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  • World has not learned lessons from Great War, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The brutality of the First World War is a lesson that the world has yet to learn, Pope Francis said. World War I is a chapter in history that serves as a dire warning and a call for world leaders "to reject the culture of war and to seek every legitimate means to put an end to the conflicts that still stain many regions of the world with blood," the pope said Nov. 11 after praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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  • Equestrian order supports Holy Land Catholics, encourages dialogue

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The 30,000 members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem fund about 80 percent of the annual budget of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, ensuring that Catholic parishes and seminaries, schools and hospitals in Israel, Palestine and Jordan continue to function, said U.S. Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien.

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  • Holy Land Catholic leaders ask Israel to repeal controversial law

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The controversial Israeli Nation State law must be repealed because non-Jews also are citizens of Israel, said the Catholic ordinaries of the Holy Land. "We, as the religious leaders of the Catholic Churches, call on the authorities to rescind this basic law and assure one and all that the state of Israel seeks to promote and protect the welfare and the safety of all its citizens," they said in a statement in early November. The ordinaries include bishops, patriarchs and religious leaders of various rites who serve in the Holy Land.

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  • Brazil's new Catholic president promises conservative moral agenda

    SAO PAULO (CNS) -- Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, a Catholic who campaigned to rid the nation of corruption, will take office Jan. 1 with a conservative moral agenda. "I want to thank God for this mission, because Brazil is in a somewhat complicated situation, with an ethical, moral and economic crisis. I am sure that I am not the most qualified, but God enables the chosen ones," Bolsonaro told the media after his late-October victory, with a statue of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil's patron saint, behind him.

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  • Pope urges French bishops to fight child abuse, follow zero tolerance

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis encouraged bishops in France to be determined in their fight against child abuse and implement "zero tolerance" against known abusers. The pope said he hoped their "welcoming and listening to victims" would strengthen their "determination in the implementation of zero tolerance and your work," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, in a message sent to the bishops of France.

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  • Pope Francis prays for Coptic Orthodox Christians after terrorist attack

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In the wake of a deadly attack against Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt, Pope Francis prayed for the victims, their families and the entire Christian community. Seven Christians were killed and at least seven others -- including children -- were injured after armed gunmen attacked two buses near the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in Minya province Nov. 2. Another attack took place in the same area in 2017, which left 28 people dead.

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  • Peacemaking begins at home by saying 'no' to rivalry, pope says at Mass

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- World peace must begin in individuals' hearts and in their families by saying "no" to pride and rivalry, Pope Francis said. "When we read news about wars -- think about the starvation of children in Yemen, which is a fruit of war -- 'it's far away, poor babies,' but why don't they have anything to eat?" the pope asked during his homily Nov. 5 during Mass in the chapel of his residence.

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  • Anti-Semitism must be banned from society, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sharing the same roots as their Jewish brothers and sisters, Christians cannot be anti-Semitic and must work to ensure anti-Semitism is banned from society, Pope Francis said. Also, he said, "the Holocaust must be commemorated so that there will be a living memory of the past. Without a living memory, there will be no future, for if the darkest pages of history do not teach us to avoid the same errors, human dignity will remain a dead letter."

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  • 'God has become my light' A Chinese teen's conversion story

    Beijing, China, Oct 30, 2018 CNA.- The first time Wenxuan Yuan visited a Catholic church in Beijing as a child, she was struck by its beauty. In the courtyard of the church there was a blackboard with a verse from the Book of Revelation in Chinese, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.”

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  • Pakistan court sets aside death sentence for woman convicted of blasphemy

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNS) -- Pakistan's Supreme Court has set aside the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Catholic convicted of blasphemy, and ordered her release from prison. A three-member court bench announced the verdict Oct. 31. The apex court ruled that Bibi be released from death row immediately if she had no other case registered against her, reported ucanews.com.

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  • East Timor government blocks president's planned visit to Vatican

    BANGKOK (CNS) -- The government of East Timor, one of Asia's most Catholic countries, is blocking a planned trip by its president to the Vatican, where he plans to invite Pope Francis to visit. The president and government have been in a standoff since June, when the Alliance for Progress and Change, or AMP, which won the May 10 general election, presented its candidates for the nation's ministry for presidential approval.

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  • Human bones discovered at Vatican nunciature in Italy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican press office confirmed news reports that human bones had been found during reconstruction work in a building connected to the Vatican Embassy to Italy. Italian media immediately surmised that the bones could be those of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee who presumably was kidnapped in 1983 at the age of 15. The case has never been solved but has been the subject of speculation for more than 35 years.

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  • Former nuncio to U.S. heard rumors of McCarrick misconduct in 1994

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A former nuncio to the United States acknowledged hearing rumors about the sexual misconduct of Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick already in 1994. Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, who served as pro-nuncio to the United States from 1990 to 1998, told Catholic News Service Oct. 29 that he received a phone call from a woman in the months preceding St. John Paul II's visit to the United States in 1995.

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  • Pope names canon lawyer to advisory body, UCLA professor for think tank

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis named an Italian canon lawyer with many years' experience in handling Vatican operations to be adjunct secretary of his advisory Council of Cardinals. The pope appointed Bishop-elect Marco Mellino, 52, to the international council, which was established "to assist the Holy Father in the governance of the universal church" and to study the current project of revising the 1988 apostolic constitution "Pastor Bonus," as part of the reform of the Roman Curia, according to a Vatican press release Oct. 27. The pope also made him a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

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  • Pope apologizes to young people who have felt ignored by the church

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Speaking on behalf of all adult Catholics, Pope Francis formally closed the Synod of Bishops by asking young people for forgiveness. "Forgive us if often we have not listened to you; if, instead of opening our hearts, we have filled your ears. As Christ's church, we want to listen to you with love" because young people's lives are precious in God's eyes and "in our eyes, too," the pope said in his homily Oct. 28.

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  • Pope calls deadly attack on synagogue an inhumane act of violence

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis prayed for those affected by a deadly attack inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, calling it an act of inhumane violence. "We are all hurt by this inhumane act of violence," the pope said Oct. 28, the day after a gunman, shouting anti-Semitic insults, killed 11 people in the Tree of Life synagogue.

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  • Synod's words on 'synodal' church puzzle some people

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "Synodality," a key concept of Pope Francis' papacy, was used repeatedly in the final document of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocation discernment. In simple terms, "synodality" means "walking together" with every member of the church, recognizing that the grace of baptism makes one part of the body of the church and, therefore, responsible for its life and mission.

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  • Synod document: Listen to, support, guide, include young people

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church and all its members must get better at listening to young people, taking their questions seriously, recognizing them as full members of the church, patiently walking with them and offering guidance as they discern the best way to live their faith, the Synod of Bishops said.

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  • Young people must learn from mistakes of the past, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said young men and women today need to learn from their elders what led to the great wars of the 20th century so "they won't fall for the same mistake." "It is important that young people know the results of the two wars of the last century. It is a negative treasure but a treasure (nonetheless) that should be passed on to create awareness," the pope said Oct. 23.

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  • Pope calls for stronger preparation for sacrament of marriage

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Every heart longs for unconditional love and fidelity, Pope Francis said. "Christ reveals authentic love," the pope said Oct. 24 during his weekly general audience. "He is the faithful friend who welcomes us even when we make mistakes and he always wants what is best for us, even when we don't deserve it," he said.

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  • Analysis: Will LGBT debate define the youth synod?

    Vatican City, Oct 23, 2018 CNA.- As the fifteenth ordinary general session of the Synod of Bishops draws to a close in Rome, the proposed text of the final document is expected to emerge presently. The synod is meant to address the themes of young people, faith, and vocational discernment.

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  • Pope calls for new alliance between young, old to change the world

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With the launch of a new book, Pope Francis is calling for a new alliance -- between young and old -- to change the world. In an effort to counteract today's "culture of waste" that too easily marginalizes or ignores the young and the elderly, the book by Loyola Press creates a model of storytelling, dialogue, connection and reflection to help inspire these two groups to come together and rediscover older people's lost "treasure of their wisdom."

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  • Pope names Steven Chu to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis appointed Steven Chu, a Nobel-winning physicist from the United States, to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Chu, who served as secretary of energy under U.S. President Barak Obama, was appointed to the papal think tank, the Vatican announced Oct. 20.

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  • Cardinal Parolin: For Paul VI, 'Humanae vitae' had to be pastoral

    Vatican City, Oct 22, 2018 CNA.- When drafting Humanae vitae, Pope St. Paul VI showed pastoral concern while emphasizing doctrinal clarity, the Vatican’s secretary of state said Oct. 18 In that way, the pope recognized that “birth control was not a topic that merely regarded Christian couples,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.

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  • How St. John Paul II began his papacy, 40 years ago

    Vatican City, Oct 21, 2018 CNA.- St. John Paul II used the occasion of his first homily as pope to offer a fervent prayer that God would make him, first and foremost, a servant. The former Cardinal Karol Wojtyla delivered the first homily of his 26-year pontificate before a packed assembly in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Oct. 22, 1978— 40 years ago this week.

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  • Documentation on 'Humanae Vitae' goes beyond polemics, cardinal says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In the long process of drafting a document on the regulation of births, St. Paul VI rejected a version that "was limited to a rigorous reaffirmation of doctrine to which Christians and all people were asked to adhere docilely and without reservation," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

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