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  • Retired Pope Benedict says it was his 'duty' to resign from papacy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI said in an interview that he felt a "duty" to resign from the papacy because of his declining health and the rigorous demands of papal travel. While his heart was set on completing the Year of Faith, the retired pope told Italian journalist Elio Guerriero that after his visit to Mexico and Cuba in March 2012, he felt he was "incapable of fulfilling" the demands of another international trip, especially with World Youth Day 2013 scheduled for Brazil.

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  • Seminarians abroad: Study in Rome promotes cultural sensitivity

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Learning to walk in the shoes of a "foreigner" is not on the formal syllabus of the Pontifical North American College, but it happens. The students at the U.S. bishops' seminary in Rome know they have a place to eat, sleep, pray and study, but they still experience some of the uprootedness that many of their future parishioners have experienced. And, like many Hispanic Catholics at home, the Hispanic seminarians in Rome preserve and share their religious and culinary traditions with their classmates.

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  • 'Hello. My name is Mother Teresa. I just wanted to give you my card.'

    Denver, Colo., Aug 25, 2016 CNA.- It happened on the most ordinary day, in the most ordinary of places. A woman stood by herself in the back of an airport lounge, flipping distractedly through a magazine while she waited for her flight. Suddenly, she was approached by a 5’0” woman in a blue and white sari.

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  • India gears up for Mother Teresa canonization celebrations

    Calcutta, India, Aug 22, 2016 CNA.- Mother Teresa will be canonized on Sept. 4, and a global film festival aims to screen 23 movies to mark the event. The Mother Teresa International Film Festival will feature seven India-made movies, along with entries from the U.S., France, the U.K., Spain, Italy, Canada and Japan, Can-India News reports.

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  • Olympic runner who helped fallen competitor finds inspiration in God

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 17, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- An Olympic runner whose sportsmanship drew headlines this week says that her faith in God helps her to find joy in her sport. Abbey D’Agostino, who was raised in a Catholic family, spoke to Julia Hanlon’s “Running On Om” podcast, published November 18, 2015. She discussed her fears and anxieties about running, her injuries, and her prayer life.

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  • Pope: Mercy, pastoral care should guide research on life, family

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Appointing Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia as the new chancellor for the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and new president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Francis said he wanted to make sure the two bodies help the church offer better care to people who are hurting.

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  • Pope: Jesus' compassion is a call to service, not a vague sentiment

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Jesus' compassion toward people in need is not a vague sentiment, but a calling for Christians to bring that same compassion to others, Pope Francis said. By miraculously feeding thousands of people, Jesus made an act "of faith and prayer" that "shows the full strength of his will to be close to us and to save us," the pope said Aug. 17 at his weekly general audience.

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  • The mercy-filled life: Mother Teresa embodied what Pope Francis teaches

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- If there is one person who immersed herself in the "peripheries" Pope Francis is drawn to, it was Blessed Teresa of Kolkata. If there was one who showed courage and creativity in bringing God's mercy to the world, like Pope Francis urges, it was the diminutive founder of the Missionaries of Charity.

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  • The Catholic Americas come together for the Year of Mercy

    Bogotá, Colombia, Aug 14, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- South America’s Catholic leaders will celebrate the Catholic Church’s Year of Mercy in a special way, gathering for a continental celebration in Colombia. They will pray a rosary for the Americas, visit poor parts of Bogota, and reflect on the example of the saints.

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  • Checking in: Pope invites Syrian refugees to lunch

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At a luncheon that was part reunion and part progress report, Pope Francis invited 21 Syrian refugees to join him at the Vatican Aug. 11. The pope's lunch guests included the 12 refugees -- three married couples and six children -- Pope Francis brought back to Rome with him from Lesbos, Greece, in April and another nine Syrian refugees who arrived in Rome in mid-June with Vatican assistance.

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  • Unlocking forgiveness: Vatican tribunal promotes pardon

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Apostolic Penitentiary has nothing to do with a jail cell and everything to do with ensuring repentant sinners experience God's mercy. Established in the 12th century when penitential pilgrimages to Rome began to bring thousands of faithful to the city seeking absolution of their sins, much of the office's work is covered by anonymity and the absolute secret of the confessional seal.

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  • The deadly danger of global blasphemy laws

    Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Among the biggest threats to religious freedom worldwide are blasphemy laws, the State Department said in its annual religious freedom report, released Wednesday.

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  • Meet the priest who serves the most rural parts of Papua New Guinea

    Kundiawa, Papua New Guinea, Aug 9, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- In the deep Melanesian jungles, a native Papua New Guinea Catholic priest walks miles through the deep thick forests. He scales the country’s steep mountainous terrain to reach his remote flock and serve in the poorest parishes every weekend.

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  • U.N. Refugee Olympic team: 'The victory scream of all refugees'

    RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- Glued to the improvised screen set up on the patio of the Caritas house, the refugees yelled and they cried. But most of all, they cheered. They cheered for their two Congolese colleagues, Popole Misenga, 24, and Yolande Mabika, 28, who were competing in judo as part of the United Nations' Refugee Olympic team.

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  • Kolkata gears up for celebrations of 'St. Teresa'

    KOLKATA, India (CNS) -- A group of young independent photographers are busy clicking away, taking photos of the "City of Joy." Their photos, part of the crowdsourced "Sainthood Project," will be displayed in several locations in Rome in early September, to coincide with the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata. The photographers are volunteers, trying to highlight aspects of the young Mother Teresa, who founded the Missionaries of Charity to serve the "poorest of the poor" in India. The young people are funding their own travel to Rome to participate in the ceremony and exhibit the photographs in open-air galleries.

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  • Mother Teresa: 'Do small things with great love'

    KOLKATA, India (CNS) -- A favorite motto of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata was: "Do small things with great love." But the "small things" she did so captivated the world that she was showered with honorary degrees and other awards, almost universally praised by the media and sought out by popes, presidents, philanthropists and other figures of wealth and influence.

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  • The shocking prayer of a young Iraqi: 'Have mercy on ISIS'

    Krakow, Poland, Aug 7, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- (Editor's note: This article includes explicit descriptions of violence. Reader discretion is advised.) Christina Shabo was born under a tree in a refugee camp after her family fled bombing in their Iraqi hometown in 1991.

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  • Want to help persecuted Christians? A few easy steps

    Toronto, Canada, Aug 4, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Middle East Christians need help to survive, and leaders in the relief effort have outlined what the average Catholic can do. “They can speak out. They should talk with their parish. And they should pray,” Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, told CNA Aug. 3.

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  • Vatican prepares 'St. Teresa' of Kolkata stamp

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican will anticipate the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata with a special postage stamp, which will be released Sept. 2, two days before Pope Francis officially declares her a saint.

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  • Mercy, poor at center of Blessed Teresa's canonization events

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The poor, the suffering and those who minister to them will be at the center of celebrations leading up to the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata at the Vatican. The main event -- the canonization Mass -- will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 4, the Vatican announced Aug. 5.

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  • Cardinal Ouellet urges Knights to reread 'Amoris Laetitia'

    TORONTO (CNS) -- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, whose writings were once strongly identified with resistance to any change to the ban on Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, has given a ringing endorsement to "Amoris Laetitia," the apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis that sums up two synods on the family.

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  • Go for the solidarity, pope tells Olympic athletes

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A more important prize than a gold medal is up for grabs at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: a chance to experience solidarity and contribute to the realization that all people are members of one human family, Pope Francis said.

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  • World at war needs signs of brotherhood, friendship, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a world traumatized by war, young people gathered for World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, gave strong signs of hope and brotherhood, Pope Francis said. World Youth Day was a "prophetic sign for Poland and Europe" and took on a "global dimension" in a world threatened by a war fought in pieces, the pope said Aug. 3 at his weekly general audience.

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  • Pope names six women, six men to panel to study women deacons

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed six men and six women to a commission to study the issue of women deacons, particularly their ministry in the early church. In addition to the 12 members named Aug. 2, the pope tapped Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to serve as president of the commission.

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  • Amid allegations, Dublin prelate to stop sending seminarians to Maynooth

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said he would no longer send students to the national seminary at Maynooth amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior. The archbishop referred to allegations of what he described as a "gay culture" in the seminary and further allegations that some seminarians have been using a gay dating app.

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  • Pope creates commission to study women deacons

    Vatican City, Aug 2, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis has instituted a new commission for the study of women deacons, the Vatican announced Tuesday. The decision comes several months after a papal audience with a group of religious sisters, during which Pope expressed his willingness to consider forming a commission to study women deacons, such as they existed in the early Church.

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  • It's not right to equate Islam with violence, pope says

    ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- An economy that focuses on the God of money, not human beings, is the foundation of terrorism, Pope Francis said. Speaking to journalists aboard his return flight from Krakow, Poland, July 31, the pope also stressed that violence exists in all religions, including Catholicism, and it cannot be pinned to one single religion.

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  • Panama to host next WYD in 2019, Pope announces

    Krakow, Poland, Jul 31, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- On Sunday Pope Francis officially closed WYD in Krakow, thanking the thousands of youth who traveled across the world to participate, and announced that the next global encounter will take place in Panama.

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  • Don't tuck life away, take risks, pope tells young people

    KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Take risks and do not let life's obstacles get in the way of encountering the true joy and life that Jesus can give, Pope Francis told more than 1 million young people. "Don't be afraid to say 'yes' to him with all your heart, to respond generously and to follow him," the pope told pilgrims at the closing Mass July 31 for World Youth Day. "Don't let your soul grow numb, but aim for the goal of a beautiful love which also demands sacrifice."

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  • Palestinian, Israeli pilgrims share faith, locale in Field of Mercy

    KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- At least for a few minutes at World Youth Day, the physical barriers between Palestinian and Israeli communities were nonexistent. A group of Palestinian Catholics and a contingent of Hebrew-speaking Catholics from Israel found themselves in the same sector at the Field of Mercy for the closing programs of World Youth Day.

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  • Pope makes unscheduled visit to relics of Polish martyrs killed in Peru

    KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop at a church in Krakow to venerate the relics of two Polish Conventual Franciscans killed by insurgents in Peru in 1991. The pope also recited a prayer for peace and protection from violence and terrorism at St. Francis Church in Krakow July 30 before heading to the World Youth Day prayer vigil.

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  • Pope Francis: Cruelty did not end at Auschwitz; it continues today

    KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Humankind's cruelty did not end with the Holocaust, but rages on in the suffering of those living through war, homelessness and persecution, Pope Francis said. "This cruelty exists today. We say: 'Yes, we have seen cruelty, 70 years ago; how they died shot, hanged or gassed.' But today, in so many places in the world where there is war, the same thing happens," the pope told a crowd gathered late July 29 outside the archbishop's residence in Krakow where he is staying.

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  • 'Go out,' keep writing Gospel of mercy, pope tells clergy, religious

    KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- Catholic priests and nuns must renounce their personal interests and create a church that "goes into the world" with "living writers of the Gospel," Pope Francis said. "In our lives as priests and consecrated persons, we can often be tempted to remain enclosed, out of fear or convenience, within ourselves and in our surroundings," the pontiff said July 30 during a Mass with Polish religious, priests, seminarians and bishops.

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  • A 'cry of hope' after the death of Father Hamel

    Paris, France, Jul 29, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- At a Mass said for the victims of Tuesday's church attack in France, the Archbishop of Paris appealed for hope as he remembered Father Jacques Hamel, who was killed by two Islamic State terrorists as he was celebrating the Eucharist.

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