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  • With euthanasia in New Zealand, 'we are about to cross a Rubicon'

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (CNS) -- A prominent adviser to New Zealand's bishops expressed dismay that voters approved euthanasia for terminally ill patients. "Many people will no doubt see the option of an assisted death as akin to adding another food choice to an already existing cafe menu when, in fact, the change represents a shift in the whole dining experience that will affect everything on the menu, as well as the service you get," said John Kleinsman, director of the Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics, the New Zealand Catholic bioethics center.

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  • Corruption in the church must be stamped out continually, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Corruption is an "ancient evil" that continues to plague the Catholic Church in different ways, Pope Francis said. In an interview with the Italian news agency Adnkronos, published Oct. 30, the pope discussed his thoughts on several issues, including the nature of corruption given recent allegations of financial malfeasance involving the Vatican.

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  • Several students at North American College test positive for COVID-19

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Students and faculty at Rome's Pontifical North American College are under quarantine after several students tested positive for COVID-19. "We are isolating the students who tested positive, quarantining ourselves on campus, and increasing our testing," Father David A. Schunk, vice rector for administration, said in an email to Catholic News Service Oct. 29.

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  • Cardinal ordains nine transitional deacons

    BOSTON -- In a ceremony marking one of the final steps in preparation for the priesthood, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley ordained nine transitional deacons on Oct. 24 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The deacon is the first of three ranks of ordained ministry in the Church. Among the many functions they perform in parishes, the deacon may assist the priest at Mass, proclaim the Gospel, deliver homilies, and preside at baptisms, weddings, and rites of Christian burial.

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  • From Cardinal Seán's blog

    Last Thursday, I had a virtual meeting with benefactors and supporters of FOCUS campus ministry. They asked me to share some of my experiences of having the FOCUS missionaries here in Boston. Of course, I noted the large student population we have here in the Archdiocese of Boston and how successful the FOCUS missionaries have been in campus ministry. I also said how impressive it is, not only to see the evangelization that they undertake but also the transformation in the lives of the missionaries themselves, which prepares them to be leaders in the Church. Certainly, many of them will go on to embrace vocations to the priesthood or religious life, but all of them will be very much involved in leadership roles in their parishes and in the life of the Church in the future.

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  • 'It is an attack on everyone': Bishops react to Nice basilica murders

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Bishops in the United States and around the world expressed condolences after three people were murdered before Mass Oct. 29 in the basilica in Nice, France. French police have confirmed they are treating the killings as a terrorist incident. The attacks came less than two weeks after a Paris teacher was beheaded Oct. 16 by a Muslim migrant; the teacher had shown satirical cartoons of the prophet Muhammad to school children in a lesson about free speech.

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  • Colorado, Louisiana voters to decide on abortion measures Nov. 3

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Abortion is on the ballot in two states Nov. 3: Colorado and Louisiana. In Colorado, Proposition 115 would ban abortion beginning at 22 weeks of pregnancy. The measure includes exceptions to save the life of the pregnant woman but not for instances of rape or incest.

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  • Catholic, Jewish leaders mark 55th anniversary of 'Nostra Aetate'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The formal structures that sponsor Catholic-Jewish dialogue are important, but their decades of success have relied on strong personal friendships and mutual respect, both of which must continue to spread among all Catholics and Jews, officials involved in the dialogue said.

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  • Pope to celebrate private Mass for All Souls at Vatican cemetery

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Due to restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, Pope Francis will celebrate the feast of All Souls with a "strictly private" Mass at a Vatican cemetery. Unlike past years when the pope would mark the feast with an outdoor Mass at a cemetery in Rome, the Nov. 2 Mass will take place "without the participation of the faithful" at the Vatican's Teutonic Cemetery, the Vatican said in a statement released Oct. 28.

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  • Pope advances causes of four 20th-century martyrs

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of five men and four women, including four 20th-century martyrs killed in Brazil, Turkey and Italy. The pope signed the decrees Oct. 27 during a meeting with Cardinal-designate Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes. The Vatican published the decrees Oct. 28.

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  • Pope calls for Poland to protect life amid protests over abortion law

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As protests against a near-total ban on abortions gripped Poland, Pope Francis urged the people of the country to defend life. Addressing Polish pilgrims during his weekly general audience Oct. 28, the pope invoked the memory of St. John Paul II, who "always urged a privileged love for the least and the defenseless and for the protection of every human being, from conception to natural death."

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  • Ask Jesus to pray for you when you can't, pope suggests

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- By asking to be baptized with other penitents in the Jordan River, Jesus placed himself among those who recognized themselves as sinners, Pope Francis said. Despite the protests of John the Baptist, Jesus insisted on being baptized as "an act of obedience to the will of the Father, an act of solidarity with our human condition," the pope said Oct. 28 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Pope Francis names Archbishop Pizzaballa as Latin patriarch of Jerusalem

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa as the 10th Latin patriarch of Jerusalem since the restoration of the patriarchate in 1847. In an Oct. 24 announcement, the Apostolic Delegation of Jerusalem and Palestine said it welcomed the appointment, which came on the eve of the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine and on the centenary of the consecration of Palestine to Mary.

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  • Vatican court continues trial on alleged abuse at minor seminary

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At a criminal trial involving alleged sexual abuse at a minor seminary located in the Vatican, the Vatican City State criminal court accepted a motion to allow the alleged victim to seek damages from the seminary and the religious institution that runs it.

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  • Catholic Charities of Baltimore ends international adoption program

    BALTIMORE (CNS) -- After more than 75 years helping form families through international adoption, Catholic Charities of Baltimore has closed its international adoption program. The agency cited changing circumstances within other countries and a "negative stance" toward international adoption from the U.S. government.

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