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  • Pope prays for Spanish missionary murdered in Central African Republic

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis led thousands of pilgrims in prayer for a Spanish missionary sister killed in Central African Republic. While greeting French pilgrims attending his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square May 22, the pope said he was saddened to hear of the brutal murder of Daughter of Jesus Sister Ines Nieves Sancho, a 77-year-old Spanish missionary who was killed May 20 outside her convent in Nola, Central African Republic.

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  • Vatican officials support continued care of man in vegetative state

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from a patient whose body can absorb them is a "serious violation" of the person's dignity, said two Vatican officials. "The continuation of assistance is an unavoidable obligation," said Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

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  • Fight fake news with humble search for truth, pope tells journalists

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The task of journalism is to seek the truth, which requires humility and freedom of the press, Pope Francis told foreign correspondents working in Italy. "At a time when many spread fake news, humility keeps you from peddling food spoiled by disinformation and invites you to offer the good bread of truth. The humble journalist is a free journalist: free from pressures, free from biases," he said, adding that such freedom also required courage.

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  • Vatican court clears official accused of solicitation in confessional

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's highest court cleared a Vatican official accused of the crime of solicitation in the confessional. The court, the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican's highest court, said May 17 that it finished an "administrative penal process" of Father Hermann Geissler, an official at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who had been accused of "a grave delict."

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  • Pope advances sainthood causes, including Brazil's 'Mother Teresa'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of four men and four women, including Blessed Dulce Lopes Pontes, the "Mother Teresa" of Brazil. The pope signed the decrees May 13 during a meeting with Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes. The Vatican published the decrees May 14.

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  • Pope saddened by church attack in Burkina Faso, Vatican spokesman says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis expressed his closeness to and prayers for the victims of a shooting at a Catholic Church in Burkina Faso, which claimed the lives of six people. "The Holy Father has learned with sorrow about the news of the attack on the church in Dablo, Burkina Faso. He prays for the victims, for their families and for the entire Christian community in the country," Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press office, tweeted May 13.

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  • 'Today God has answered their prayers': Pakistan releases Asia Bibi

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Pakistani authorities freed Asia Bibi, a Catholic woman acquitted of blasphemy, and she has flown to Canada to join her family at a secret address. Her release was confirmed May 8 by Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association, who has been in almost daily contact with Ashiq Masih, Bibi's husband.

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  • Pope says study on women deacons was inconclusive

    ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM NORTH MACEDONIA (CNS) -- The commission Pope Francis appointed to study the history and identity of women deacons did not reach a unanimous conclusion about whether deaconesses in the early church were "ordained" or formally "blessed," the pope said.

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  • Pope Francis called Jean Vanier to thank him before his death

    ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM NORTH MACEDONIA (CNS) -- Pope Francis told reporters May 7 he had been kept informed about Jean Vanier's failing health and had phoned him a week before his death. "He listened to me, but he could barely speak. I wanted to express my gratitude for his witness," Pope Francis said May 7, the day Vanier died in Paris.

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  • Pope draws lessons from Mother Teresa in city of her birth

    SKOPJE, North Macedonia (CNS) -- Pope Francis went to the tiny Balkan nation of North Macedonia to pay tribute to a tiny saint who accomplished big things: St. Teresa of Kolkata. Mother Teresa was born Agnes Ganxhe Bojaxhiu to Albanian parents in Skopje Aug. 26, 1910, so after paying the obligatory formal visit to North Macedonia's president, Pope Francis went May 7 to the memorial and museum built on the site of the church where she was baptized. The church was later destroyed in an earthquake.

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  • Pope invites Ukrainian Catholic Church leaders to Vatican

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has invited bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church to the Vatican in July to find ways the church can best serve their people, peace and the Gospel. The pope's desire for the meeting, set for July 5-6, is "a sign of his closeness to the Ukrainian Catholic Church" in Ukraine and other parts of the world, the Vatican press office said in a communique May 4.

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  • Roses and the cross: Pope meets refugees in Bulgaria

    SOFIA, Bulgaria (CNS) -- Twelve boys and girls wearing white T-shirts and dark pants sang for Pope Francis at a refugee center on the outskirts of Sofia. Their songs were cheerful and the drawings they gave the pope were chock full of smiles and hearts, but their parents' letters to Pope Francis contained appeals for help. Ismael Taha Saber, a 42-year-old father of six from Mosul, Iraq, was one of those who wrote to the pope for help finding a permanent home elsewhere after being in Bulgaria for three years.

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  • Mexico celebrates beatification of first laywoman

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As the sounds of music and applause echoed throughout the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the Catholic Church in Mexico celebrated the first beatification of a laywoman in the country.

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  • Satan, not God, tricks people with temptation, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God never tricks, traps or tempts his children to sin or commit evil, Pope Francis said. God is with his people every step of the way -- during times of joy and sadness, triumph and tribulation -- and he always helps lead people away from the devil and his temptations, the pope said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

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  • What is it like to be a missionary in Mongolia?

    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Apr 30, 2019 CNA.- When Francisco Javier Olivera was born, his mother offered him to the Virgin Mary, praying that he would become a missionary in Asia. Olivera’s mother told him about the consecration after he was ordained a priest in Japan 22 years ago. Since then, he has served as a missionary, not only in Japan, but in China and Mongolia as well.

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  • Vatican newspaper appoints new editorial board for women's magazine

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, named a new director and editorial board for its women's magazine, "Women-Church-World." The announcement came a little more than one month after the magazine's founder and former director, Lucetta Scaraffia, resigned along with her editorial staff, claiming a lack of trust and support from the new management at the newspaper.

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  • Christian life impossible without the Holy Spirit, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians must allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit if they expect to live a Christian life, Pope Francis said. Only through the Spirit can men and women "rise from our limitations, from our deaths," the pope said in his homily April 30 during morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Churches have been targets of attack in South Asia, Southeast Asia

    BANGKOK (CNS) -- Several experts believe the threat to churches in South and Southeast Asia has increased following the Easter bomb attacks that killed more than 250 people and injured 500. Churches in those regions -- which have 150 million Catholics and other Christians -- have been the focus of attacks in a growing number of countries in recent years, including fatal bomb attacks on churches in the Philippines and Indonesia by Islamic radicals in the past 12 months.

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  • Churches padlocked, schools closed week after Sri Lanka attacks

    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNS) -- Fears of suicide bomb attacks kept many Christians and Muslims away from churches and mosques for Sunday Mass and Friday prayers a week after the Easter bombings. The Catholic Church halted Masses and Sunday schools until security improves after terror attacks killed more than 250 people April 21; the gates of churches were closed with padlocks, reported ucanews.com. Many mosques canceled Friday prayers April 26 in solidarity with churches.

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  • Quasimodo Sunday: How the Hunchback got his name

    Paris, France, Apr 28, 2019 CNA.- As fire ravaged the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris earlier this month, one artist from Ecuador used her skills to express the grief that she and so many people throughout the world felt as the beautiful building burned.

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  • The original Image of Divine Mercy: It's not where you might think

    Vilnius, Lithuania, Apr 28, 2019 CNA.- Among Catholic devotions, the Divine Mercy message is well-known: the iconic image of Christ, with rays of red and white pouring from his heart; St. Faustina, called the “Apostle of Divine Mercy;” and the Basilica of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland.

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