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  • Pope in Geneva: Real ecumenism puts Christ over division

    Vatican City, Jun 21, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis landed in Geneva Thursday for a day-trip aimed at bolstering ecumenical relations, saying off the bat that division among Christians is borne from worldliness, and Christ must be prioritized over any differences that might get in the way of unity.

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  • Pope: Commandments are God's loving words, not oppressive commands

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Ten Commandments given by God are meant to protect his children from self-destruction; they are not harsh rules meant to enslave and oppress, Pope Francis said. Since the days of Adam and Eve, the devil has sought to deceive people into believing that the rules set forth by God are "the imposition of a despot who prohibits and forces" rather than a loving father "who is taking care of his children," the pope said June 20 at his general audience in St. Peter's Square.

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  • Out of this world: Vatican's care for creation includes final frontier

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- No periphery is far enough away to escape a pope's purview. Not even outer space. From Pope Gregory XIII's observational tower built in the Vatican Gardens in the 16th century so celestial studies could aid the reform of the calendar to Pope Leo XIII, who officially re-founded the Vatican Observatory in the late 19th century, popes have kept their eyes fixed on the heavens.

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  • Relic of St Clement found in trash settles into Westminster Cathedral

    London, England, Jun 19, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- A relic discovered last year by a U.K. waste management company found a home Tuesday in London's Westminster Cathedral. “Choosing an appropriate resting place was very important to us,” said Enviro Waste Owner James Rubin in a statement on the company's website. “Therefore, we think Westminster Cathedral is the best and safest place for the bone due to its importance to the church and to ensure that it won’t get lost again!”

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  • Pew report says young adults worldwide less religious than older adults

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A study by the Pew Research Center found that young adults worldwide are generally less religious than older adults by a variety of measures. The study, which drew upon previous surveys by Pew, concluded that this was true regardless of the predominant religion in the country, its level of economic development, or its level of religiosity. It defined young people as those under 40 years of age and older people as those 40 or older.

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  • Questions on sexuality loom large ahead of youth synod

    Vatican City, Jun 19, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- According to the official working document for the upcoming synod of bishops on youth, the major questions for young people ahead of the October discussion surround issues of sexuality and gender, the role of women and the desire for a Church that knows how to listen.

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  • Nearly 500 British priests sign statement in support of 'Humanae Vitae'

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Nearly 500 British priests have signed a statement in support of the papal encyclical that forbade married couples from using contraception. They said the prophetic warnings contained within "Humane Vitae," (Of Human Life) published by Blessed Pope Paul VI July 25 1968, have proved to be accurate.

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  • Dictatorships begin with taking over media to spread lies, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- All dictatorships begin the same way: media outlets are put in the hands of "unscrupulous" people who spread lies and weaken democracy, Pope Francis said. Typical standards, norms and laws in regard to communications are first eliminated, the pope said in his homily June 18 during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Pope met with brother of Chilean priest found guilty of abuse

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The brother of Chilean Father Fernando Karadima called on his brother to ask forgiveness for the hurt inflicted on those he sexually abused. "I would ask him to be humble. Fernando, ask for forgiveness. Not in silence to God or in your prayers. Do it publicly, that people hear that you ask forgiveness for the harm you have done to victims and to everyone," Oscar Karadima said in an interview with Chilean newspaper La Tercera, published June 17.

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  • Council of Cardinals finalizes draft of new document on Roman Curia

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will review a finalized draft of the apostolic constitution that would govern the Roman Curia, the Vatican spokesman said. The document, provisionally titled "Praedicate Evangelium" ("Preach the Gospel"), was reviewed by the international Council of Cardinals, and the draft will be "given to the Holy Father for the considerations he deems opportune, useful and necessary," said Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, June 13.

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  • Pope leads prayers for U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Leading thousands of people in prayer, Pope Francis said he hoped the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea would lead to lasting peace. After praying the Angelus with an estimated 20,000 people in St. Peter's Square June 10, the pope said he wanted to convey "a special thought to the beloved Korean people," and he asked the crowd to pray the "Hail Mary" so that "Our Lady, Queen of Korea, may accompany these talks."

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  • German bishops react to Vatican decision on communion for Protestants

    Munich, Germany, Jun 8, 2018 CNA.- Several German bishops have reacted with surprise, consternation and criticism to theVatican’s rejection of a proposal to allow Protestants married to Catholics to receive the Eucharist in certain circumstances. One prominent cardinal has said he is "furious" with how the Communion debate is playing out.

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  • Australian law mandates reporting abuse admissions made in confessional

    SYDNEY (CNS) -- Laws requiring Catholic priests to break the seal of confession in some cases passed the Australian Capital Territory's Legislative Assembly in Canberra June 7. The purpose of the Ombudsman Amendment Bill 2018 was to expand the Reportable Conduct Scheme governing allegations of child abuse and misconduct to include religious organizations.

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  • Pope applauds patriarch's call to protect the planet, protect people

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said that when he was on the Greek island of Lesbos, "while enchanted by the scenery of the blue sky and sea, I was struck by the thought that such a beautiful sea had become a tomb for men, women and children who had for the most part sought only to escape inhumane conditions in their own homelands."

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  • Pope sends birthday greetings to Latin American theologian

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis wished a happy 90th birthday to the "father of liberation theology" and thanked him for his contributions to the Catholic Church and his love for the poor. As Dominican Father Gustavo Gutierrez prepared to celebrate his birthday June 8, Pope Francis assured him of his "prayers in this significant moment in your life."

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  • Big book of numbers: Vatican volume tracks church statistics

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for a special Synod of Bishops to focus on the Amazon region not primarily because of the rainforest's key role in the ecological health of the planet, but mostly because he sees pastoral needs there that require special attention.

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  • Gossip destroys Holy Spirit's gift of peace, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Peace is a gift that can easily be destroyed through petty gossip and speaking ill of others, Pope Francis said. People who receive and give the sign of peace "should be men and women of peace" and not ruin "the peace made by the Holy Spirit with your tongue," the pope said June 6 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Pope prays for victims of Guatemala volcano disaster

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis sent condolences to Guatemala after a horrific volcanic eruption left more than 60 people dead. In a June 5 telegram addressed to Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, apostolic nuncio of Guatemala, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said the pope was "profoundly grieved upon learning the sad news of the violent eruption of the 'Volcan de Fuego' ('Volcano of Fire')."

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  • Cardinal-designate focuses on the pastoral at doctrinal congregation

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When he was named secretary of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation, Cardinal-designate Luis F. Ladaria Ferrer marveled at being unexpectedly thrust into the limelight. "That was very surprising. I would never have thought of ending up here. And I'm not the only one, seeing that my name was never mentioned in the newspapers," he said in August 2008 in an interview with the Italian Catholic magazine "30 Giorni."

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  • Jesuits denounce threats; protection sought for Nicaraguan bishop

    MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The Jesuits' Central America province has warned that the rector of Jesuit-run University of Central America in Managua, Nicaragua, has received death threats for his participation in a national dialogue convened by the country's Catholic bishops to reach a peaceful end to weeks of unrest and government repression of protesters.

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  • Cardinal Obando Bravo, retired archbishop of Managua, dies

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Once honored by his native Nicaragua as a "father of peace and reconciliation," Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, retired archbishop of Managua, died June 3 at the age of 92. Pope Francis praised the late cardinal in a telegram released June 4 for being a "devoted pastor," who spent his life serving God and the church with "generous faith."

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  • With new cardinals on the horizon, what's next for the Roman Curia?

    Vatican City, May 30, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis’ announcement of a consistory to create new cardinals will also have consequences for the offices of the Roman Curia. Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State, has been appointed prefect of the Congregation of the Cause of Saints, to replace Cardinal Angelo Amato, who will turn 80 on June 8.

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  • Pope 'ashamed' by church's failure to listen to abuse survivors

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a letter to Catholics in Chile, Pope Francis expressed shame for the church's failure to listen and defend survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy. Released by the Chilean bishops' conference May 31, the letter from the pope said that the time of "revision and purification" in the church was possible through the efforts of abuse survivors "who, against all hope or painted as discredited, did not tire of looking for the truth."

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  • Weapons of mass distraction: Journalist takes aim at fake papal news

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- From the moment of his election, Pope Francis' down-to-earth take on communicating the Gospel has led to countless front-page headlines either praising or criticizing him. But his disarming and sometimes even blunt style also has meant he has become a popular target of "fake news."

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  • Vatican team investigating abuse cover-ups to return to Chile

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To promote healing after reports of sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis will send Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos back to Chile. Both will visit the Diocese of Osorno "with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims," the Vatican said in a statement May 31.

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  • Pope names apostolic visitor to Medjugorje

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named as apostolic visitor to Medjugorje the Polish archbishop he had initially sent to the town as his personal envoy to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and of the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions.

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  • Bolivian cardinal-designate says report on secret family slanderous

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bolivian Cardinal-designate Toribio Ticona Porco denied rumors of having a wife and children in secret and threatened legal action if the reports continued. In a statement released by the Bolivian bishops' conference May 28, Cardinal-designate Ticona said the allegations contained in the "false report" first published in the Spanish "Adelante la Fe" blog "do not correspond to the truth."

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  • GK Chesterton's sainthood cause may soon be opened

    Northampton, England, May 30, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As an investigation into the life of Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton nears a close, admirers of the English writer voiced hope that his sainthood cause could soon be opened.

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  • Holy Spirit offers gifts that should be cherished, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis asked Catholics to recognize and be thankful for the undeserved gift of the Holy Spirit they received with the sacrament of confirmation. "It is a gift to be cherished with care" and to follow with docility, "letting oneself be molded like wax from the burning love" of the Holy Spirit, the pope said May 30 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

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  • The church's missionary work needs prayers, support, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis reminded Catholics to support evangelization efforts worldwide through the Pontifical Mission Societies. The pope called for "support for missionaries who evangelize and for support, above all, through prayer so that the Holy Spirit," who is "the principle agent of evangelization," will be present and fruitful.

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  • Newly named Spanish cardinal vows to promote religious life

    OXFORD, England (CNS) -- Spain's newest cardinal has said his appointment confirms the pope's determination to keep religious orders center stage in the church's life and mission. "The religious have faced a certain incomprehension and relegation -- so pronouncements by Pope Francis, who's never concealed his Jesuit identity, on the harmony of vocations are significant," said Cardinal-designate Aquilino Bocos Merino, a former superior general of the Claretian order.

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  • Irish bishop hopes papal visit can help bring healing after abortion vote

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- An Irish bishop said he hopes Pope Francis' August visit can help bring healing after a divisive referendum that will pave the way for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks' gestation. In a May 25 referendum, voters opted by a margin of 66.4 percent to 33.6 percent to remove the right to life of the unborn from the constitution.

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  • Voters in Ireland pave way for abortion on demand

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Voters in Ireland have opted to remove the right to life of the unborn from the country's constitution, paving the way for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks. Results from the nationwide referendum showed that 66.4 percent of citizens opted to remove the Eighth Amendment from the constitution, while 33.6 percent voted to retain it. Turnout was 64.5 percent.

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  • Pope, patriarch call for ethical intervention in economy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople called on Christians to work together to build a culture of solidarity in the face of growing economic inequality and a lack of respect for the human dignity of the poor and of migrants.

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  • Humanae Vitae needs no update, commission chair says

    Vatican City, May 23, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- The professor who chaired a Vatican study group on Humanae Vitae stressed that the Bl. Paul VI’s encyclical “needs no updating.” Professor Gilfredo Marengo, of the Pontifical Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, spoke with CNA at the presentation of his latest book, “Chiesa senza storia, storia senza Chiesa” (Church without history, history without the Church), which explores the implications and consequences of Gaudium et Spes, the Second Vatican Council’s pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world.

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  • Abortion doesn't protect women's human rights, Vatican official says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- It is a contradiction to claim that promoting access to safe abortions is somehow protecting the human rights of women and girls, a Vatican representative said. "In fact, abortion denies the unborn child his or her most basic right -- to life itself," said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

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  • Marriage proclaims 'love is possible,' pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Marriage is a sacrament not only for the bride and groom, but for the entire Catholic Church, because it proclaims that "love is possible," Pope Francis said.

    "It is true there are difficulties, there are problems with the children or with the couple themselves -- arguments, fights," he said May 25 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Seven couples celebrating their 25th or 50th wedding anniversaries were among those present at the Mass.

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  • Italian nun murdered in Somalia to be beatified in Italy

    NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- An Italian Consolata sister murdered in Somalia in 2006 will be beatified in Piacenza, Italy, May 26. Sister Leonella Sgorbati and her bodyguard were gunned down as they left the children's hospital where she worked in Mogadishu.

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  • Pakistani cardinal-designate known for developing interfaith harmony

    KARACHI, Pakistan (CNS) -- Cardinal-designate Joseph Coutts sees himself as a conductor -- not of musicians but of religious leaders from various faiths. He will soon be leading his religious orchestra as a cardinal after being named by Pope Francis May 20 as one of 14 men to be promoted, reported ucanews.com.

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  • Japanese cardinal-designate writes haiku, works with disabled

    TOKYO (CNS) -- Cardinal-designate Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda of Osaka was more surprised than anyone at the news he is to become a cardinal, reported ucanews.com. "People have been emailing and calling one after the other to say they had seen the announcement," the cardinal-designate told ucanews.com after Pope Francis announced his list of new cardinals in Rome May 20.

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