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Encourage one another, don't gossip, pope says at morning Mass

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Bible instructs Christians to encourage and comfort one another, not to get together to gossip, Pope Francis said at morning Mass in the chapel of his residence. Resuming Sept. 1 his daily celebrations with a small congregation in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis focused on how Christians are called to help one another prepare to meet God at the end of time.

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For Year of Mercy, pope extends possibilities for absolution

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an extraordinary gesture for the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has extended to priests worldwide the authority to absolve women for the sin of abortion and has decreed the full validity during the year of the sacrament of confession celebrated by priests of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.

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Pope holds 'virtual town hall' with ABC and Catholics in 3 cities

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis held a "virtual town hall" with Catholics in Chicago, Los Angeles and McAllen, Texas, in advance of his Sept. 22-27 visit to the United States. The town hall was arranged by ABC News, which was to air portions of the meeting during its "World News Tonight" program Aug. 31, with an hourlong version of its "20/20" newsmagazine called "Pope Francis & the People" airing 10-11 p.m. EDT Sept. 4. ABC News said the event would also the event will be posted in its entirety in both English and Spanish on abcnews.com.

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