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  • Polish bishop suggests World Youth Day 2016 should be 'open to all'

    , Poland (CNS) -- The Polish bishop overseeing preparations for World Youth Day 2016 has urged priests to ensure that no young people are excluded because of poverty.

    Auxiliary Bishop Damian Muskus of Krakow, Poland, which is hosting the international celebration, said arranging for young people who might not be able to attend the event would be "our priestly gifts for youngsters in this Year of Mercy."

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  • Don't be afraid or ashamed to go to confession, pope says

    N CITY (CNS) -- Trusting in God's infinite mercy, people should not be afraid or embarrassed to go to confession, Pope Francis said.

    "There are people who are afraid to go to confession, forgetting that they will not encounter a severe judge there, but the immensely merciful Father," Pope Francis told thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square Aug. 2 for the midday recitation of the Angelus prayer.

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  • CRS strengthens civil society groups in fractured Lebanon

    BEIRUT (CNS) -- When Samar Shalhoub and some friends wanted to better protect children in Lebanon from abuse and violence, they turned their dream into a nonprofit organization. They registered with the government and got to work holding workshops on bullying and ways that children could protect themselves against abduction, sexual abuse and violence. But, Shalhoub readily admits, they knew little about how to organize their organization.

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  • World Youth Day registration begins; pope is first person to sign up

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis was the first pilgrim to sign up for World Youth Day to be held in Krakow, Poland, launching the opening of registration. Accompanied by two Polish teenagers who wore World Youth Day 2016 t-shirts, the pope had to make a couple of attempts pressing the screen of a tablet before his online registration went through.

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  • Overtime, overhauls and the ordinary: 2013 goes down in Vatican history

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When the Vatican publishes its annual report detailing its activities and operations, the 1,400-page volume is filled with references to the every day and the exceptional. Each Vatican congregation, council, office and organization creates a summary of its ongoing projects, original publications, new equipment and technology, and major renovations in the "Attivita della Santa Sede" ("The Activity of the Holy See").

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  • Exhibit honors how St. John Paul changed Catholic-Jewish relations

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Helping to inaugurate an exhibit at the Vatican, the chief rabbi of Rome noted just how much "times have changed." "Seeing in St. Peter's Square the banner announcing the exhibit with an image of a pope -- that's normal -- but a pope shaking hands with a rabbi? That's not normal. It's a sign of how times have changed," said Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.

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  • Vatican ropes in global leaders to fight climate change, modern slavery

    Vatican City, Jul 26, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- Drawing dozens of mayors from major cities worldwide to discuss the link between slavery and climate change, this week's Vatican conference showed how secular leaders are responding to Pope Francis' lead in protecting the environment – and, more importantly, the vulnerable.

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  • Pope Francis: Let Jesus satisfy your hunger for God

    Vatican City, Jul 26, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- Jesus Christ’s miraculous multiplication of the loaves shows that he offers “fullness of life for hungry man,” Pope Francis said Sunday. He encouraged everyone to offer what little they have to God so that God can multiply their gifts and good deeds.

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  • Analysis: Caring for the Elderly

    Rome (ZENIT) -- This Sunday the Church in England and Wales celebrated the "Day for Life." This year the annual event focused on the treatment of people at the end of their lives. The topic of euthanasia is very relevant at the moment with a vote on the second reading of a bill allowing assisted suicide to take place in the House of Commons on September 11.

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  • Overtime, overhauls and the ordinary: 2013 goes down in Vatican history

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When the Vatican publishes its annual report detailing its activities and operations, the 1,400-page volume is filled with references to the every day and the exceptional. Each Vatican congregation, council, office and organization creates a summary of its ongoing projects, original publications, new equipment and technology, and major renovations in the "Attivita della Santa Sede" ("The Activity of the Holy See").

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  • Pakistan's Supreme Court Schedules Appeal Hearing For Christian Mother Sentenced to Death

    Rome (ZENIT) -- Pakistan's highest court is set to hear the appeal of Asia Bibi, who is facing a death sentence for blasphemy. According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the appeal hearing is set to be heard on Wednesday, July 22nd. Bibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, confirmed the date of the hearing to the Organization for Legal Aid, who will also be present in court.

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  • Good pastors always look, have compassion, teach, pope says at Angelus

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A good pastor always sees what people are going through, feels compassion and then nourishes them with God's Word, Pope Francis said. Seeing and being moved to pity "have always been associated with Jesus," the Good Shepherd, he said July 19 before reciting the Angelus with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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  • At Bolivian prison, pope calls himself man 'saved from his many sins'

    SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (CNS) -- Pope Francis visited one of Latin America's most notorious prisons, calling himself "a man who was and is saved from his many sins." "I couldn't leave Bolivia without seeing you, without sharing the hope and faith given in the cross," he told people at Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz.

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  • Vatican welcomes Iran's historic nuclear deal

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Holy See welcomed Iran's historic nuclear deal and expressed hopes that more future breakthroughs be on the horizon on other issues. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said that "the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See."

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  • Go to the source: Vatican archives help scholars make sense of history

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- On exam day, geology students might be handed a mystery rock to study, scratch and peer at, looking for clues to identify it and hypothesize about its origins and composition. On exam day at the Vatican Secret Archives, student-scholars get handed an obscure medieval manuscript to decipher, transcribe, analyze and hypothesize about its origins and historical context.

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  • In quake-hit Nepal, monsoon hampers relief work

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNS) -- Despite mobilizing financial support and procuring relief material to reach out to remote areas hit by April's earthquake, Catholic charities -- like others -- are facing problems caused by monsoon rains.

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  • Jordan bank of river where Jesus baptized declared UNESCO heritage site

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- UNESCO declared Bethany Beyond the Jordan, on the eastern side of the Jordan River, as a World Heritage site and the location of Jesus' baptism. "The decision is logical. The Eastern side is where all the Byzantine antiquities and churches are located," said Franciscan Father Eugenio Alliata, professor of Christian archaeology at Jerusalem's Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. He said pilgrimages to the Western side began only about 600 years ago. "But for us it is the Jordan River, the middle, which is the most holy place."

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  • Fr Lombardi: Pope's Visit to Native Latin America Showed a Pastor Among His Sheep

    Vatican City (ZENIT) -- In the wake of Pope Francis' apostolic visit to Latin America, July 5-13, Father Federico Lombardihas spoken on some key points that emerged. In aninterview with Vatican Radio after returning from the nine-day, three-country trip, the Holy See Press Office director stressed how struck he was bythe great presence of the people, saying the Pope's relationship with them continues to amaze him. Somany traveled and lined the streets to be near him, he observed, noting they did so with great faith and enthusiasm.

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  • Catholics in Bologna mourn Cardinal Biffi, a humorous, plain-spoken preacher

    Bologna, Italy, Jul 15, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- Humour, realism and culture characterized the life of Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, who died July 11 at the age of 87. The former Archbishop of Bologna had retired in 2003 and was living in small house near Bologna, but had been hospitalized for the past year in a clinic, where he died after a long sickness.

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  • Francis lauds strength of Paraguay women amid nation's bloody history

    Asunción, Paraguay, Jul 10, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- Arriving in Paraguay on Friday, Pope Francis recognized the particular contribution of women in the nation’s warn-torn past.   The Pope said that he would “like to acknowledge with profound admiration the role played by the women of Paraguay in those dramatic historical moments.”

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  • Pope Francis apparently not amused by 'communist crucifix'

    La Paz, Bolivia, Jul 9, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- When leftist Bolivian president Evo Morales on Thursday presented Pope Francis with a “communist crucifix” – a carving of Christ crucifiedon the hammer of a hammer and sickle – the Pope's only reaction was to say, “This is not ok,” while shaking his head.

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  • Pell says same-sex votes show society abandoning Christian foundations

    CORK, Ireland (CNS) -- The outcome of May's same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland and the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on the same issue clearly show the extent to which Western society is abandoning many of its Christian legal foundations, said Australian Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy.

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  • Philippine bishops to decide whether to establish climate change desk

    MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Philippine bishops meeting in Manila will decide whether or not to establish a "climate change desk," part of a push by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. The federation wants each bishops' conference in 22 countries to set up such a desk to support action plans to mitigate the impact of climate change and also study Pope Francis' "Laudato Si'" encyclical.

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  • From Argentina, an exodus to see Pope Francis in Paraguay, Bolivia

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNS) -- Residents of Villa 21-24, a slum on the south side of the Argentine capital, hold fond memories of Pope Francis. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis paid frequent visits to the mostly Paraguayan immigration population, celebrated Mass every Dec. 8 for the feast of Our Lady of Caacupe -- Paraguay's patroness -- and even joined them in the procession that followed through the alleyways of the "villa" -- short for "villas de miseria," or "misery villages," as the shanties here are known. He also baptized and confirmed the children of the residents and made the "villas" a priority, an early example of the church serving the poor, of which he often speaks.

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  • What did he just say? Pope Francis off-the-cuff in Latin America

    Quito, Ecuador, Jul 5, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- The world is about to see a new side to Pope Francis and, interestingly, it could be the most intimate look yet at who he really is. For the first time since he was elected as the Successor of Peter, he’s visiting his native Latin America and the difference will be on the tip of his tongue.

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  • A bloody secret still haunts the diamond industry

    Washington D.C., Jul 5, 2015 CNA.- Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night by a dark figure in your room. He presses a gun to your head and demands that you get up. You and your family are dragged out of bed and led to a mining field, where you are forced to dig for hours on end.

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  • Receiving awards, Benedict XVI credits witness of John Paul II

    Vatican City, Jul 4, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- After receiving an honorary doctorate from both the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and the Krakow Academy of Music, retired pontiff Benedict XVI credited the saintly example of his predecessor for his spiritual and theological achievements.

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