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  • Pope, patriarch call for ethical intervention in economy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople called on Christians to work together to build a culture of solidarity in the face of growing economic inequality and a lack of respect for the human dignity of the poor and of migrants.

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  • Voters in Ireland pave way for abortion on demand

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Voters in Ireland have opted to remove the right to life of the unborn from the country's constitution, paving the way for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks. With votes counted from 30 of Ireland's 40 constituencies, results from the nationwide referendum showed that 67.3 percent of citizens opted to remove the Eighth Amendment from the constitution, while 32.7 percent voted to retain it. Turnout was 64.5 percent.

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  • Humanae Vitae needs no update, commission chair says

    Vatican City, May 23, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- The professor who chaired a Vatican study group on Humanae Vitae stressed that the Bl. Paul VI’s encyclical “needs no updating.” Professor Gilfredo Marengo, of the Pontifical Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, spoke with CNA at the presentation of his latest book, “Chiesa senza storia, storia senza Chiesa” (Church without history, history without the Church), which explores the implications and consequences of Gaudium et Spes, the Second Vatican Council’s pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world.

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  • Marriage proclaims 'love is possible,' pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Marriage is a sacrament not only for the bride and groom, but for the entire Catholic Church, because it proclaims that "love is possible," Pope Francis said.

    "It is true there are difficulties, there are problems with the children or with the couple themselves -- arguments, fights," he said May 25 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Seven couples celebrating their 25th or 50th wedding anniversaries were among those present at the Mass.

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  • Abortion doesn't protect women's human rights, Vatican official says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- It is a contradiction to claim that promoting access to safe abortions is somehow protecting the human rights of women and girls, a Vatican representative said. "In fact, abortion denies the unborn child his or her most basic right -- to life itself," said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

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  • Italian nun murdered in Somalia to be beatified in Italy

    NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- An Italian Consolata sister murdered in Somalia in 2006 will be beatified in Piacenza, Italy, May 26. Sister Leonella Sgorbati and her bodyguard were gunned down as they left the children's hospital where she worked in Mogadishu.

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  • Pakistani cardinal-designate known for developing interfaith harmony

    KARACHI, Pakistan (CNS) -- Cardinal-designate Joseph Coutts sees himself as a conductor -- not of musicians but of religious leaders from various faiths. He will soon be leading his religious orchestra as a cardinal after being named by Pope Francis May 20 as one of 14 men to be promoted, reported ucanews.com.

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  • Japanese cardinal-designate writes haiku, works with disabled

    TOKYO (CNS) -- Cardinal-designate Thomas Aquinas Manyo Maeda of Osaka was more surprised than anyone at the news he is to become a cardinal, reported ucanews.com. "People have been emailing and calling one after the other to say they had seen the announcement," the cardinal-designate told ucanews.com after Pope Francis announced his list of new cardinals in Rome May 20.

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  • Abuse survivor says pope told him God loves him the way he is

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- An abuse survivor, who had been disparaged for being a homosexual, said that Pope Francis told him that God made him that way and loved him for who he was. Juan Carlos Cruz -- one of the three survivors from Chile who met with the pope April 27-30 at the Vatican -- said his homosexuality and how it brought about further suffering was something he discussed with the pope during the private meeting.

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  • Pope Francis: Like Mary, the Church is a mother

    Vatican City, May 21, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis celebrated the first feast of Mary, Mother of the Church Monday saying that without the emphasis placed on motherhood, the Church would be isolated, composed of no more than “old bachelors.”

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  • Brief biographical sketches of 14 new cardinals

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here are brief biographical notes about each of the 14 churchmen who will become cardinals June 29. Their names are listed in the order Pope Francis announced them May 20: -- Iraqi Cardinal-designate Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic patriarch, was ordained a bishop eight months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He witnessed the exodus of the country's native Christians and ministered to the beleaguered and martyred people who remained. After his installation as head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in 2013, he said the church must be a sign of hope, witness and communion, despite the difficulties, and work together with all Iraqis to defend human dignity and peaceful coexistence based on equal rights.

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  • Pope moves 12 sainthood causes ahead, including U.S. missionary's

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis issued decrees recognizing that 12 candidates for sainthood, including U.S. Sacred Heart Brother Norbert McAuliffe, lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way. The decrees promulgated by the pope May 19 are the first major step in the sainthood process. A miracle attributed to the candidate's intercession would be needed before beatification and another miracle would be needed for the person's canonization.

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  • Holy Land needs peace with justice, dialogue, Vatican official tells U.N.

    GENEVA (CNS) -- Mourning the deaths of protesters in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the Vatican's observer at U.N. agencies in Geneva urged people on both sides to let "wisdom and prudence prevail." Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican observer, spoke May 18 at a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council dedicated to discussing "the deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."

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  • Not just what you see: Issues in Israel-Palestinian violence

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Sometimes, news is not just what meets the eye on the TV screen or a social media post. Catholic political analyst Wadie Abunasser noted that while neither Israel nor the Palestinian political movement Hamas is interested in starting a war at the moment, both are interested in delivering strong messages to the other side on various issues being negotiated through backdoor channels. Internal politics also contribute to the situation, he said.

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  • All of Chile's bishops offer resignations after meeting pope on abuse

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Every bishop in Chile offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal. "We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father's hands so that he may freely decide regarding each one of us," Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo said May 18 in a statement on behalf of the country's bishops.

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  • Chilean bishops to spend first day of Rome meeting in prayer

    Vatican City, May 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- On their first day of meetings with Pope Francis, Chilean bishops have been asked to make a 24-hour retreat, using the time to pray and reflect on specific themes provided by Pope Francis until their next audience on Wednesday.

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  • Resignation letter prepared by Blessed Paul VI published

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Thirteen years before his death, Blessed Paul VI had written to the dean of the College of Cardinals to say that if he were to become seriously ill or impeded from exercising his ministry, the dean and other top cardinals in Rome should accept his resignation.

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  • Gift of baptism is to be cherished, pope says at audience

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Children have a right to be brought up in the Christian faith, Pope Francis said. Parents and godparents must make sure they "feed the flame of baptismal grace in their little ones, helping them persevere in the faith," the pope said May 16 at his weekly general audience.

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  • Church in Germany embroiled in intercommunion debate

    Muenster, Germany, May 14, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- The unresolved debate over a proposal to allow Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive communion in German dioceses under some limited circumstances has gathered steam after the country's president waded into the debate at the major national Catholic conference in the town of Münster.

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  • Chilean bishop says mistakes were made in handling abuse cases

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Chilean bishop acknowledged the damage inflicted on survivors of clerical sex abuse and the mishandling of cases by church leaders in the country. "I am not saying that perhaps we have made mistakes. We have made mistakes," said Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo.

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  • Dozens killed in protests as U.S. embassy inaugurated in Jerusalem

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- As the new United States embassy was inaugurated in Jerusalem May 14, violence broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers. International media reported that in Gaza, at least 52 people were killed, including five under the age of 18, and some 2,000 were injured. The death toll was expected to rise.

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  • Vatican OKs sainthood cause for Iraqi priest, deacons killed in Mosul

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has given its permission for the opening of the sainthood cause of an Iraqi priest and three deacons who were murdered by armed gunmen in Mosul. The Congregation for Saints' Causes gave the "nihil obstat" ("no objection"), permitting a diocesan bishop to open a local inquiry into a candidate's sanctity, according to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, May 14.

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  • Pope's Lamborghini fetches nearly $1 million for charity at auction

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A custom-built 2018 Lamborghini Huracan coupe autographed by Pope Francis raised nearly $1 million at a Sotheby's auction May 12 in Monaco. The Italian luxury carmaker donated the white vehicle with gold stripes -- to match the white and yellow of the Vatican City flag -- to the pope in November. The pope put his diminutive signature on the car's hood, then put the vehicle up for auction to raise money for charity.

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  • Jesus in heaven invites all Christians to share his good news, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As they journey through life, Christians must look for Christ, especially among the poor, and give concrete signs of hope to others, Pope Francis said. The ascension of Christ ushered in a "new form of Jesus' presence among us," he said in his "Regina Coeli" address to those gathered in St. Peter's Square May 13, the day the feast of the Ascension was celebrated in Italy and many other countries.

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  • Mourners line streets of Liverpool as Alfie Evans hearse passes

    LIVERPOOL, England (CNS) -- Thousands of mourners lined the streets of Liverpool to pay tribute to Alfie Evans on the day of the toddler's funeral. The 23-month-old boy, who suffered a severe degenerative neurological condition, died April 28, some 10 days after his father, Tom Evans, had asked Pope Francis to help get him to Rome for treatment.

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  • Swiss Guards: World's oldest standing army gets new headgear

    VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The world's oldest standing army is getting some new headgear. The Swiss Guards plan to replace their metal helmets with plastic PVC ones made with a 3-D printer, giving the pope's army cooler and more comfortable headgear when standing guard for hours at a time.

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  • Vatican: Pope wants bishops to take responsibility for abuse scandal

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called the bishops of Chile to the Vatican to "examine the causes and consequences" of the clerical sexual abuse scandal and acknowledge personal responsibility and "the mechanisms that in some cases led to a cover up and serious omissions regarding the victims," the Vatican said.

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  • Be inspired by Mary, Christ's first lay disciple, pope tells laypeople

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- During a quick morning visit to Tuscany, Pope Francis praised two lay communities there that are dedicated to living out the Gospel values of reciprocal love and cooperation. Meeting families and children who live a communal way of life in Nomadelfia, near Grosseto, and members and friends of the Focolare movement in Loppiano, near Florence, May 10, the pope encouraged them to hold true to their founders' missions and Jesus' example of being close to the people.

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  • Reborn in baptism, Christians are called to live like Christ, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The baptismal font is a tomb in which a person dies to sin, and it is a womb through which a person is born to new life in Christ, Pope Francis said. "Just as our parents generated us to earthly life, the church has regenerated us to eternal life through baptism," the pope said May 9 at his weekly general audience.

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  • Pope calls dicastery to promote reflection on role of women

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has updated the statutes of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, adding among other things a specific reference to the office's responsibility for promoting a deeper reflection on the role of women in the church and society.

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  • Pope appoints U.S. stem-cell biologist to science academy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis named a pioneering U.S. scientist specializing in stem-cell research to the Pontifical Academy for Sciences. Elaine Fuchs, professor and head of the laboratory of mammalian cell biology and development at The Rockefeller University in New York, was appointed to the papal think tank, according to a Vatican press release published May 5, her birthday.

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  • A Swiss Guard has faith, love, courage, patience, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The steadfast faith and love for the Catholic Church that have characterized members of the Swiss Guard for centuries must be part of the men's lives even after they have stopped wearing their colorful medieval uniforms and carrying their halberds, Pope Francis said.

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  • Update: Date set for final approval of canonization of Blesseds Paul VI, Romero

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican announced that final approval would be given May 19 for the canonizations of Blesseds Paul VI, Archbishop Oscar Romero and four others. Pope Francis already cleared the way for their canonizations earlier this year with the publication of decrees recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of each one of the blesseds.

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  • The face of Christ in Alfie Evans: An interview with Charles C. Camosy

    New York City, N.Y., May 1, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Alfie Evans, a disabled British toddler who died Saturday after a contentious legal battle over his treatment, captured the attention of Catholics around the world, including Pope Francis. While he suffered from undiagnosed neurological problems at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Alfie’s parents sought to treat him elsewhere, while physicians opposed the move, arguing that continuing treatment was not in the child’s best interests.

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  • Pope: Faith says 'no' to Satan, 'yes' to God

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Baptism requires rejecting Satan and professing one's full faith in God, Pope Francis said. Only by being able to say "no" to the devil, his works and empty promises "am I able to say 'yes' to God, who calls me to conform myself to him in thoughts and deeds," he said.

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  • Pope leads rosary for peace at Rome shrine

    ROME (CNS) -- Pope Francis visited Rome's popular Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love to pray the rosary for peace, especially in Syria. The pope invited pilgrims in St. Peter's Square April 29 to join his prayers May 1 at the shrine and "to prolong for the whole month of May praying the rosary for peace."

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  • Catholic media must not fall behind in digital age, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an age when technology is ever-evolving, Catholic news organizations must be willing to adapt to effectively proclaim the Gospel to all, Pope Francis said. Speaking to directors and employees of Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference, the pope said that the use of new digital platforms not only requires significant technological updates but also a willingness to accept that "the attachment to the past may prove to be a dangerous temptation."

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  • Pope, others mourn death of British toddler Alfie Evans

    LIVERPOOL, England (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he was mourning the death of English toddler Alfie Evans, who died four days after doctors withdrew his life support system. The 23-month-old boy died at about 2:30 a.m. April 28 after his father, Tom Evans, spent 10 minutes trying to revive him by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, according to reports in the British media.

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  • German bishops, Vatican officials to meet May 3 to discuss Communion

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Six German bishops will meet with officials from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts to discuss German plans to allow greater access to the Eucharist for Protestants married to Catholics.

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  • Pope begins meetings with Chilean abuse survivors

    Vatican City, Apr 28, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Last night Pope Francis began individual meetings with three survivors of clerical sexual abuse from Chile following a major apology earlier this month. The encounters, which have no time limit, will go on throughout the weekend and on Monday.

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  • Soon-to-be beatified nurse, laywoman lived for others

    Krakow, Poland, Apr 27, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Hanna Chrzanowska, a 20th-century Polish nurse and laywoman who will be beatified in Krakow Saturday, is a model of how to give of oneself for the good of others, said a priest involved with her canonization cause.

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  • Vatican's financial watchdog says progress slow, but steady

    Vatican City, Apr 27, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- The Vatican's annual financial report this year showed that monitoring systems put into place nearly five years ago continue to be effective, however, there is still room to grow in terms of prosecution for questionable activities.

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  • Alfie Evans dies amid outpouring of prayer, support

    Liverpool, England, Apr 28, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Ailing toddler Alfie Evans, whose plight has tugged at the world's heartstrings throughout the past week, died in the early hours of Saturday morning after being removed from life support.

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