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  • Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

    MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In a letter dated Sept. 20, the Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, said Bishop Franco Mulakkal would be temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties for the Diocese of Jalandhar.

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  • Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope Francis said. "Among us there is also the habit of saying awful things, even profanity. Please, never, never, never insult other people's parents. Never! Never insult a mother, never insult a father," the pope said Sept. 19 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

    HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media outlets. Vatican spokesmen have said only that talks are ongoing. But a Vatican source told America magazine, the New York-based weekly published by the Jesuits, that the deal is due to be signed in Beijing before the end of September, but the report said the text of the agreement will not be made public even after the signing.

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  • Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

    Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors and said he anticipates change in the church. Speaking out for the first time Sept. 16 regarding the contents of a leaked document on church sexual abuse in Germany, Cardinal Marx attributed the abuse to the church "lacking attentiveness, lacking sensitivity, through the absence of love."

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  • Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

    Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement on the appointment of bishops in the country, attention has turned to the role of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick in fostering Vatican-China relations over the last two decades.

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  • Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

    HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook page was meant to assure people that 60-year-old Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton had fulfilled his pledge to go skydiving and had completed the task successfully and unharmed.

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  • Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that "lovely" words and promises are not enough -- concrete, concerted action by the whole church is needed, said Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.

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  • Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the order. "You are men who are able to resolve conflicts, to make peace (using) that wisdom that comes precisely from being close" to people, particularly those most in need, he told the group Sept. 14. The order was holding its general chapter in Rome Aug. 27-Sept. 16.

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  • What is the pontifical secret?

    Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, many have called for official Vatican files on the former cardinal to be released. While this may seem like the easiest way of assessing the truth of Viganò’s claims, many of the documents in question could be protected by the “pontifical secret.” But what is that?

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  • Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

    Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive to live a consistent witness of morality. “One cannot live a double morality: one for the people of God and another in their own home,” the pope told a group of priests, religious and seminarians in Palermo, Italy, Sept. 15.

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  • Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said Catholic aid workers in the region. "There is concern that the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which is already dire, will be made worse," Hilary DuBose, who represents Catholic Relief Services in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza, told Catholic News Service. "These massive budget cuts being made will impact CRS programs, though it is difficult to estimate (at this point) what that will be."

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  • Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, Algeria, the country's bishops announced. Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, will preside over the Mass and beatification rite for the six women and 13 men who gave their lives "for the least, the sick and the men, women and young people of Algeria," said a statement published by the bishops Sept. 13.

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  • Update way priests are chosen, accompanied, pope tells new bishops

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The best way to help the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told new bishops, is not by pointing fingers and creating scapegoats, but by working together doing God's will. Do not be embarrassed to talk to the faithful, to answer their questions, he told them, and pay "specific attention" to the priests and seminaries in the diocese.

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  • Vatican confirms ongoing Sistine Chapel Choir finance inquiry

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican confirmed an ongoing investigation into financial irregularities involving the directors of the Sistine Chapel Choir. "Several months ago, Pope Francis authorized an investigation into the economic-administrative aspects of the (Sistine Chapel) Choir. The investigation is still in progress," the Vatican press office said Sept. 12.

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  • Cardinal Wuerl to ask pope to accept his resignation

    Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- An archdiocesan spokesman has confirmed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl will soon ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation as the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. In a Sept. 11 letter to priests, Wuerl said that he would soon meet with the pope to discuss his future, but did not state at the time that he would ask the pope to allow him to resign.

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  • U.S. bishops tell pope abuse scandal 'lacerated' the church

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The leaders of the U.S. bishops' conference said they shared with Pope Francis how the church in the United States has been "lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse." "He listened very deeply from the heart," said a statement released after the meeting Sept. 13.

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  • Pope accepts resignation of Brazilian bishop arrested for embezzlement

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a Brazilian bishop who was arrested and charged with embezzling thousands of dollars in diocesan funds. In March, Bishop Jose Ronaldo Ribeiro of Formosa was arrested and charged, along with four diocesan priests, with stealing about $606,000 of diocesan money.

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  • Love breaks chains of slavery to sin, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Only true love for God and neighbor can destroy the chains of greed, lust, anger and envy that enslave humankind, Pope Francis said. "True love is true freedom: It detaches from possession, rebuilds relationships, it knows how to welcome and value the neighbor, it transforms every struggle into a joyous gift and makes communion possible," the pope said Sept. 12 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Archbishop Ganswein says abuse crisis is church's 9/11

    ROME (CNS) -- The concern of now-retired Pope Benedict XVI and the promises made by the majority of church leaders were not able to stop the evil of clerical sexual abuse, which has been the 9/11 of the Catholic Church, the retired pope's personal secretary said.

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  • Pope encourages bishops to remain close to Venezuelan people

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis encouraged the bishops of Venezuela to continue supporting their fellow citizens who suffer greatly due to poverty, hunger and sickness. During a nearly two-hour meeting Sept. 11, the bishops updated the pope on the dire situation endured by the population under the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, said Archbishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala of Maracaibo, president of the Venezuelan bishops' conference.

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  • Council of Cardinals expresses 'full solidarity' with pope

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Members of Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals expressed "full solidarity" with him in the midst of questions about his handling of the clerical sexual abuse scandal and said the Vatican is planning a response to allegations made against him by a former nuncio.

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  • Shining a light on St. Paul: Archaeological site renovated

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Turning an archaeological discovery into an appealing, informative site for tourists takes more than just digging interesting remains and ruins out of the dirt. That's why experts from the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology turned to a string of outside professionals to help spiff up a site unearthed near the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls 11 years ago.

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  • Facing facts, coming to terms with one's past bring peace, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People need to make peace with their lives and anything they are running from, rather than lose themselves to escapism and playful distraction, Pope Francis said. There is an "industry of distraction" in full force today, which paints the ideal world as being "a big playground where everybody has fun" and the ideal individual as one who "makes money in order to have fun, find satisfaction" in the many "vast and diverse avenues of pleasure," he said Sept. 5 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Vigano, spokesmen dispute facts of contested pope meeting in Washington

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Days after he called on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly ignoring sanctions placed on then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano provided his version of a meeting that, in the minds of many, changed the overall narrative of Pope Francis' visit to the United States in 2015.

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  • Former nuncio now says sanctions against McCarrick were 'private'

    ROME (CNS) -- Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former nuncio to the United States who called on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly lifting sanctions placed on Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, now says those "sanctions" were "private" and neither he nor now-retired Pope Benedict XVI ever was able to enforce them.

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  • Pope: 'I will not say a single word' on Vigano's allegations of cover-up

    Aboard the papal plane (CNA/EWTN News) -- Pope Francis said August 26 that he will not comment on claims by a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. that the pope knew about allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and reinstated him in ministry. The pope said people should make up their own minds about the claims.

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  • German church leaders deplore latest xenophobic violence

    WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- German Catholic leaders condemned anti-immigrant riots in an eastern Germany town that erupted after a German man was killed in a brawl with migrants. "This deadly stabbing is a criminal offense which needs clearing up and sanctioning by the rule of law. It can never justify xenophobic, inhuman mass demonstrations," Bishop Heinrich Timmerevers of Dresden-Meissen told KNA, Germany's Catholic news agency, Aug. 28.

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  • Ex-nuncio accuses Pope Francis of failing to act on McCarrick's abuse reports

    Vatican City, Aug 25, 2018 National Catholic Register.- In an 11-page written testament, a former apostolic nuncio to the United States has accused several senior prelates of complicity in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s allegations of sexual abuse, and has claimed that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on then-Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI but chose to repeal them.

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  • Update: Pope begins Mass in Dublin with penitential plea for abuse scandals

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Before celebrating Mass in a Dublin park, Pope Francis solemnly asked forgiveness for the thousands of cases of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by Catholics in Ireland. "We ask forgiveness for the abuse in Ireland, abuse of power and of conscience, sexual abuse" by clergy and religious, he said Aug. 26. "In a special way, we ask forgiveness for all the abuse committed in the different institutions run by religious men and religious women and other members of the church."

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