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  • Lebanon's religious oppose Trump's Jerusalem move; Jordanians march

    BEIRUT (CNS) -- Lebanon's Christian and Muslim leaders denounced the "unjust" decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and demanded that it be reversed. In a Dec. 14 statement at the end of an interreligious summit, the leaders said "that, in addition to violating the laws and international charters," the decision ignores the fact that Jerusalem is a city holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews.

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  • Bishops condemn selling of Nigerians into slavery in Libya

    LAGOS, Nigeria (CNS) -- A trio of Nigerian bishops condemned the enslavement of Nigerians who traveled to Libya for work, calling the practice a horrific abuse of human dignity. Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan, retired Archbishop Alaba Job of Ibadan and retired Bishop Julius Adelakun of Oyo called on the Nigerian government to act on behalf of Nigerian nationals in Libya and elsewhere who have been victimized by modern-day slave traders.

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  • Delicate art of diplomacy needed to build peaceful future, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Diplomats share a responsibility to educate future generations about the importance of dialogue and reconciliation in maintaining peace, Pope Francis said. In a speech Dec. 14 to seven new diplomats accredited to the Vatican, the pope said young people today need to learn "the delicate art of diplomacy and the arduous craft of nation-building."

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  • Sunday has lost its sense as day of rest, renewal in Christ, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Just like a plant needs sun and nourishment to survive, every Christian needs the light of Sunday and the sustenance of the Eucharist to truly live, Pope Francis said. "How can we carry out the Gospel without drawing the energy needed to do it, one Sunday after another, from the limitless source of the Eucharist," he said Dec. 13 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Writer's work touches on ongoing search for personal moral standards

    TORONTO (CNS) -- Catholic writer Philip Caputo shot to literary prominence in 1977 with release of his Vietnam war memoir, "A Rumor of War." The no-holds-barred soldier's account of the horror, brutality, demoralization and pointlessness of combat in an ideologically murky war was one of the first notes of doubt and dissent about America's foreign policy objectives in that turbulent time.

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  • Soros money means legal trouble for Amnesty's Ireland abortion campaign

    Dublin, Ireland, Dec 11, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Amnesty International is in no position to oppose an Irish law against foreign political funding now that it is under scrutiny for taking money from U.S. financier George Soros’ Open Society Foundations to target the country’s abortion restrictions, Irish pro-life advocates have said.

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  • Contact sports: Vatican official connects the church and athletes

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After more than four years in office, Pope Francis probably has one of the world's largest collections of authentic soccer-team shirts. He receives them and other sports paraphernalia during meetings with pro athletes where he encourages them to be models of virtue for their younger fans.

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  • Prepare way for the Lord with prayer, acts of charity, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Advent is a time to make a renewed commitment to prayer and to caring for others, Pope Francis said. "It is a time to recognize the holes to be filled in our lives, to smooth the roughness of pride and make space for Jesus who is coming," the pope said Dec. 10, the second Sunday of Advent.

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  • Vatican nativity scene, Christmas tree unveiled

    Vatican City, Dec 8, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In an inauguration ceremony Thursday, the Vatican officially unveiled this year’s nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square, also lighting the 69-foot Christmas tree for the first time this year.

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  • God does not lead us into temptation, Satan does, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Italian and English translations of the "Our Father" can give believers the wrong impression that God can and does lead people into temptation, Pope Francis said. The Italian bishops' television channel, TV2000, has been broadcasting a series of conversations between the pope and a Catholic prison chaplain looking at the Lord's Prayer line by line.

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  • Protests cause uncertainty in Bethlehem, but for now, pilgrims visit

    BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) -- Not far from where journalists lined up for positions outside the guard tower at Rachel's Tomb in anticipation of confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, life in Bethlehem continued. Trendy young Bethlehem residents and visitors were lunching on vegetarian pizza, quinoa and salmon salad, and sandwiches with names like Sexy Morning at the popular Zuwadeh Cafe.

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  • Vatican needs to strengthen fight against financial crime, Moneyval says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican earned praise from Council of Europe experts for its updated legislation against money laundering and for its vigilance in flagging suspected cases, but the committee said the effectiveness of the Vatican efforts could not be proven until Vatican courts actually prosecuted someone for a crime.

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  • Beauty advice from Pope Francis: Be virtuous like Mary

    Vatican City, Dec 8, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- On Friday’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis offered his own ‘beauty secret’ – with Mary as model – saying beauty does not come from age or appearance, but from living a virtuous life rooted in scripture.

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  • Pope names Nanterre bishop to head Paris Archdiocese

    PARIS (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named Bishop Michel Aupetit of Nanterre as archbishop of Paris, succeeding Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, who turned 75 in November. Archbishop Aupetit, whose diocese was west of Paris, was often named as a potential successor to Cardinal Vingt-Trois, who headed the Paris Archdiocese for more than 12 years.

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  • Narni: Italy's inspiration for the magical realm of C. S. Lewis

    Narni, Italy, Dec 7, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The magical realm of Narnia is the setting of C. S. Lewis’ beloved children’s book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. There, four children discover a land of talking animals, mythological creatures, the White Witch, and “the Great Lion:” Aslan.

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  • Kidnapped twice, missionary priest returns to Nigeria

    Rome, Italy, Dec 6, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- After he was kidnapped in Nigeria in October, Italian missionary priest Fr. Maurizio Pallù has returned to the country, attributing his kidnapping to the work of the devil and crediting the Virgin Mary with his protection and release.

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  • Austrian cardinal criticizes court ruling on same-sex marriage

    VIENNA (CNS) -- The president of the Austrian bishops' conference criticized a Constitutional Court judgment clearing the way for same-sex marriages in the traditionally Catholic country. "If the court denies the uniqueness and special legal status of marriage, built on the diversity of sexes, it denies reality and does no service to society," said Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, conference president. "It also ultimately harms everyone, including those it seeks to protect and who should be protected."

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  • Update: Mideast Christian leaders to Trump: Jerusalem move could have dire results

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- In an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, Christian leaders in Jerusalem said U.S. recognition of the city as the capital of Israel could have dire regional consequences. "We have been following, with concern, the reports about the possibility of changing how the United States understands and deals with the status of Jerusalem. We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division," the Christian leaders said, just hours before Trump announced the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital and relocating the U.S. embassy.

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  • Church leaders emphasize need for repentance, atonement for Korean peace

    Church leaders seeking peace on the Korean Peninsula emphasized the need for "repentance and atonement" between North Korea and South Korea. Clergy and laypeople from South Korea, the United States, Japan and other parts of the world also called for fewer military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. at the first-ever conference on the role of Catholics in building peace on the Korean Peninsula and more broadly in northeast Asia.

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  • Humility not about being polite, but accepting humiliation, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Like a sprout, humility needs to be nourished so that the Holy Spirit may grow within all Christians, Pope Francis said. While some believe that "being humble means being polite, courteous and closing your eyes in prayer," accepting humiliation is the only real sign of humility, the pope said in his homily Dec. 5 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Pope Francis is praying for grandparents this December

    Vatican City, Dec 4, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In his prayer video for the month of December, Pope Francis prays for grandparents and the elderly, urging people to respect and support them, that their wisdom may continue to be passed down to new generations.

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  • Pope says world has reached moral limit on nuclear deterrence

    ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BANGLADESH (CNS) -- The Cold War policy of nuclear deterrence appears morally unacceptable today, Pope Francis said. St. John Paul II, in a 1982 message to the U.N. General Assembly, said deterrence "may still be judged morally acceptable" as a stage in the process of ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

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  • Spanish cardinal says church teaching rejects national independence

    MADRID (CNS) -- Less than one month before elections in Catalonia, a Spanish cardinal said Catholics everywhere are violating church teaching if they support pro-independence movements. "In democratically constituted nations, there can be no moral legitimacy for unilateral secession," Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera of Valencia said in a Nov. 29 commentary for the Madrid-based La Razon daily.

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  • 2,400 faith leaders ask Senate to nix tax cut legislation

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- More than 2,400 religious faith leaders, including hundreds of Catholic women religious and dozens of priests, asked the U.S. Senate to vote down tax cut legislation. In a Nov. 29 letter to senators, the leaders called the bill "fiscally irresponsible" and said that it "endangers our country's economic health." The letter added that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act "disproportionately benefits the wealthy at the expense of vulnerable people and low-income families."

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  • Polish lawmakers consider closing shops on Sundays

    Warsaw, Poland, Nov 27, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Poland could gradually end Sunday shopping in the next three years, if lawmakers approve a bill under consideration in the national legislature. Backers of the legislation want to make it possible for workers to spend more time with their families, the British magazine The Catholic Herald reports. The bill was initially supported by trade unions, then received support from the Law and Justice Party, Poland’s ruling party.

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  • US tax reform bill could repeal Johnson Amendment

    Washington D.C., Nov 27, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision which prohibits churches and nonprofit groups from making public endorsements of political candidates, could be repealed through the tax reform bill currently in the US Senate.

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  • Uniformity is greater threat to culture than differences are, pope says

    YANGON, Myanmar (CNS) -- In a small, informal meeting with a variety of religious leaders, Pope Francis went to the heart of his message for Myanmar: unity, not uniformity, is the secret to peace. Representatives of the Baptist, Anglican, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim communities, as well as leaders from ecumenical organizations, briefly told the pope about their communities during the meeting Nov. 28 at the archbishop's residence in Yangon.

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  • Vatican official calls Trump's Haiti move 'a sad decision'

    Vatican City, Nov 24, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- One of the Vatican's top diplomatic voices has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's recent decision to end the Temporary Protected Status of thousands of Haitians taking refuge in the U.S., saying the country isn't yet ready for the influx after a slew of natural disasters devastated the island nation.

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  • Pope meets generals after brief welcome by children in Myanmar

    YANGON, Myanmar (CNS) -- Greeted by two dozen children wearing traditional attire and by the nation's bishops, Pope Francis arrived in Myanmar Nov. 27 for a four-day visit. The arrival ceremony at the Yangon airport was brief and led by an envoy of the president, because the formal welcome was scheduled for the next day in Naypyitaw, which has been the capital since 2005.

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  • Pope urges bishops to exercise authority as judges in annulments

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A diocesan bishop is the sole judge in the streamlined process for handling marriage annulments, Pope Francis said. The simplified process "is not an option that the diocesan bishop can choose, but rather an obligation that derives from his consecration and from the mission received," making the bishop the sole and exclusive authority in charge throughout the three phases of the briefer process, the pope said.

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  • Curia reform: Pope Francis reorganizes Vatican Secretariat of State

    Vatican City, Nov 20, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis has established a third section, or department, of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, which reportedly began its operations Nov. 9. The new section is named “Section for the Diplomatic Staff,” and is tasked with overseeing the Holy See’s diplomatic corps, stationed around the world.

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  • Science, humanities must overcome 'tragic division,' pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Science, technology, religion and the humanities need to work together for their mutual benefit and to safeguard humanity, Pope Francis said. A broader, more holistic approach is needed to "overcome the tragic division between 'two cultures' -- the humanistic-literary-theological and the scientific, which leads to mutual impoverishment, and to encourage greater dialogue," including between the church and the scientific community.

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  • Pope Francis calls Benedict's teaching 'precious heritage'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The theological work and papal teaching of retired Pope Benedict XVI "continue to be a living and precious heritage for the church," Pope Francis said. The pope met Nov. 18 with the winners of the 2017 Ratzinger Prize, named for the retired pope to honor those who make significant contributions to theology and culture.

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  • Pope names Brazilian cardinal to be relator general of upcoming synod

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has chosen Brazil's Cardinal Sergio da Rocha to serve as relator general of next year's Synod of Bishops on youth. The nomination of the 58-year-old archbishop of Brasilia was announced at the Vatican Nov. 18. The relator is responsible for providing a comprehensive outline of the synod's theme at the beginning of the meeting and for summarizing the speeches of synod members before work begins on concrete proposals for the pope.

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  • 'Invest in love,' pope says on first World Day of the Poor

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People have a basic choice in the way they live: either striving to build up treasures on earth or giving to others in order to gain heaven, Pope Francis said. "What we invest in love remains, the rest vanishes," the pope said in his homily Nov. 19, the first World Day of the Poor.

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