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  • Pope, President Trump speak of hopes for peace

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump spent 30 minutes speaking privately in the library of the Apostolic Palace May 24, and as the president left, he told the pope, "I won't forget what you said."

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  • New cardinal from Laos is ethnic Khmu known for kindness

    BANGKOK (CNS) -- Cardinal-designate Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, who will become the first cardinal from Laos, is an ethnic Khmu, a hill tribe from northern Laos and southern China. When St. John Paul II named Cardinal-designate Ling as apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos, in 2000, the cardinal-designate told ucanews.com, "I never dreamed that this appointment was possible." On May 21, Pope Francis named his to the College of Cardinals; he will be elevated in a consistory at the Vatican June 28.

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  • Pope Francis' newest cardinals show a global Church

    Vatican City, May 22, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Only seven months after Pope Francis’ last consistory, he will create five new cardinals in June. He continues a pattern of finding cardinals at the peripheries of the world, from dioceses which have not traditionally had a cardinal.

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  • Be prophets of joy, not misfortune, pope tells nuns

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Consecrated women are called to be prophets of hope and joy in the world and avoid putting on a superficial joy that withers the soul, Pope Francis said. In order to live out the joy of the Gospel, "it must be a true joy, not a counterfeit joy" that brings about "the cancer of resignation," the pope told a group from the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master.

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  • Irish president gives Pope Francis symbolic 'climate bell'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Irish President Michael D. Higgins presented Pope Francis with a unique gift that symbolizes the call to protect creation. Following a private 15-minute meeting May 22 at the Apostolic Palace, Higgins presented the pope with a gold and white "climate bell."

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  • Pope announces new cardinals from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos, Salvador

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis announced he will create five new cardinals June 28; the new cardinals-designate come from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos and El Salvador. Unusually, the group of prelates announced by the pope May 21 includes an auxiliary bishop whose archbishop is not a cardinal; he is Cardinal-designate Gregorio Rosa Chavez, 74, the current auxiliary bishop of San Salvador.

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  • Search for common ground will be key to pope's meeting with Trump

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Despite a few pointed comments in the past and fundamental differences on issues such as immigration, economic policy, military spending and climate change, sparks are not expected to fly May 24 when Pope Francis welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump to the Vatican.

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  • Pope goes door to door, blessing the homes of the poor

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Like parish priests throughout Italy do during the Easter season, Pope Francis spent an afternoon May 19 going door to door and blessing homes. Continuing the "Mercy Friday" visits he began during the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis chose a public housing complex in Ostia, a Rome suburb on the Mediterranean Sea.

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  • Prudence, pastoral concern guided Medjugorje commission, member says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- If the Catholic Church recognizes as "worthy of belief" only the initial alleged apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje, it would be the first time the church distinguished between phases of a single event, but it also would acknowledge that human beings and a host of complicating factors are involved, said a theological expert in Mariology.

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  • God dreams big, wants to transform world, defeat evil, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God is right by the side of each person on earth, seeing each individual's pain and wanting to bring hope and joy, Pope Francis said. "He calls us by name and tells us, 'Rise up, stop weeping, because I have come to free you,'" the pope said May 17 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

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  • World Youth Day logo shows symbols for Mary, Panama

    PANAMA CITY (CNS) -- A logo depicting symbols for Mary, Panama and the Panama Canal was selected as the winning design to promote World Youth Day 2019. The design by Amber Calvo, 20, a Panamanian student studying architecture, was chosen from 103 entries submitted for the event that will take place Jan. 22-27, 2019.

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  • Pope says he hopes to find common ground with Trump

    Vatican City, May 13, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In a press conference on Saturday, Pope Francis voiced hope that he will find “open doors” in his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump later this month, saying he never judges another person’s views until he hears them for himself.

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  • Pope Francis: Fatima reminds us to care for the faith of children

    Vatican City, May 14, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- On Sunday Pope Francis reflected on the May 13 canonization of the child visionaries St. Francisco and Jacinta Marto, saying that their faithfulness, despite their young age, reminds us to pay special attention to children in the ministry of the Church.

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  • Fatima brings hope for peace in suffering Venezuela, pilgrim says

    FATIMA, Portugal (CNS) -- Our Lady of Fatima's message of peace to a country suffering from war and persecution resonates today just as it did a century ago, a Venezuelan pilgrim said. Jose Antonio dos Santos told Catholic News Service May 13 that he came to Fatima to "ask the Virgin of Fatima the same thing she offered in her message 100 years ago, which was peace for Portugal and freedom for the Portuguese people who were oppressed."

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  • Pilgrimage to Fatima a time of prayer, encounter, pope says

    LEIRIA, Portugal (CNS) -- Pope Francis said his two-day pilgrimage to Fatima would be a time of prayer and encounter with Jesus and Mary. The visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima "is a bit special," he told reporters aboard his flight from Rome May 12. "It is a journey of prayer, an encounter with the Lord and the holy Mother of God."

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  • 'Miracle of the sun' broke darkness of Portugal's atheist regimes

    Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- On “the day the sun danced,” thousands of people bore witness to a miracle that not only proved the validity of the Fatima Marian apparitions, but is also said to have shattered the prevalent belief at the time that God was no longer relevant.

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  • Cardinal Bertone talks about the third secret of Fatima

    Fatima, Portugal, May 12, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The third secret of Fatima deals with past events, but at the same time its call to conversion is always current, always up to date, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State emeritus.

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  • Catholic leaders criticize Indonesia's continued use of death penalty

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNS) -- Indonesia has rejected the possibility of abolishing the death penalty at a United Nations hearing reviewing the country's human rights situation. Abolishing the death penalty was one of the recommendations put to Indonesia by member states at the 27th session of the U.N. Universal Periodic Review in Geneva. The review regularly examines the human rights record of member states.

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  • France's new president is a 'zombie Catholic'

    Paris, France, May 10, 2017 CNA.- Newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron, according to one of his biographers, embodies a new phenomenon in France known as “zombie Catholicism.” Once among the most Catholic countries in the world, sometimes called the “eldest daughter of the Church,” France has seen serious decline in churchgoing numbers in modern times. While more than 50 percent of people still identify as Catholic, only 5 percent regularly attend Mass.

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  • South Korean Catholics hope new president can unify nation

    Catholics in South Korea have high expectations for unity, equality and an end to corruption under the country's newly elected president, Moon Jae-in. In a congratulatory message to Moon that also noted the national rift that led to the special election, the head of the Korean bishops' conference, Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Gwangju, said the country needed "a credible leader who keeps principles and steps toward true peace and justice beyond today's conflicts and confrontations."

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  • Catholics, Orthodox must work toward unity in diversity, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a letter to Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis said he hoped that both their churches can continue along the path of true unity and communion. The bond between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church is a reminder "to intensify our common efforts to persevere in the search for visible unity in diversity, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit," the pope wrote in a letter to the patriarch May 10.

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  • Pope says Fatima visit is pilgrimage of peace and hope

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a video message to the people of Portugal, Pope Francis said he would visit Fatima as a pilgrim of peace and to entrust the world to Mary's immaculate heart. "I come to you in the joy of sharing with you the Gospel of hope and peace," the pope said in the message released by the Vatican May 10.

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  • Quebec Trappists renew spiritual life in their eco-friendly abbey

    SAINT-JEAN-DE-MATHA, Quebec (CNS) -- When the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance left Oka, Quebec, to escape suburban sprawl, they left behind an oversized, aging building. Their new Trappist abbey, nested in the forests and rolling hills of the Lanaudiere region and known for its cutting-edge ecological architecture, has been heralded as the 21st-century monastery. But, more importantly, it has become pivotal in the monks' sweeping spiritual renewal.

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  • Vatican conference unites science and religion's search for truth

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Science and religion are not at odds but are united in the continuing search for truth in unlocking the mysteries of the cosmos. The scientific conference titled, "Black Holes, Gravitational Waves and Space-Time Singularities," is an opportunity to show that "the church supports good science," said Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory.

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  • Pope accepts resignation of Melkite patriarch

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Two months after bishops of the Melkite Catholic Church declared they had reconciled with each other and found a way to move forward together, the Vatican announced Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III Laham.

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  • Pope encourages Venezuela's bishops to stay close to suffering people

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While violent protests continue to break out in the streets of Venezuela, Pope Francis urged the country's bishops to remain close to the poor and needy. "My dear brothers, I encourage you to not allow the beloved children of Venezuela to be overcome by mistrust or despair, for these are the evils that penetrate people's hearts when they do not see prospects for the future," the pope wrote in a letter May 5 to the country's bishops.

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  • Struggle against the 'culture of destruction,' pope tells teens

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis told Italian students he was shocked when a massive U.S. bomb used in Afghanistan was referred to as "the mother of all bombs." "They called it 'the mother of all bombs,'" the pope told the Italian youths. But "a mother gives life and this brought death."

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  • Everything you need to know about Fatima (Part 1)

    Fatima, Portugal, May 8, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- It’s the most popular and well-known Marian apparition in the recent history of the Church. One hundred years ago, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in a field in Fatima, Portugal. She brought with her requests for the recitation of the rosary, for sacrifices on behalf of sinners, and a secret regarding the fate of the world.

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  • What's the state of the Church in Cuba?

    Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, May 5, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Following the Cuban bishops' ad limina meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday, one of the nation's bishops commented that the island is eagerly awaiting change.

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  • Vatican launches Belgium euthanasia investigation

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- The Vatican is investigating the decision of a group of psychiatric care centers run by a Catholic religious order in Belgium to permit doctors to perform euthanasia of "nonterminal" mentally ill patients on its premises.

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  • 'Ad limina' meeting was a 'sharing among shepherds,' Cuban bishop says

    ROME (CNS) -- Having a group meeting with Pope Francis was not like attending a lecture, but it was a moment of communion and sharing among friends and shepherds, a Cuban archbishop said. "When people call it an audience, it sounds like we're there only to listen, but this was a sharing among shepherds; a meeting of bishops -- the apostles that are in Cuba -- and Peter," Archbishop Dionisio Garcia Ibanez of Santiago, president of the Cuban bishops' conference, told Catholic News Service May 4.

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  • Egypt is a beacon of hope and refuge, pope says at audience

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Just as it had been for centuries, Egypt can be a sign of hope for those who long for peace, Pope Francis said. During his weekly general audience May 3, the pope reflected on his recent visit to Egypt and said that because of its religious and cultural heritage as well as its role in the Middle East, Egypt has the task of promoting a lasting peace that "rests not on the law of force but on the force of law."

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  • God's tenderness can soften the hardest hearts, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God's compassion can change the rigid hearts of those who use his law to condemn others, Pope Francis said. A person with a hardened, "pagan heart does not allow the Spirit to enter" and often relies on his or her own strength and intellect rather than understanding God's will through humility, the pope said May 2 in his homily during Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Catholic leaders urge Israel to meet Palestinian hunger strikers' demands

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Catholic leaders in the Holy Land urged Israel to concede to demands of Palestinian political prisoners on a hunger strike since April 17. The prisoners are seeking an improvement in their prison conditions and an end to administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold prisoners almost indefinitely without having to charge them with a crime.

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  • Pope calls for peace amid deadly protests in Venezuela

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As anti-government protests in Venezuela turned deadly, Pope Francis called for an end to the bloodshed. "I make a heartfelt appeal to the government and all components of Venezuelan society to avoid any more forms of violence, to respect human rights and to seek a negotiated solution to the grave humanitarian, social, political and economic crisis," the pope said April 30 before reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer.

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  • True faith means loving others to the extreme, pope tells Egypt's Catholics

    CAIRO (CNS) -- The only kind of fanaticism that is acceptable to God is being fanatical about loving and helping others, Pope Francis said on his final day in Egypt. "True faith," he told Catholics, "makes us more charitable, more merciful, more honest and more humane. It moves our hearts to love everyone without counting the cost."

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  • Pope: U.S., North Korea need diplomatic solution to escalating tensions

    ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM CAIRO (CNS) -- A diplomatic solution must be found to the escalating tension between North Korea and the United States, Pope Francis told journalists. "The path (to take) is the path of negotiation, the path of a diplomatic solution," he said when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to send Navy warships to the region in response to North Korea's continued missile tests and threats to launch nuclear strikes against South Korea, Japan and the United States.

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  • Text of common declaration on baptism, by Pope Francis, Pope Tawadros

    CAIRO (CNS) -- Here is the text of the common declaration on baptism between Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, signed April 28. 1. We, Francis, bishop of Rome and pope of the Catholic Church, and Tawadros II, pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark, give thanks to God in the Holy Spirit for granting us the joyful opportunity to meet once more, to exchange a fraternal embrace and to join again in common prayer. We glorify the Almighty for the bonds of fraternity and friendship existing between the See of St. Peter and the See of St. Mark. The privilege of being together here in Egypt is a sign that the solidity of our relationship is increasing year by year, and that we are growing in closeness, faith and love of Christ our Lord. We give thanks to God for this beloved Egypt, the "homeland that lives inside us," as His Holiness Pope Shenouda III used to say, the "people blessed by God" (cf. Is 19:25) with its ancient Pharaonic civilization, the Greek and Roman heritage, the Coptic tradition and the Islamic presence. Egypt is the place where the Holy Family found refuge, a land of martyrs and saints.

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  • Pope, Coptic patriarch honor martyrs, urge unity for peace

    CAIRO (CNS) -- Placing flowers, lighting a candle and praying at the site where dozens of Coptic Orthodox Christians were killed by an Islamic State militant last year, Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II paid homage to those who were killed for their faith.

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