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Philippine bishops to decide whether to establish climate change desk

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Philippine bishops meeting in Manila will decide whether or not to establish a "climate change desk," part of a push by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. The federation wants each bishops' conference in 22 countries to set up such a desk to support action plans to mitigate the impact of climate change and also study Pope Francis' "Laudato Si'" encyclical.

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From Argentina, an exodus to see Pope Francis in Paraguay, Bolivia

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNS) -- Residents of Villa 21-24, a slum on the south side of the Argentine capital, hold fond memories of Pope Francis. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis paid frequent visits to the mostly Paraguayan immigration population, celebrated Mass every Dec. 8 for the feast of Our Lady of Caacupe -- Paraguay's patroness -- and even joined them in the procession that followed through the alleyways of the "villa" -- short for "villas de miseria," or "misery villages," as the shanties here are known. He also baptized and confirmed the children of the residents and made the "villas" a priority, an early example of the church serving the poor, of which he often speaks.

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