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By Catholic News Service

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, talks with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, during a meeting at the Vatican July 21. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, talks with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, during a meeting at the Vatican July 21. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

NEW YORK (CNS) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be an “extraordinary moment for our city and an extraordinary honor” if Pope Francis visited the Big Apple in September 2015, when the World Meeting of Families takes place in Philadelphia.

De Blasio went to the Vatican and met July 21 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, “to relate how important it would be for the people of New York City to have the pope visit,” the mayor said.

Organizers of the international family gathering have been hoping Pope Francis will come to the event. On July 24 Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, the host archdiocese, announced the pontiff had accepted his invitation to attend, even though the Philadelphia Archdiocese still has not received official confirmation from the Vatican.

Other U.S. church and civic leaders remain hopeful the pontiff might add a couple of other U.S. cities to his itinerary.

In Rome de Blasio held a news conference following his visit with Cardinal Parolin. U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Ken Hackett also attended that meeting and joined de Blasio at the news conference. A transcript of their remarks to the media was posted on the website of the mayor’s office. Continue Reading »

Richard Matthew Gros, 47, of Fred, died Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at Dogwood Trails, Woodville. He was born on March 5, 1967, in Beaumont, to Rose Mae LaPoint Gros and Robert Lewis Gros. Richard was a United States Army veteran and worked as a salesman and mechanic for Auto Zone.

Survivors include his father, Deacon Robert Gros of Kountze; siblings, Rory Gros of Beaumont; Rhonda Baldwin and her husband, Steve, of Kountze; and Roxane Leary and her husband, Mike, of San Leon; and numerous nieces and nephews. Mr. Gros’ arrangements are pending under the direction of Broussard’s, 530 West Monroe, Kountze.

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By Catholic News Service

cns-logoWASHINGTON (CNS) — The Obama administration has filed a brief with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver indicating it plans to develop an alternative for Catholic and other religious nonprofit employers to opt out of providing federally mandated contraceptives they object to including in their employee health care coverage.

Several media outlets, including AP, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, reported July 23 that the administration said it would come up with a “work-around” that would be different than the accommodation it currently has available to such employers. Continue Reading »

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By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

Portrait of Pope Leo XIII holding quill pen

This portrait of Pope Leo XIII, pontiff from 1878 to 1903, shows him holding a quill pen. The pope, credited with being the founder of Catholic social teaching, anonymously crafted Latin riddles for a Roman magazine. (CNS photo/Library of Congress)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Going by the pseudonym “X,” Pope Leo XIII anonymously crafted poetic puzzles in Latin for a Roman periodical at the turn of the 19th century.

The pope created lengthy riddles, known as “charades,” in Latin in which readers had to guess a rebus-like answer from two or more words that together formed the syllables of a new word.

Eight of his puzzles were published anonymously in “Vox Urbis,” a Rome newspaper that was printed entirely in Latin between 1898-1913, according to an article in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

A reader who submitted the correct answer to the riddle would receive a book of Latin poetry written by either Pope Leo or another noted Catholic figure.

The identity of the mysterious riddle-maker, however, was soon revealed by a French reporter covering the Vatican for the daily newspaper Le Figaro.

Felix Ziegler published his scoop Jan. 9, 1899, a year after the puzzles started appearing, revealing that “Mr. X” was, in fact, the reigning pope, the Vatican newspaper said July 20.

In the pope’s hometown, Carpineto Romano, which is about 35 miles southeast of Rome, students at the middle school now named for him have published 26 of the pope’s Latin puzzles in a new book titled, “Aenigmata. The Charades of Pope Leo XIII.” Continue Reading »

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