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Papal summer: Benedict heads for hilltop villa, Francis trims schedule


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis visited retired Pope Benedict XVI at his Vatican residence June 30 to wish him a happy summer. After a 30-minute visit from Pope Francis, the retired pope then headed off to the traditional papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome. It was the first time the retired pope returned to the villa since spending about two months there after he resigned in early 2013.

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Court upholds execution drug protocol criticized as cruel and unusual


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In another in a series of bitterly divided end-of-term cases, the Supreme Court June 29 upheld the execution protocol used by Oklahoma and several other states. In a 5-4 ruling, Justice Samuel Alito upheld lower courts that said the use of the drug midazolam in lethal injection does not violate Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

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Countries in 'global south' more numerous among pallium recipients


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The "global south" saw a greater presence than the "global north" at the pallium ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica June 29. New archbishops named the past year represented 21 countries in the "global south," which includes Africa, Latin America, and developing nations of Asia. Archbishops representing 13 countries in the "global north" were represented.

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