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  • Chinese official indicates Beijing to retain tight grip on church

    HONG KONG (CNS) -- The Chinese Communist Party's top leader in charge of religion has made it clear that Beijing intends to retain a tight grip on the Catholic Church. Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the elite seven-man Politburo Standing Committee and chair of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told members of the open church community "to ensure that the leadership of the Chinese Catholic Church is held firmly in the hands of those who love the nation and the religion," reported ucanews.com.

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  • Pope's visit to Cartagena to highlight inequality in Latin America

    LIMA, Peru (CNS) -- When Pope Francis visits Colombia in September, he will take his message of mercy and reconciliation to Cartagena, a city that still bears scars of its painful history as a slave port. And he will walk the streets where another Jesuit, St. Peter Claver, put that message into practice four centuries ago.

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  • Church leaders in China remain open to dialogue with Vatican

    Fuzhou, China, Jul 19, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- As the Catholic Church in China journeys toward a normalized relationship with the Holy See, one priest in dialogue with Chinese bishops has seen vast improvement in openness and dialogue on the part of leaders, both in the patriotic and underground Churches.

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  • Bishops plea for two priests abducted in DRC

    Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jul 19, 2017 CNA.- Gunmen have abducted two Catholic priests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, prompting the country’s bishops to plead that the captives not be harmed.

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  • Father Giacomo Morandi promoted to CDF secretary

    Vatican City, Jul 18, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed Father Giacomo Morandi secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Italian priest had been a subsecretary in the dicastery since 2015.

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  • Vatican commission agrees to disagree on Cardinal Stepinac

    Vatican City, Jul 18, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- A commission of Catholic and Orthodox leaders tasked with examining the wartime record of Bl. Aloysius Stepinac concluded their final session last week, agreeing to disagree about the Croatian cardinal’s cause for canonization.

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  • Indian church leaders protest vigilante killings to protect sacred cows

    COCHIN, India (CNS) -- The Catholic church in India criticized growing intolerance and mob violence targeting religious minorities over cow protection. "The vast majority of the people of India of all communities (have) been shocked at the lynching in various states on the pretext of protecting cows," said a statement issued by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India after a July 16 meeting in New Delhi. About 40 religious leaders -- Christians along with Baha'i, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh -- attended the meeting.

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  • Trial begins for ex-Vatican officials accused of stealing hospital funds

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Two former top Vatican hospital officials appeared before a Vatican court for a pretrial hearing on allegations of embezzlement. Giuseppe Profiti, who was president of Bambino Gesu hospital from 2008 to 2015, and Massimo Spina, the former treasurer, appeared with their lawyers before Vatican magistrates July 18 in a nearly two-hour preliminary hearing, led by the presiding Vatican judge, Paolo Papanti-Pelletier.

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  • Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

    Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines for how they can welcome and care for the spiritual needs of those making the long trek.

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  • Have you heard of Venerable 'Mama Bosco'?

    Turin, Italy, Jul 14, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- While St. John Bosco is a beloved saint among Catholics, many do not know that his mother, Margaret Bosco, was declared Venerable in 2006 and has an advancing cause towards beatification.

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  • Laziness, vices prevent seeds of Gospel from taking root, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God proposes -- not imposes -- his Gospel and offer of salvation, putting the responsibility of being open to and moved by his message on the listener, Pope Francis said. Jesus doesn't draw people to him by conquering them, but by giving himself, like a sower, spreading "with patience and generosity his word, which isn't a cage or a trap, but a seed that can bear fruit" if people welcome it, the pope said before praying the Angelus July 16.

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  • Despite Melinda Gates' wishes, the Pope can't change Church teaching

    Washington D.C., Jul 12, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis cannot change Church teaching on contraception, despite the hopes of Melinda Gates. In a recent BBC interview, Gates has said she is “optimistic” that the Catholic Church will change church teaching on contraception in order to help women in developing countries.

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  • Former doctrine chief denies false account of papal meeting

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The former head of the Vatican's doctrine office denied reports claiming he was dismissed by Pope Francis due to differences in doctrinal matters. In a story in the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost, journalist Guido Horst said Cardinal Gerhard Muller "could not believe his eyes" upon reading the claims written by Maike Hickson on the online journal OnePeterFive.

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  • Yemen's foreign minister says kidnapped Salesian is still alive

    NEW DELHI (CNS) -- Yemen's foreign minister told Indian officials that Salesian Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, kidnapped in Yemen last year, is still alive, and efforts to trace him continue. Ucanews.com reported that, during a visit to New Delhi, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlafi gave his reassurances in a meeting with the Indian external affairs July 10, said an Indian government statement. It said Father Uzhunnalil is "alive, and the Yemeni government has been making all efforts to secure his release." It said al-Mekhlafi "assured all cooperation in this regard."

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  • A different type of immigrant: Boston parish ministers to Brazilians

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia (CNS) -- When Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini founded the Missionaries of St. Charles in 1887, he intended his priests to minister to Italians emigrating to America. He would not have imagined more than a century later that his priests would be working in the United States to welcome Hispanic, Brazilian and Caribbean migrants.

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  • Missionaries of Charity copyright blue and white sari

    Kolkata, India, Jul 11, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The Missionaries of Charity have patented the white and blue sari designed by Saint Teresa of Calcutta, obtaining a legal copyright recognizing the pattern as the intellectual property of the order.

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  • Gluten and Communion: What's a celiac to do?

    Vatican City, Jul 11, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The norms regarding gluten and Communion hosts that went viral this weekend are nothing new in the Catholic Church. On Saturday morning, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a circular letter to bishops reiterating existing norms regarding the matter of the Eucharist, including the norm that Communion hosts must contain some amount of gluten to be valid matter for consecration.

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  • Ordained a priest, former Manchester United footballer's goal is Christ

    Dublin, Ireland, Jul 10, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Former Irish soccer pro Philip Mulryne was ordained a priest of the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans, on Saturday. Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., an assistant secretary at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ordained him to the priesthood at Dublin’s Saint Saviour’s Church July 8.

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  • Pope approves new path to sainthood: heroic act of loving service

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has approved a fourth pathway to possible sainthood -- giving one's life in a heroic act of loving service to others. In a new apostolic letter, the pope approved new norms allowing for candidates to be considered for sainthood because of the heroic way they freely risked their lives and died prematurely because of "an extreme act of charity."

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  • Boston native friar traded a field of dreams for an empire for the poor

    SONSONATE, El Salvador (CNS) -- His Boston Red Sox baseball hat is almost as big a part of him as his brown Franciscan habit. Anywhere Franciscan Father Flavian Mucci goes in El Salvador, he's known not only for his love of baseball, but more importantly, for the only thing he loves more than the game: the poor.

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  • Friends, colleagues remember the 'gentleman' Joaquin Navarro-Valls

    Vatican City, Jul 9, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- During his 22 years as spokesman for St. John Paul II, Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls became somewhat of a legend in the Vatican – not only for his keen professional abilities and insight into the Pope's mind, but also for his genuine kindness and deep spiritual life.

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  • Pope to beatify Colombian martyrs during visit

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will beatify a priest and a bishop martyred in Colombia when he visits the country in September, a Vatican spokesman said. In an email to Catholic News Service July 7, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed that Pope Francis will beatify Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca and Father Pedro Ramirez Ramos. The beatification Mass will be at Catama field in Villavicencio Sept. 8, Burke said.

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  • Syriac Christian artist calls paintings of war 'a cry for help'

    LANCASTER, England (CNS) -- A huge plume of grey smoke billows into a vivid blue sky as rooftops and buildings buckle into twisted iron and debris and then begin to fall. Beneath the smoke, human wreckage of the blast is visible: faces of victims contorted in pain and others dead, lying in pools of their own blood.

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  • Pope calls for respecting parents' wishes to care for dying child

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for respecting the wishes of a terminally ill child's parents to accompany and care for their child "until the end." Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, said the pope was following "with affection and emotion" the events concerning Charlie Gard, a 10-month-old infant born in England with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness, brain damage and respiratory or liver failure; it is typically fatal.

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  • As demographics change, how will the US Church respond?

    Orlando, Fla., Jul 2, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The rapidly changing realities of the Catholic Church in the U.S. bring a host of challenges and unknowns, but also great opportunities for evangelization and engagement, said experts at a gathering of Catholic leaders.

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  • Pope asks for parents' wishes be respected in Charlie Gard case

    Vatican City, Jul 2, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Stepping into what has turned out to be a tumultuous legal battle involving a UK couple's push for a say in the treatment and death of their terminally ill son, Pope Francis has offered his prayers for the child, and asked that the parents' wishes be respected.

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  • Cardinal Muller: there's no problem between me, Pope Francis

    Vatican City, Jul 2, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In a brief interview given just hours after hearing that he would no longer be heading the Vatican's doctrine office, Cardinal Gerhard Muller said the decision was normal, and was not the result of conflict between him and Pope Francis.

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  • German bishops regret lawmakers' vote to legalize same-sex marriage

    OXFORD, England (CNS) -- Germany's bishops' conference expressed regret over a June 30 parliamentary vote to allow same-sex weddings, vowing to defend the "Catholic understanding of marriage." The vote by lawmakers "abandons the differentiated perception of various forms of partnership in order to stress the value of same-sex partnerships," said Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, chairman of the bishops' Commission for Marriage and Family.

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  • Life academy offers prayers to parents of terminally ill baby

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Pontifical Academy for Life and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales extended prayers for a terminally ill baby, the medical staff caring for him and the parents who have lost a legal battle to keep him on life-support and seek treatment in the United States.

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  • Pope tells archbishops not to be 'armchair Catholics,' but apostles

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's new cardinals and new archbishops must be willing to risk everything, patiently endure evil and bear crosses like Jesus did, Pope Francis said. "The Lord answers our prayers. He is faithful to the love we have professed for him, and he stands beside us at times of trial." Just as he accompanied the apostles, "he will do the same for you," the pope told five new cardinals and about 30 archbishops named during the past year.

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  • Father Solanus Casey beatification set for November

    Detroit, Mich., Jun 28, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Venerable Solanus Casey, an American-born Capuchin priest who died in 1957 known for his ability as a spiritual counselor, will be beatified at a Nov. 18 Mass in Detroit, the local archdiocese announced Tuesday.

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  • Cardinal Pell, professing innocence, will face charges in Australia

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Proclaiming his innocence after being charged with sexual abuse, Australian Cardinal George Pell said, "I'm looking forward finally to having my day in court." "I'm innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me," he said June 29 during a brief news conference in the Vatican press office.

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  • Unity is more than 'bland uniformity,' Pope tells Orthodox

    Vatican City, Jun 27, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis met with a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, saying their journey toward full communion is one that ought to respect their unique traditions – rather than a uniformity that would, in the end, make the Church more boring.

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  • Pope tells new cardinals to serve people, tackle sins

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cardinals are not called to be "princes" of the church, but to serve the people of God and tackle the sins of the world, Pope Francis told five new cardinals. Jesus "calls you to serve like him and with him, to serve the father and your brothers and sisters," the pope said as he created five new cardinals from five nations June 28.

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  • Pope: Christians fight evil with love, sacrifice, never with violence

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians are called to detach themselves from power, reject violence and sacrifice themselves for God and others out of love, Pope Francis said. Christians must live the way Christ chose to: not as "persecutors, but persecuted; not arrogant, but meek; not as snake-oil salesmen, but subservient to the truth; not impostors, but honest," he said June 28 during his weekly general audience.

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  • No church for old men: Cardinals called to be grandfathers, pope says

    VATICAN LETTER (CNS) -- The Catholic Church is not a "gerontocracy" ruled by old men, 80-year-old Pope Francis said; "we aren't old men, we are grandfathers." "We are grandfathers called to dream and to give our dreams to the young people of today. They need it so that from our dreams, they can draw the strength to prophesy and carry out their task," the pope told about 50 members of the College of Cardinals.

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  • Lithuanian archbishop, murdered by Soviet police, beatified in Vilnius

    VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- A Catholic archbishop who was murdered by Soviet police to prevent him attending the Second Vatican Council became the first communist-era martyr beatified in Lithuania. "Long, hard years of prison, labor camp and house arrest may have gradually impoverished this strong, courageous witness of the Gospel, but persecution and torture never broke his will," Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Saints' Causes, said at the June 25 beatification mass for Archbishop Teofil Matulionis. Beatification is a step toward sainthood.

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  • Vatican calls on China to let bishop exercise his ministry

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican expressed "grave concern" over the situation of a bishop in mainland China who has been in government custody for almost 10 months and moved repeatedly in an apparent attempt to prevent him from assuming leadership of his diocese.

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  • To understand Pope Francis, you have to understand the Jesuits

    Rome, Italy, Jun 25, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Discernment is one of the words Pope Francis repeats most, especially when speaking to priests and seminarians. He often expresses his desire for greater formation in discernment – a concept that may seem obscure without an understanding its importance to the Pope's Jesuit formation.

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  • Don't fear ridicule, persecution from sharing the Gospel, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bringing the Gospel to the world isn't a walk in the park; it will lead to ridicule and contempt, even persecution, Pope Francis said. But Christians must never be afraid and must keep on going since "Jesus never leaves us on our own because we are precious to him," the pope said before praying the Angelus June 25 with people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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