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  • Vatican displays Rembrandt's art for the first time

    Vatican City, Dec 6, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- For the first time, the works of Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn will be displayed at the Vatican. Organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Swedish Embassy, the art show falls about a month after Pope Francis’ visit to Sweden marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

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  • At Christmas, recognize your sin and let God caress you, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At Christmas, God reveals his full power, which is the power of relentlessly seeking his lost sheep and, when he finds them, giving them a caress, Pope Francis said. "One who does not know the caresses of the Lord does not know Christian doctrine. One who does not let himself be caressed by the Lord is lost," the pope said Dec. 6 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

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  • Vatican commission launches child protection website

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has launched a beta version of its website in English and has included its template for local guidelines on preventing sexual abuse, resources for a day of prayer for the victims and survivors as well as a mailing address to contact commission members.

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  • French bishop opens sainthood cause for foundress of Tyburn Nuns

    SAINT LOUP-SUR-AUJON, France (CNS) -- A French bishop has opened the cause for canonization of a nun who claimed she saw a consecrated host turn to bloody flesh in the hands of a priest. Bishop Joseph de Metz-Noblat of Langres, France, initiated the sainthood cause of Mother Marie Adele Garnier, foundress of the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre OSB, or Tyburn Nuns, with a Dec. 3 Mass. Afterward, diocesan officials signed an edict with Vatican officials, who traveled from Rome to the event at the nuns' convent in Saint Loup-sur-Aujon.

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  • Euthanasia of alcoholic father sends 'devastating' message

    Amsterdam, Netherlands, Dec 2, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- A doctor in the Netherlands performed euthanasia on a 41 year-old father of two who claimed his alcoholism had made his life unbearable.   Mark Langedijk, who also suffered from depression and anxiety, was found eligible for a controversial application of the euthanasia laws of the country.  

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  • Syriac Catholic patriarch 'horrified' after seeing Iraqi 'ghost towns'

    BEIRUT (CNS) -- The Syriac Catholic patriarch said he was horrified to see widespread devastation and what he called "ghost towns" during a recent visit to northern Iraq. Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan wrote in an email to Catholic News Service that there was little left in some of the communities that he toured Nov. 27-29 and that "the emptiness of the streets except for military people ... the devastation and burned-out houses and churches" was shocking.

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  • Orthodox patriarch says 'Amoris Laetitia' is about God's mercy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Knowing the debate surrounding Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation on the family, Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said the document "first and foremost recalls the mercy and compassion of God and not just moral norms and canonical rules."

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  • Pope recognizes martyrdom of Oklahoma priest killed in Guatemala

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of Father Stanley Rother of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, making him the first martyr born in the United States. The Vatican made the announcement Dec. 2. The recognition of his martyrdom clears the way for his beatification.

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  • Pope meets Martin Scorsese after director screens 'Silence' for Jesuits

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The morning after screening his film, "Silence," for about 300 Jesuits, the U.S. director Martin Scorsese had a private audience with Pope Francis. During the 15-minute audience Nov. 30, Pope Francis told Scorsese that he had read Japanese author Shusaku Endo's historical novel, "Silence," which inspired the film. The book and film are a fictionalized account of the persecution of Christians in 17th-century Japan; the central figures are Jesuit missionaries.

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  • Catholic leaders in Holy Land pray for those hit by wildfires

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Catholic leaders in the Holy Land expressed solidarity with those affected by regional wildfires, which continued to burn after five days. "We thank God for the fact that the majority of human injuries were light; we express our solidarity with those who suffer from physical or material damage," they said in a Nov. 25 statement.

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  • Pope asks scientists to find solutions, declare rules to save planet

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Humanity does not own God's gift of creation and has no right to pillage it, Pope Francis said. "We are not custodians of a museum and its masterpieces that we have to dust off every morning, but rather collaborators in the conservation and development of the existence and biodiversity of the planet and human life," he said Nov. 28.

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  • Pope speaks to Jesuits about discernment, vocations, poverty

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The approach to morality used in "Amoris Laetitia" is the same used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: They reaffirm general principles while encouraging pastoral care that recognizes a person's personal situation and seeks to lead them to holiness, Pope Francis said.

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  • Follow drug supply chains to corrupt banks, financiers, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for protecting the dignity of substance abusers and condemned the corruption and incompetence that trap so many innocent people in the snares of addiction. The "vast, powerful networks" behind the drug trade kill not only those who become slaves to drugs, he said, they also kill those "who want to destroy this slavery" -- such as judges or others who seek to stamp out criminal organizations.

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  • Pope indicates he will travel to Ireland in 2018

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the pope confirmed he will visit Ireland in 2018 and that trip organizers would look at the possibility of a stop in Northern Ireland.

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  • St. Thomas More's hair shirt now enshrined for public veneration

    BUCKFAST, England (CNS) -- The hair shirt worn by St. Thomas More as he contemplated a martyr's death in the Tower of London has been enshrined for public veneration. The folded garment made from goat's hair was encased above an altar in Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in southwest England.

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  • How an ex-prostitute's horrific suffering moved Pope Francis

    Vatican City, Nov 20, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis still remembers his meeting with a former prostitute who had suffered much. In a new interview, the Pope recalled the time he met with a young pregnant woman from Africa who was “beautiful, young (and) exploited.”

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  • Pope extends special Year of Mercy provisions on confession

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Acknowledging and sharing God's mercy is a permanent part of the Christian life, so initiatives undertaken during the special Year of Mercy must continue, Pope Francis said. "Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the church," the pope wrote in an apostolic letter, "Misericordia et Misera," ("Mercy and Misery"), which he signed Nov. 20 at the end of the Year of Mercy. The Vatican released the text the next day.

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  • Years after his death, Montreal's first cardinal remains controversial

    MONTREAL (CNS) -- Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger is still a polarizing figure for Canadians, even 25 years after his death. For some, he was a pompous and narcissist "prince" of the church; for others, a visionary pastor and missionary. Historians and contemporaries are still debating the deeds and the legacy left by Montreal's first cardinal.

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  • Proclaim Christ the king of mercy, pope says at end of Holy Year

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Following Christ the King, whose regal power is love and mercy, means the whole church and each Christian must "follow his way of tangible love," Pope Francis said. Celebrating the feast of Christ the King Nov. 20 and officially closing the extraordinary jubilee celebration of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis insisted, "we have received mercy in order to be merciful."

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  • So what is a consistory, anyway?

    Rome, Italy, Nov 18, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- In a simple rite this Saturday, 17 prelates will receive a red biretta from Pope Francis and thus join the College of Cardinals.   Dressed in their red robes, the cardinals-to-be will gather in St. Peter Basilica, profess the Creed, and then approach Pope Francis one by one. The Pope will give each of them the red biretta, and their cardinal’s ring

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  • To be corrupt is to follow the devil, Pope Francis says

    Vatican City, Nov 17, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- On Thursday Pope Francis warned Catholic business leaders against the danger of worshipping money, saying corruption is to follow the lies of the devil, whereas practices aimed for the common good are always built around principals of honesty and fraternity.

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  • South Korean Catholics seek president's resignation over scandal

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- South Korean Catholics have demanded that President Park Geun-hye step down over a scandal that has been coined "Choi Soon-sil gate." Ucanews.com reported that from a diocesan level to even seminarians, the church in South Korea has been vocal in its calls for Park to resign after news broke that her friend, Choi Soon-sil, allegedly manipulated the president to gain access to secret documents and purportedly embezzle funds through nonprofit foundations.

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  • Admonish sin without putting on airs or being hypocrite, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Offering counsel and admonishing sinners are works of mercy, but they are not a license to pretend to be better than others, Pope Francis said. To counsel others is a chance to see how well you, too, measure up to essential standards, he said Nov. 16 to people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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  • Time of mercy: Holy doors close, but mission of mercy continues

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Year of Mercy brought more than 20 million pilgrims to Rome, but for Pope Francis, the idea always was that the celebration of God's mercy would be local: have people experience God's love in their parishes and send them out into the world to commit random acts of mercy.

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  • New cardinals, old traditions at play for Nov. 19 consistory

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a rather simple prayer service Nov. 19, Pope Francis will create 17 new cardinals and symbolically bind them to ancient church traditions. In the months following the consistory -- as any gathering of cardinals is called -- the new cardinals under the age of 80 will be named members of various Vatican congregations, councils, dicasteries and offices. For most of the cardinals, the memberships, while not involving a permanent move to Rome, will be the most regular exercise of their new ministry as advisers to the pope.

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  • In some countries, St. Barbara's Day helps kick off Christmas season

    AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) -- Although there are different versions of the story of St. Barbara, Christians in the Middle East and Central Europe still celebrate the early Christian martyr each Dec. 4. To celebrate St. Barbara's Day, known as "Eid il-Burbara," Christians in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon prepare and share a dessert made from boiled wheat, rose water, cinnamon, anise and nuts. This aromatic sweet represents the wheat fields where St. Barbara hid from her father, who kept her locked in a tower because she had converted to Christianity in A.D. 235. Middle Eastern Christians believe that, before her death, St. Barbara escaped her tower prison, and freshly planted wheat fields miraculously rose up around her, concealing her path.

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  • Israeli religious leaders visit Auschwitz, condemn hate speech

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Following a joint visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, Israeli religious leaders urged world leaders to act with "unwavering resoluteness" against the anti-Semitism and hatred toward others becoming more prevalent in today's society.

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  • Texts of Argentina homilies come with pope's notes on preaching

    ROME (CNS) -- A pastor out of touch with his parishioners' lives has little chance of preaching a homily that can make the Gospel come alive for them, Pope Francis said. "Sometimes our words respond to questions nobody is asking," he said in a new interview with Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica. "If you don't listen to people, how can you preach?"

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  • God's kingdom gives hope, not flashy entertainment, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The kingdom of God grows through hope and not by reducing it to a form of entertainment that produces a joy that appears and disappears in an instant, Pope Francis said. While many are tempted by "new things, revelations and messages," God has already spoken, the pope said Nov. 10 in his homily during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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