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  • A new public appearance by Benedict XVI? Maybe so, his secretary reveals

    Vatican City, May 23, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Former Pope Benedict XVI could appear in public once again on June 29, the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Speaking after the May 20 presentation of a book dedicated to Benedict XVI’s pontificate, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household and private secretary to the retired Pope, said that “there will be another occasion to see the Pope emeritus in public.”

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  • Havana's new archbishop says post brings fear and trust

    HAVANA (CNS) -- God's ways can be mysterious and sometimes frightening, but faith means trusting God, said the new archbishop of Havana. After receiving a pastoral staff from retired Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana, the city's new archbishop told a huge congregation -- including officials of the communist government -- "You will understand that I'm scared. I do not understand the mystery of why I'm here or why the Holy Spirit chose me."

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  • Slovak nun, shot in South Sudan, dies in Nairobi hospital

    NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- A Slovak nun shot and wounded in Yei, South Sudan, died May 20 at a hospital in Nairobi. Holy Spirit Missionary Sister Veronika Terezia Rackova, director of St. Bakhita Medical Center in Yei, was evacuated to Nairobi May 17, shortly after the nighttime shooting. She had been in a coma before her death.

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  • Pope rules Vatican review needed to set up diocesan religious order

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Diocesan bishops must consult with the Vatican before establishing a diocesan religious order, Pope Francis ruled. The consultation "is to be understood as necessary for the validity of the erection of a diocesan institute of consecrated life," said the rescript or ruling approved by Pope Francis April 4 and published by the Vatican May 20.

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  • Jesus shows mercy without ever compromising the truth, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Jesus is compassionate toward people and their imperfections without ever compromising the truth, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass. "May Jesus teach us to adhere to the truth from the heart and also (to show) with the heart great compassion and accompaniment for all our brothers and sisters in difficulty," the pope said in his homily at the Mass with eight couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and another couple celebrating their 25th.

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  • Archbishop Martin says pope to visit Ireland for 2018 meeting of families

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin confirmed that Pope Francis, or his successor, will visit Ireland in 2018 for the World Meeting of Families. Archbishop Martin confirmed that when he discussed the issue of visiting Ireland with the pontiff, Pope Francis said: "'I will come', and he said, 'if I don't come, my successor will come.'"

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  • Those who exploit for cheap labor are bloodsucking leeches, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Human traffickers and unjust business owners who become wealthy by exploiting others for cheap labor commit a mortal sin, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass. "Those who do this are true leeches and live off the bloodletting of people whom they have made to work as slaves," the pope said May 19 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Indian couples frustrated as Missionaries of Charity stop adoptions

    KOLKATA, India (CNS) -- Seventeen-month-old Anirban Mukherjee playfully touches his mother's face with his fingers at Shishu Bhavan, the Missionaries of Charity children's home. Anirban's parents brought him to visit and play with his old housemates. He was adopted in April 2015 by Abhay and Sampa Mukherjee, a childless couple from Asansol, an industrial township in West Bengal. Anirban's biological mother could not afford to pay for his postnatal treatment, so just a few weeks after his birth, she abandoned him. Shishu Bhavan became his home, where he was treated for severe malnourishment until he was put up for adoption.

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  • Top Italian bishop throws punch at new civil unions law

    Vatican City, May 18, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- In a powerful speech Tuesday at the opening of the Italian bishops' general assembly, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa decried the civil unions bill passed in the nation's parliament last week, emphasizing that Pope Francis himself always advocates for the natural family.

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  • Cardinals, papal almoner will not testify at Vatican trial

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican court denied a request by a defendant in the so-called "VatiLeaks" trial to have three Vatican officials to testify. The court ruled May 14 that the three witnesses -- Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Cardinal Santos Abril Castello, archpriest of Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major; and Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner -- would not be testifying on behalf of Francesca Chaouqui.

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  • Piety and pity are active expressions of mercy, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- True piety and evangelical pity are found together in those who are moved by the pain of others, take action to help them and, therefore, share God's mercy, Pope Francis said. "We are called to cultivate attitudes of pity in the face of many situations in life, shaking off the indifference that prevents us from recognizing the needs of our brothers and sisters and liberating ourselves from slavery to material well-being," the pope said May 14 at a jubilee general audience.

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  • Pope Francis: You can't love your pet more than your neighbor

    Vatican City, May 14, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- People in need deserve more love from us than the animals do, Pope Francis has said. In off-the-cuff remarks Saturday, he said: “How often do we see people greatly attached to cats, to dogs,” but fail to “help their neighbor, their neighbor who is in need... This will not do.”

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  • Marchers in Canada plead for lawmakers to drop assisted-suicide bill

    OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) -- As the Canadian Parliament considered a bill legalizing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, thousands gathered May 12 for the annual National March for Life. The march's focal point always has been "the threat to life at its earliest stages through abortion," Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto said in his homily at the annual pro-life Mass at Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.

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  • Ecumenism, remembrance, peace on pope's agenda for Armenia

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Ecumenical relations, the memory of past suffering and prayers for a future of peace form the framework for Pope Francis' itinerary when he visits Armenia June 24-26. Following in the footsteps of St. John Paul II, who visited Armenia in 2001, Pope Francis will spend much of his time in the country as the guest of the majority Armenian Apostolic Church and will attend a divine liturgy celebrated by Catholicos Karekin II, the Orthodox patriarch, June 26.

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  • Laity are called to bridge church and the world, Cardinal Pell says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Laypeople are called to be a bridge between the church and the world, particularly in matters of finance where "clerics simply do not have that high level of expertise that can only come from highly competent and dedicated professionals," said Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

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  • What did Pope Francis actually say about the female deaconate?

    Vatican City, May 13, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Yesterday Pope Francis raised eyebrows around the world after declaring his openness to establishing a commission to study the female deaconate, but a careful look at his full response is less of a shocker, and points to nothing new.

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  • Order in the court: 'VatiLeaks' trial testifies to unique legal process

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The latest "VatiLeaks" trial seemed to have all the makings of a classic courtroom thriller: financial scandal, secrets leaked by an insider and journalists defending their right to blow the whistle on allegations of corruption within a state that is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.

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  • Vatican bank publishes 2015 annual report

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Continuing its reform and efforts to promote financial transparency, the Vatican bank published its annual report for the 2015 fiscal year. The Institute for the Works of Religion, as the bank is formally known, released the report May 12 and presented the document during a round-table event with Vatican Radio and L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

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  • Pope tells women religious Vatican will study women deacons

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis told the heads of women's religious orders from around the world that he would set up a commission to study the New Testament deaconesses and he also insisted more can and should be done to involve lay and consecrated women in church decision-making at every level.

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  • God doesn't barter, rewarding the good, punishing the bad, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Salvation has nothing to do with the tidy business of bartering -- earning God's love in return for good behavior, Pope Francis said. "If you do well you get a reward; if you do poorly you get punished. This is not the logic of Jesus," whose ability to love and forgive is unconditional and infinite, the pope said May 11 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Beijing, Taipei, and the future of Vatican-Chinese relations

    Vatican City, May 11, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- A new phase in relations between the Holy See and mainland China could begin with a new vacancy in the apostolic nunciature now based in Taiwan. The presence of an apostolic nunciature in Taiwan dates back to the Chinese Civil War; it has been a hurdle for diplomatic relations for decades.

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  • Pope recognizes miracles in two sainthood causes

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has signed decrees that clear the way for the canonizations of a Christian Brother martyred during the French Revolution and an Italian priest who founded a religious order of men dedicated to the vocational and spiritual education of the poor and hearing impaired.

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  • A crash course in Miracles 101

    Denver, Colo., May 8, 2016 CNA.- What do a grilled cheese sandwich and the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe have in common? Both bore what appeared to be images of Mary. One was determined to be authentically miraculous, the other was not. Not to spoil any secrets, but it’s not Our Lady of the Grilled Cheese that converted Mexico and continues to draw millions of people on pilgrimage every year.

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  • International participation high at Italian March for Life

    ROME (CNS) -- People from at least two dozen countries joined Italians May 8 for the sixth annual National March for Life in Rome. Carrying multicolored balloons, crucifixes or children, the estimated 30,000 people walked through the historic center of the city and joined Pope Francis for the midday recitation of the "Regina Coeli" prayer in St. Peter's Square.

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  • Pope Francis: Be witnesses of the Gospel every day

    Vatican City, May 8, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis commemorated the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven by reminding the faithful of their duty to be witnesses of the Gospel every day of the week, in all areas of life – and not just on Sundays.

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  • Pope tells struggling Europe he has a dream for its future

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As Europe faces an unprecedented influx of immigrants and refugees while struggling to counter continued economic woes, Pope Francis urged the continent to step up to its responsibilities with renewed hope, not cower behind walls and treaties.

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  • In Iraq, displaced Christians prepare for future that remains unknown

    IRBIL, Iraq (CNS) -- As heavy fighting continues across the Ninevah Plain, some Christians displaced by the Islamic State group have given up the dream of returning home and joined the stream of refugees leaving the war-torn country. Others remain here in Iraqi Kurdistan, clinging to the hope that they can someday go back to their villages.

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  • Swiss Guard recruits pledge to protect the pope with their lives

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With their left hands clutching a standard and their right hands raised with three fingers open symbolizing the Holy Trinity, 23 new Swiss Guard recruits pledged to "faithfully, loyally and honorably" serve and protect the pope and, if necessary, sacrifice their lives for him.

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  • German cardinal says 'unauthorized people' in Rome veto bishop nominations

    BONN, Germany (CNS) -- A German cardinal said names of candidates submitted to the Vatican as potential bishops are being vetoed by "unauthorized people" in Rome. "In the name of the law, these unlawful outside influences must be set aside and a proper voice given to those who'll be living with the chosen candidate," said Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, who was president of the German bishops' conference from 1987 to 2008.

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  • Papal Swiss Guards are part of a unique parish, chaplain says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Serving the pastoral needs of the Pontifical Swiss Guard means to care for the spiritual development of a very "unusual parish," the guard's chaplain said. "My first role is to accompany them, to be both brother and father and encourage their human and spiritual growth, aware that being here in Rome, in the center of universal Catholicism, is a unique experience for them that opens new horizons on the church," Father Thomas Widmer said.

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  • Irish bishop calls nun's death in Ecuador quake 'loving sacrifice'

    LONDONERRY, Northern Ireland (CNS) -- Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry told hundreds of mourners at the funeral of an Irish missionary nun that "a life given in loving sacrifice is never wasted." Family, relatives and friends of Sister Clare Crockett gathered in St. Columba's Church Long Tower May 2 to remember the 33-year-old sister killed in Ecuador during an April 17 earthquake.

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  • Archdiocese urges Mexico to resolve case of students missing since 2014

    MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- An Archdiocese of Mexico City editorial called on the Mexican government to finally determine the fates of 43 missing students and said the often-questioned official investigation was unconvincing, demonstrated the worst shortcomings of the country's judicial institutions and deepened social discontent in the country.

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  • Pope to celebrate Mass, welcome homeless on pilgrimage to Rome

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will welcome several thousand homeless and vulnerable people from all over Europe when they make a pilgrimage to Rome in November. European organizations that help the homeless are invited to participate in the European Festival of Joy and Mercy, which will take place Nov. 11-13. The event organizers -- the Fratello association -- are inviting 6,000 homeless, vulnerable and marginalized people to take part.

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  • U2's lead guitarist rocks Sistine Chapel in concert for a cure

    Vatican City, May 3, 2016 CNA.- Lead guitarist The Edge from Irish rock band sensation U2 played “the most beautiful parish hall in the world” this weekend – the Sistine Chapel. The performance, the first-ever rock concert in the historic chapel, was given for about 200 doctors researchers who attended a conference at the Vatican last week on regenerative medicine. The conference discussed the use of adult stem cells to cure difficult and rare diseases such as cancer.

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  • Northern Ireland bishops urge voters to ask about abortion, poverty

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Northern Ireland's Catholic bishops urged Massgoers to support candidates opposed to legalizing abortion in elections to the region's power-sharing assembly May 5. In a wide-ranging pastoral statement ahead of the polls, the bishops also urged Catholics to lobby lawmakers about issues as diverse as climate change and the right of church-run organizations to receive government funding.

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  • Stop violence in Syria, punish child abusers worldwide, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Intensify dialogue, not violence, in order to push for peace in Syria, Pope Francis said. "I urge all parties involved in the conflict to respect the cease-fire and strengthen talks underway -- the only path that leads to peace," he said after reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square May 1.

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  • Blood-red Trevi fountain a wake-up call on Christian persecution

    Vatican City, Apr 30, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Illuminated by the red light that spilled across Rome’s Trevi fountain, voices from persecuted Christian communities across the world shared the stories of friends and loved ones killed for the faith, and urged the world to take greater action in putting the violence to an end.

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  • Suspects arrested in alleged plot against Vatican, Israeli embassy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Italian authorities arrested six suspects who allegedly received orders from the Islamic State terrorist group to attack the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome. The arrests made in Lombardy and Piedmont April 28 were the result of a joint operation coordinated by the district attorney of Milan and the Italian anti-terrorism agency.

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  • True believers serve others, pope says at audience

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To ignore the suffering of another person is to ignore God, Pope Francis said. And going to church does not automatically make someone love their neighbor, the pope said April 27 as he reflected on the Gospel parable of the good Samaritan during his weekly general audience.

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  • Could reconciliation with the SSPX arrive with ease?

    Vatican City, Apr 26, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis may soon offer the Society of Saint Pius X regular canonical status within the Church, without requiring the acceptance of certain texts of the Second Vatican Council with which they disagree.

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  • Pope names Camaguey archbishop, who helped rebuild church, to Havana

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis named Archbishop Juan Garcia Rodriguez, who has worked quietly to help rebuild the Cuban church, physically and spiritually, to be the new archbishop of Havana. He succeeds 79-year-old Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana, whose retirement was accepted by the pope the same day. The Vatican made the announcements April 26.

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  • Suspended audit reveals power struggle at the Vatican

    Vatican City, Apr 25, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- The recent suspension of an audit of Vatican finances by a major accounting firm shed light on a lively debate within the Sacred Walls about the balance of power between the Secretariat of State and the Secretariat for the Economy.

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  • Pope says pastors must 'serve, not use' laypeople

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Clericalism is a danger to the Catholic Church not only because on a practical level it undermines the role of laity in society, but because theologically it "tends to diminish and undervalue the baptismal grace" of all believers, whether they are lay or clergy, Pope Francis said.

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  • Was Shakespeare a secret Catholic?

    Rome, Italy, Apr 23, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- April 23 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the playwright, poet, and actor widely considered to be the most influential literary figure in the English language.

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  • Pope hears confessions at Jubilee event for teens

    Vatican City, Apr 23, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis on Saturday heard the confessions of young people in St. Peter's Square as part of this weekend's Jubilee for Boys and Girls, an event which is expected to draw tens of thousands of teenagers from around the world.  

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