, and we shouldn't have to." Sr. Maguire's comments came Jan. 4, as the Little Sisters filed their Supreme Court brief against the federal contraception mandate. The case will be heard this Supreme Court term as part of a bundle of cases against the administration's contraceptive mandate. Representing the Little Sisters and several other plaintiffs in the case is the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed the brief before the court on Monday. At issue is a mandate from the Depart- ment of Health and Human Services re- quiring employers to offer health plans cov- ering free contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions. The Obama administration established nar- row religious exemp- tions for houses of worship and their af- filiated groups, but many religiously-af- filiated charities, non- profits, and businesses that morally objected to the mandate were required to abide by it. In response to wide- spread protest and law- suits from hundreds of plaintiffs across the country, the admin- istration later offered an "accommodation" to certain objecting religious non-profits, under which they could notify their insurer of their conscientious objection, and the in- surer would then fund the coverage.

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