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  • Church joins U.K. project to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- The Catholic Church in England and Wales has joined a government project to resettle an estimated 20,000 refugees from the Syrian war. A parish in the Diocese of Salford will be the first to welcome a family from a refugee camp in the Middle East as part of a sponsorship plan, which involves welcoming and helping to rehabilitate families of Syrian refugees.

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  • Pope sends cardinal to South Sudan to urge peace

    ROME (CNS) -- Pope Francis sent a high-ranking cardinal to South Sudan to urge for a peaceful end to the escalating violence in the country. Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, met with President Salva Kiir in the capital, Juba, July 19 and delivered a letter on the pope's behalf.

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  • Poland visit will be inspired by mercy, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he looks forward to his upcoming visit to Poland for World Youth Day and that his visit will be inspired by mercy during this Jubilee Year. The "blessed memory of St. John Paul II, who instituted the World Youth Days and was the guide of the Polish people in its recent historic journey toward freedom," will also serve as an inspiration, the pope said in a July 19 video message to the people of Poland.

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  • Baptism at sea -- refugee child born during boat rescue

    Munich, Germany, Jul 20, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- In the midst of her stressful overseas voyage to Europe, Vivian, a very pregnant Nigerian woman who departed from the Libyan coast, ended up giving birth on the German naval ship that rescued her and her 654 companions.

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  • Catechetical youth site aims to share mercy at World Youth Day

    Krakow, Poland, Jul 19, 2016 CNA.- Poland has been known as the heart of the Divine Mercy devotion since the 1930s and also boasts the homeland of the late Pope St. John Paul II. This year, an additional spotlight has been shed on the country as it hosts World Youth Day amidst the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which is why the Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a site called “Mercy Centre” in the heart of Krákow to offer youth a multitude of different mercy-themed events.

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  • Neocatechumenal Way co-founder Carmen Hernandez dies at 85

    Madrid, Spain, Jul 19, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Carmen Hernandez, co-founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, died today at home in Madrid, Spain. She was 85 years old. Hernandez, along with Kiko Arguello and Fr. Mario Pezzi, made up the international team responsible for the ecclesial movement, which focuses on post-baptismal adult formation. It is estimated that the movement contains about 1 million members, in some 40,000 parish-based communities around the world.

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  • Remember the Copts ISIS martyred in Libya? This priest does.

    Minya, Egypt, Jul 19, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- For Christians in Egypt, the possibility of martyrdom is not a remote one. “It is something they concretely feel, it is part of their Christian life,” Father Paolo Asolan, an Italian priest who recently visited Egypt, told CNA. “And for a mother and a father, the fact that one of their sons can become a martyr is always a great gift.”

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  • Franciscan who might be Canada's next saint remains unknown to many

    QUEBEC CITY (CNS) -- Canada owes him the return of the Franciscans, the founding of the country's largest Marian sanctuary, and the development of strong and lasting ties between the French Canadians and the Holy Land. Yet, 100 years after his death and though he might become Canada's next saint, Blessed Frederic Janssoone still remains largely unknown to many people in Quebec.

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  • New religious laws in Russia not expected to hurt Catholic Church

    Moscow, Russia, Jul 17, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Last week, despite protests from religious leaders and human rights groups, Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a new set of laws would restrict evangelization and missionary activity to officially registered Church buildings and worship areas.

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  • German bishops release new figures: fewer churchgoers, parishes, and priests

    Munich, Germany, Jul 16, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Figures released Friday by the German bishops' conference draw a bleak picture of the ongoing decline of Catholicism in Germany. However, the head of the conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, described the Church July 15 as a continuing "strong force, whose message is heard and accepted".

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  • Pope calls attack on Nice act of 'blind violence'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis condemned the attack on Bastille Day celebrations in France, calling it an act of "blind violence." The pope expressed his "deep sorrow" and "spiritual closeness" with the French people in a message to Bishop Andre Marceau of Nice. The message, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said Pope Francis entrusted the victims and their families to God's mercy.

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  • Polish theologian, head of Vatican office for health care ministry, dies

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Polish Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, head of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, died July 13 at the age of 67. Having been ill for some time, the archbishop was convalescing in Poland, where he died; Pope Francis had telephoned him recently to express his support and prayers, Vatican Radio reported July 13.

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  • Vatican spokesman wades into ad orientem debate

    Vatican City, Jul 11, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- The outgoing Holy See press officer has clarified that there are no directives forthcoming from the Vatican directing that priests face in the same direction as the faithful while saying Mass.

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  • Vatican, al-Azhar officials look to kick-start joint talks, cooperation

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican and Sunni Islam's leading institution of higher learning have begun looking for ways to restart formal dialogue. Acting on Pope Francis' expressed desire, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was sending a top-level official to Cairo to visit al-Azhar University, the council said in a written press release July 12.

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  • U.S. and Spanish journalists will lead Vatican press office

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis named two experienced journalists -- including its first female vice director -- to lead the Vatican press office. Greg Burke, a native of St. Louis, succeeds Italian Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who retires after 10 years as head of the Vatican press office, the Vatican announced July 11. Spanish journalist Paloma Garcia Ovejero fills in Burke's spot as vice director, making her the first female to hold that position.

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  • World Youth Day leaders tell pilgrims to prepare sensibly, spiritually

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As World Youth Day approaches, U.S. organizers offered tips on how pilgrims can prepare logistically, spiritually and even digitally. The largest U.S. group to attend a World Youth Day outside of North America, 30,000 American pilgrims plan to attend the July 26-31 festival in Krakow, Poland. They will join 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world.

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  • Tijuana shelters that house deportees find themselves housing refugees

    TIJUANA, Mexico (CNS) -- The border city of Tijuana is filled with dreams and nightmares, happy endings and tragic beginnings, broken families and shattered promises. Mostly, though, it is filled with waiting. People waiting to leave for the United States, people waiting to return to their families, people waiting for their families to return to them.

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  • Irish parliament rejects amendment that would have liberalized abortion

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- The Irish parliament has defeated legislation that would have allowed abortion of fetuses diagnosed with life-limiting conditions. Members of the Dail -- the lower house -- voted 95-45 July 7 to reject an amendment that would permit abortion in cases described as "fatal fetal abnormality." Pro-life campaigners pointed out that children in these circumstances often live beyond birth and some go on to lead healthy lives.

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  • Bishops say 6.5 million Malawians need food aid

    LILONGWE, Malawi (CNS) -- In Malawi, where 40 percent of the population needs food aid, the country's bishops have called for international help to avert a crisis. It is "disheartening and painful to think of our 6.5 million brothers and sisters" needing humanitarian assistance, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi said in a July 1 statement signed by its chairman, Bishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre.

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  • His mother rejected an abortion -- now, this priest helped her meet the Pope

    Rome, Italy, Jul 2, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- It was during the thalidomide sleeping pill craze that Sarah Figueiredo became pregnant with her fourth and last child, Anthony. Developed after the Second World War and found not only to help with sleeplessness but also to alleviate morning sickness for expectant mothers, thalidomide was widely prescribed by doctors across the world to their pregnant patients as a safe drug to use.

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  • Organizers: World Youth Day in Poland 'will involve long walks'

    WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- Young people attending World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland, may have to walk up to nine miles to and from one of its key sites, event organizers said. "They'll have to be ready for a long foot journey of several hours, but this has always been a feature of World Youth Days," said Anna Chmura, WYD's communications coordinator.

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  • Pope says critics won't stop him from pursuing vision for church

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he will continue pressing for a church that is open and understanding despite opposition from some clerics who "say no to everything." "They do their work and I do mine," the pope said when asked, "What is your relationship with ultraconservatives in the church?"

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  • SSPX head claims pope is encouraging error

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The superior general of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said Pope Francis, rather than denouncing errors in Catholic doctrine, has "encouraged" them. "The Society of St. Pius X prays and does penance for the pope, that he might have the strength to proclaim Catholic faith and morals in their entirety," said a statement published June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, patron saints of the church of Rome.

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  • Suicide bombers hit predominantly Christian Lebanese village near border

    BEIRUT (CNS) -- Four suicide bombers attacked a predominantly Christian village in northeast Lebanon near the border with Syria, killing five people in addition to themselves. Local news reports stated that the Islamic State group was suspected of the attack in the village of Qaa, which was carried out June 27 around 4 a.m. At least 15 people were injured.

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  • Pope Francis says Church must accompany gays, not discriminate

    Aboard the papal plane, Jun 26, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- In a wide-ranging inflight press conference on his way back from Armenia on Sunday, Pope Francis responded to a question on recent comments made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who said the Church must apologize to homosexual persons for having “marginalized” them.

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  • 'Hate crime' case against Valencia archbishop thrown out

    Valencia, Spain, Jun 25, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- A judge in Spain has thrown out a “hate crime” case concerning Cardinal Antonio Cañizares of Valencia, Spain, ruling that the cardinal’s homily warning of a “gay empire” is protected by freedom of speech.

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