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  • German bishops urge patience in efforts to deal with abuse scandal

    BONN, Germany (CNS) -- German bishops urged patience toward their efforts to deal with the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in Germany. The German Catholic news agency KNA reported the bishops, meeting in Wurzburg, said the plans that resulted from the latest investigations needed time. Their appeal came 10 years since the first revelations of the abuse emerged.

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  • Remembering Holocaust is 'a duty,' pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said remembering the millions of men, women and children who perished in the Holocaust is a call for the world today to reflect and commit to not repeating the atrocities of the past.

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  • Cardinals Re, Sandri elected to top posts in College of Cardinals

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has approved the election of Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re as dean of the College of Cardinals and of Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as the subdean. The Vatican announced the elections Jan. 25, about a month after Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 92, stepped down as dean and Pope Francis announced he was changing church law to limit the dean's service to a five-year term, which is renewable once.

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  • Pope, Pence meet at the Vatican

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After Pope Francis and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met privately for nearly an hour at the Vatican, Pence told the pope that his Roman Catholic mother will be pleased with the visit.

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  • New research details Catholic inmates at Auschwitz

    WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A Polish researcher has published the first study of religious practices among Christian prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau, as the 75th anniversary of the Nazi-run death camp's liberation was marked in Israel and Poland.

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  • Financial watchdog group lifts Vatican suspension

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican announced that a suspension imposed on its financial oversight office by a prominent financial watchdog network has been lifted. In a statement released Jan. 23, Carmelo Barbagallo, head of the Vatican Financial Information Authority, said that Mariano Federici, president of the Egmont Group, "decided to revoke the decision taken on Nov. 13, 2019, to suspend the Financial Information Authority from the international information circuit, Egmont Secure Web."

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  • Looking East: Book on celibacy barely acknowledges Eastern tradition

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The controversy surrounding retired Pope Benedict XVI's contribution to a new book on priestly celibacy demonstrates just how much both substance and appearances matter. And, as far as substance goes, the book paid scant attention to the uninterrupted presence of married priests in all but two of the Eastern Catholic churches.

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  • Hospitality is an important ecumenical virtue, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Showing hospitality makes a person a better human being and a better Christian and is an important part of promoting Christian unity, Pope Francis said. "Working together to live with ecumenical hospitality, particularly toward those whose lives are most vulnerable, will make us -- all Christians, Protestants, Orthodox, Catholics, all Christians -- better human beings, better disciples and a more united Christian people," the pope said Jan. 22 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Pope urges bishops to teach discernment, including on political issues

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sometimes the political choices people face can seem like a choice between supporting a "snake" or supporting a "dragon," but Pope Francis told a group of U.S. bishops their job is to step back from partisan politics and help their faithful discern based on values, said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.

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  • Pope decries 'barbaric resurgence' of anti-Semitism

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis condemned the "barbaric resurgence" of anti-Semitism and criticized the selfish indifference that is creating the conditions for division, populism and hatred. "I will never tire of firmly condemning every form of anti-Semitism," the pope told a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization based in Los Angeles that combats hate and anti-Semitism around the world.

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  • Pope hopes Berlin summit will lead to peace in Libya

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he hoped that an international summit in Berlin would be the first step toward peace in war-torn Libya. "I very much hope that this summit, which is so important, will be the start of a path toward an end to violence and a negotiated solution leading to peace and the much-desired stability of the country," the pope told pilgrims Jan. 19 during his Sunday Angelus address.

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  • Official logo for the Sunday of the Word of God unveiled at Vatican

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- An icon of the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus was chosen as the official logo for the worldwide celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God. The colorful logo is based on an icon written by the late-Benedictine Sister Marie-Paul Farran, a member of the Our Lady of Calvary Congregation, who lived and worked at its monastery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

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  • Canadian communities recall friends, relatives killed in Tehran crash

    EDMONTON, Alberta (CNS) -- If grief is a journey, this is the first painful step: searing heartache. More than 2,500 people filled the Saville Community Sports Centre at the University of Alberta Jan. 12 to remember the lives of 13 Edmontonians and 163 others lost when Ukrainian Airlines International Flight PS752 was shot down by a missile shortly after takeoff from Tehran. All 176 people onboard were killed in the Jan. 8 crash, including 57 Canadians.

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  • Quebec to take ethics, religious culture out of school curriculum

    QUEBEC CITY (CNS) -- The government of Quebec is about to eliminate its Ethics and Religious Culture curriculum, which replaced catechesis in schools in 2008. In announcing a public consultation about what should replace the program, Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said there's still "too much" religion in schools.

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  • French bishops' council OKs removing gender IDs on baptism certificates

    OXFORD, England (CNS) -- The French bishops' permanent council has approved a recommendation to remove gender references for parents on baptismal certificates. Bishop Joseph de Metz-Noblat of Langres, president of the French bishops' Council for Canonical Questions, said the changes were made to bring baptismal practices into line with new gender-equality laws.

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  • Brazil's high court: Netflix can continue 'First Temptation of Christ'

    SAO PAULO (CNS) -- Supreme Court Justice Jose Antonio Dias Toffoli has overturned a lower court decision to temporarily suspend Netflix's Brazilian-made movie, "The First Temptation of Christ." The satirical movie has been severely criticized by Catholic organizations and hundreds of Brazilians for suggesting that Jesus had a homosexual experience after spending 40 days in the desert.

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  • German bishop dampens hopes of shared Communion

    ERFURT, Germany (CNS) -- Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg voiced skepticism about a recent proposal by German theologians for Catholics and Protestants to reciprocally open access to Communion. The German Catholic news agency KNA reported that Bishop Feige, head of the German bishops' commission on ecumenism, said the agreements formulated by an ecumenical working group in September did not necessarily correspond with the reality of the church work in practice.

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  • Don't let the devil light 'fire' of war in your heart, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People cannot call themselves Christians if they sow the seeds of war, Pope Francis said. Finding fault and condemning others is "the temptation of the devil for making war," the pope said in his homily during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Jan. 9, the same day he gave his annual address to the diplomats accredited to the Vatican.

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  • Amid threat of war, world must not give up hope, pope tells diplomats

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Hope is the virtue needed to approach the coming year, especially when the looming threat of war surrounds a humanity scarred by violence, Pope Francis said. During his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, the pope said that with heightened tensions and acts of violence on the rise, the "new year does not seem to be marked by encouraging signs."

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  • Euthanasia increases organ donations in Canada amid ethical concerns

    Ottawa, Canada, Jan 7, 2020 CNA.- Increasing numbers of peoplekilled by euthanasia are supplyinga “boon” for organ transplant surgeries in Canada, according to an Ottowa newspaper. But politicians and ethicists told CNA the practice was “rather horrifying” and raises questions of “coercion.”

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  • Iraqis hope attacks by U.S., Iran will ease and tensions will decrease

    AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) -- Iraqis hope the violent attacks by the U.S. and Iran will ease and that moves to decrease tensions will take hold, said an Iraqi archbishop. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis of Kirkuk, Iraq, repeated the overarching concern of the majority of Iraqis, regardless of their religious affiliation: that foreign troops stop using their shattered homeland as a battlefield to settle scores.

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  • Life's trials train Christians to be sensitive to others, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians survive trials and tribulations with the help of their faith in Christ and pay it forward by being compassionate toward others who suffer, Pope Francis said. "A 'tried' Christian can certainly become closer to those who suffer and make his or her heart open and sensitive in solidarity with others," the pope said Jan. 8 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Worldly spirit blurs lines between good, evil, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians must be on guard against the spirit of worldliness that confuses and blurs the lines between what is good and what is evil, Pope Francis said. While the Holy Spirit gives men and women "the strength to remain in the Lord," there are still Christians who "even today identify the Holy Spirit only with the dove," the pope said Jan. 7 in his homily during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • New rules in China target unregistered Catholic, Protestant churches

    SIEM REAP, Cambodia (CNS) -- The Chinese government has targeted unregistered Catholic and Protestant churches with a new expansion of rules and regulations governing religious organizations. It will institute another raft of laws covering 41 religion-related topics Feb. 1, two years after the implementation of another set of restrictive laws for religious groups in the country.

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  • Faith is about worshipping God, not oneself, pope says on Epiphany

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Worshipping the Lord as the Three Kings did involves making a journey "from the greatest form of bondage: slavery to oneself," Pope Francis said on the feast of the Epiphany. To worship like the Magi did is "to bring gold to the Lord and to tell him that nothing is more precious than he is. To offer him incense and to tell him that only in union with him can our lives rise up to heaven. To present him with myrrh, balm for the bruised and wounded, and to promise him that we will aid our marginalized and suffering neighbors in whom he himself is present," the pope said.

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  • Pope prays for dialogue as tensions mount between U.S., Iran

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis led pilgrims in prayers for peace as tensions between the United States and Iran escalated following the assassination of a top Iranian general. Several days after Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, warned of "harsh retaliation" for the Jan. 3 U.S. drone attack that killed General Qassem Soleimani, the pope said that "a terrible air of tension is felt in many parts of the world."

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  • Iraqi cardinal: Innocents will 'be the fuel' for fire after drone strike

    Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako, responding to a U.S. drone attack in Baghdad that killed Iran's top general, said "wisdom is required to avoid the 'volcanic eruption' we are about to face." Speaking during the Epiphany Mass in Baghdad Jan. 6, he said the current crisis resulted from the "upsetting escalation, as well as the emotional and impulsive decisions taken which lacked wisdom and the sense of responsibility."

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  • Ecological sin: Idea of updating catechism sparks debate

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' announcement that the Catechism of the Catholic Church would be updated to include a definition of "ecological sin" sent Catholic Twitter into a frenzy. Reactions ranged from praise for how seriously the church was taking the obligation to care for creation to cynicism or even outrage over the church's involvement in what many considered to be a highly politicized issue.

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  • Notre-Dame still at risk of destruction, says rector

    Paris, France, Dec 27, 2019 CNA.- This year Christmas Mass was not celebrated at Notre-Dame de Paris for the first time since the French First Republic, and the cathedral’s rector says that there is a significant chance the building cannot be rebuilt safely.

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  • Maltese cardinal, patristic scholar, dies at 94

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Maltese Cardinal Prosper Grech, an Augustinian priest and expert on the fathers of the early church, died Dec. 30 at the Santo Spirito Hospital near the Vatican. He was 94. In a message of condolence to the prior general of the Augustinians, Pope Francis said he always had "great esteem" for the cardinal, "both because of his personal witness of Christian and consecrated life, as well as for his exemplary service to the formation of new generations, especially of priests."

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