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  • Nuns busy making the Pope's vestments for Ecuador

    QUITO, Ecuador - (CAN/EWTN News) Within the walls of the convent in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Ecuador, the Carmelite nuns are busy making liturgical cloths and the vestments for Pope Francis’ July 6-7 visit to the country.

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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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  • 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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  • Theology in action: How knowing the faith can help church, victims heal

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis and the Vatican have stepped up action concerning the protection of minors from abuse by clergy and the accountability of bishops to stop perpetrators. The pope approved new procedures in June allowing the Vatican to investigate questions of accountability and he cemented the mandate of his own advisory body by approving the statutes of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. A number of bishops have stepped down the last two months after accusations they failed to protect minors and Vatican City State soon will bring to trial a former nuncio on charges of abuse and possession of child pornography under newly expanded laws.

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  • Without enough priests, U.S.-based Paulists decide to leave Canada

    TORONTO (CNS) -- The Paulist Fathers don't want to leave Toronto, but they say they must. The unusual uptick in vocations after the World War II has worked its way through the system and there are not enough priests left to staff the ambitious little empire of Paulist ministries that once dotted cities across Canada. So, after a century in Toronto, the U.S.-based Paulists are going home.

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  • Pope tells parents to be mindful of children's suffering

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The deep hurts that spouses inflict on each other cause great suffering to their children and, in some cases, lead to a separation that is "morally necessary" to protect spouses and children from more serious forms of violence, Pope Francis said during his general audience in St. Peter's Square June 24.

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  • European bishops call on EU to welcome migrants fleeing war, poverty

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Bishops across the European Union are calling on member states to be generous toward tens of thousands of migrants flooding across the Mediterranean. French, German and Italian bishops have issued formal statements in response to a crisis that has seen more than 100,000 migrants, many of them refugees from wars in Syria and Eritrea, cross into Italy, Greece and Malta from North Africa and Turkey.

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  • Read encyclical on care for creation with 'open heart,' pope asks world

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Appealing to the entire world, Pope Francis urged everyone to read his upcoming encyclical on the care of creation and to better protect a damaged earth. "This common 'home' is being ruined and that harms everyone, especially the poorest," he said June 17, the day before the Vatican was releasing his encyclical letter, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home."

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  • Defining moment: Glossary of terminology used in Laudato Si'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In his brief pontificate, Pope Francis has coined some colorful terms to get his points across, for example, using "bat Christians" to describe those who hide their faith. While the new phrases he uses in his ecology encyclical are not as punchy, they succinctly help illustrate his points that care for the environment is a human and moral obligation, that global warming and pollution have an unfairly heavy impact on the poor and that a real commitment to ecology will entail individual conversion and changed political and economic priorities.

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  • What to do? The pope's practical tips for helping the environment

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home" is a call for global action as well as an appeal for deep inner conversion. He points to numerous ways world organizations, nations and communities must move forward and the way individuals -- believers and people of good will -- should see, think, feel and act.

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  • Pope: Concern for poor is sign of Gospel, not red flag of communism

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Focusing on poverty and sacrificing for the poor are the heart of the Gospel, not signs of communism, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass. Furthermore, if Christians don't dig deep and generously open up their wallets, they do not have "genuine faith," the pope said June 16 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Being Christian is seeking Jesus, not looking for seers, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Being Christian is looking for, following and imitating Jesus Christ -- nothing more, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass. Being Christian is not looking for those who always have something new to reveal, saying, "'Where are the seers who will tell us today about the letter that Our Lady will send at four o'clock in the afternoon?' for example," he said.

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  • Help Catholics understand, appreciate marriage, pope tells bishops

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When marriage is considered mainly as a way to satisfy one's need for affection, people feel free to define marriage however they want, Pope Francis said. "Unfortunately, such a reductionist idea influences the mentality of Christians as well," leading some to see separation or divorce as a simple solution when problems arise, the pope told the bishops of Latvia and Estonia.

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  • Pope's encyclical to have medieval Italian, not Latin, title

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment will not be released with a formal Latin title, but rather a medieval Italian one. In its first official comment on the title, the Vatican press office said June 10 that the document will be called, "Laudato Si': On the Care of Our Common Home." Earlier, reporters used the modern "sii" for the phrase which translates "praised be."

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  • Tenth Meeting of Council of Cardinals Begins

    Vatican City State (ZENIT) -- The tenth meeting of the Council of Cardinals charged in assisting Pope Francisin the governance of the Universal Church has begun today in the Vatican. They 'C9' as they are commonly called are studyingthe plans for reforming the Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" on the Roman Curia.

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  • Islamic militants announce plan to transform Mosul church into mosque

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- One of the largest churches in Mosul, Iraq, will be transformed into a mosque. According to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Islamic State militants posted notices throughout the city announcing that the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Ephrem, which they emptied last fall, will reopen soon as the "mosque of the mujahideen" or jihad fighters.

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  • Cardinal Kasper backpedals on papal endorsement of controversial proposal

    Washington D.C., Jun 4, 2015 National Catholic Register.- Almost single-handedly one cleric has turned the Church’s teaching on Communion, marriage and divorce into an international debate. For decades, German Cardinal Walter Kasper has promoted a proposal to allow divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics to receive holy Communion after a period of repentance. His controversial position has drawn intense criticism from some and rapturous support from others.

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  • Pope Francis warns mission societies against becoming NGOs

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The mission-oriented agencies of the church must guard against operating like nongovernmental organizations, empty of Christ's presence, Pope Francis said. "Please, guard against falling into the temptation of becoming an NGO, a distribution office for subsidies, small or large. Money can help, but it can also be the ruin of the mission," said Pope Francis in an audience June 5 with members of the pontifical mission societies.

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  • Pope names auditor general for Vatican

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- More than a year after establishing special structures to oversee the Vatican's finances, Pope Francis has named an Italian accountant and expert in corporate risk management as the Vatican's auditor general.

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  • Irish archbishop distances himself from U.S. cardinal's same-sex remarks

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- The head of the Irish bishops' conference distanced himself from comments made by U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke concerning Irish voters who backed same-sex marriage. Reacting to the May 22 poll, in which voters supported same-sex marriage by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent, Cardinal Burke told the Newman Society, Oxford University's Catholic Society: "It's just incredible. ... Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviors, they never dared say this was marriage."

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  • Pope Francis lists abortion, unsafe workplaces among 'attacks on life'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Abortion, abandoning migrants at sea, unsafe working conditions, malnutrition, terrorism and euthanasia are all "attacks on life," said Pope Francis. In an audience with members of the Italian Science & Life Association May 30, the pope said "life is a gift" and urged more reflection on how people are treated throughout all stages of life.

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  • Celebrating Corpus Christi feast, pope honors persecuted Christians

    ROME (CNS) -- The Eucharist is the seal of God's covenant, uniting Christians and giving them the strength to bring God's love to others, even when faith carries a high price, Pope Francis said. Celebrating the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ with an evening Mass outside Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran June 4, Pope Francis said the church and its members will never cease being in awe of the Eucharist.

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  • Administering mercy: Facilitating forgiveness does not downplay sin

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Always, but especially during a Holy Year, the Catholic Church does everything possible to help Catholics repent of their sins, receive forgiveness and draw closer to God. The church's law and its canon lawyers are part of that effort, said Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and a prelate of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court handling matters of conscience.

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