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  • 'Lots of tears' at chapel services, says priest serving Parliament

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- The Catholic duty priest to the British Parliament said people were weeping at prayer services the day after the Westminster terror attack. The priest, Father Pat Browne, said he arrived at Parliament about two minutes after the March 22 attack and was sent home by police.

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  • Cardinal O'Malley chairs child protection seminar in Rome

    ROME (CNS) -- There is absolutely no excuse for not implementing concrete measures to protect minors and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse, said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston. "Let there be no doubt about it: Pope Francis is thoroughly committed to rooting out the scourge of sex abuse in the church," he said, and "effectively making our church safe for all people demands our collaboration on all levels."

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  • Pope Francis prays for victims of deadly London attack

    Vatican City, Mar 23, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- After four people died in an apparent terrorist attack in London yesterday, Pope Francis has voiced his sorry and solidarity for the victims and their families, entrusting them and the nation to God’s mercy.

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  • Dublin prepares for 2018 World Meeting of Families

    Dublin, Ireland, Mar 23, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Just a little more than a year away, the Archdiocese of Dublin released a video Wednesday inviting families from around the world to come together in Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August 2018.

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  • What the bishop who resisted the Nazis can teach us today

    Münster, Germany, Mar 22, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- When Father Clemens August von Galen was consecrated Bishop of Münster in October 1933, he chose for his episcopal motto Nec laudibus, nec timore – neither by praises nor by fear, which summed up his ministry throughout Germany's Nazi period.

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  • Church leaders: Restoration on Jesus' tomb signals new cooperation

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Less than a year after restoration work began, the Edicule -- the traditional site of Jesus' burial and resurrection -- was inaugurated in an ecumenical ceremony led by representatives of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian churches, including Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

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  • World needs those who can bring God's hope, consolation, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christian hope is built on patiently enduring everything life brings and knowing how to see God's presence and love everywhere, Pope Francis said. God "never tires of loving us" as he "takes care of us, dressing our wounds with the caress of his goodness and his mercy, meaning, he consoles us and he never tires of consoling us," the pope said during his general audience in St. Peter's Square March 22.

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  • Don't treat confessional like a dry cleaners, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The confessional is a place where one can go to humbly seek forgiveness; it is not a dry cleaners where one goes to remove the occasional stain, Pope Francis said. While forgiveness is "God's great work of mercy," Christians can take for granted the power of the sacrament of reconciliation and confess while being "unable to be ashamed" of their sins, the pope said March 21 in his homily during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Northern Ireland political leader Martin McGuinness dies at 66

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Martin McGuinness, 66, who went from being a paramilitary leader to laying the foundations for peace in Northern Ireland, died March 21. McGuinness was diagnosed with a rare heart condition in December and died in a hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, surrounded by his family.

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  • Church experience more than just a cut-and-run flash mob, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Young men and women can live a true experience of the church by joining together and reconnecting with the past, Pope Francis told Catholic young people. "The genuine experience of the church is not like a flash mob, where people agree to meet, do their thing and then go their separate ways," the pope said in his message for World Youth Day 2017.

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  • In new book, archbishop describes how he believes America lost its way

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "We are passing through a revolution of sorts in America," says Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. Following such upheavals in the nation's moral life as the "normalization of pornography, premarital sex, divorce (and) transgenderism," the 2015 Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage was "a symbolic overthrow of traditional Catholic sexual morality," he says.

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  • Czech Cardinal Vlk, former window-washer, clandestine priest, dies

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Czech Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, who washed windows and ministered underground during communism, died of cancer March 18 in Prague at the age of 84. The retired archbishop of Prague was elected the first East European president of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences and dedicated his term to rebuilding the church and society after communism in the East and defending Christian values in the face of secularism and materialism in the West.

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  • Vatican releases pope's schedule for Fatima visit

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Celebrating the 100th anniversary of apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis will lead the evening recitation of rosary and celebrate Mass on the anniversary at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima when he visits Portugal May 12-13.

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  • Amid warm relations, pope to visit Egypt

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Accepting an invitation from Egypt's president and top religious leaders, Pope Francis will visit Cairo April 28-29. In response to an invitation from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the Catholic bishops in Egypt, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University, "Pope Francis will make an apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt," the Vatican announced March 18.

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  • Pope Francis to visit Egypt in April

    Vatican City, Mar 18, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- In what will be his first international trip of the year, Pope Francis will be traveling to Egypt, to the city of Cairo, April 28 and 29, the Vatican announced Saturday.

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  • Pope presides over Lenten penance service at Vatican

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A few hours after urging priests to be generously available for the sacrament of penance, Pope Francis went to confession, then offered the sacrament to seven Catholics. Presiding over the annual Lenten penance service March 17 in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis was one of 95 priests and bishops listening to confessions and granting absolution.

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  • Gypsy woman left to die after childbirth among 115 Spanish martyrs

    OXFORD, England (CNS) -- A 23-year-old illiterate basket-maker who died in prison after giving birth to a child will be the first Gypsy woman beatified by the Catholic Church. She will be among 115 martyrs from the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War beatified at a March 25 Mass in Spain's Almeria Diocese.

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  • Health care for all isn't optional, Vatican tells UN

    Geneva, Switzerland, Mar 16, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Health care access is a human right, not just a matter of philanthropy, the Holy See told the United Nations last Friday. “All our efforts must be directed to ensure human dignity, quality of health and life and to the building of a better world for the generations to come,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Holy See’s permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva.

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  • Cardinal to Harvard students: You need to be courageous

    Rome, Italy, Mar 16, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- This week Cardinal George Pell sat down with some 20 students from Harvard visiting Rome, with the goal of challenging them to both set firm ideals and to work hard to achieve them – something the Church can help with by providing a basic framework for moral leadership.

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  • Irish archbishop: St. Patrick was an 'undocumented migrant'

    ARMAGH, Northern Ireland (CNS) -- The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has urged Irish people and those of Irish descent celebrating St. Patrick's Day to remember the plight of migrants. Archbishop Eamon Martin -- St. Patrick's modern-day successor as archbishop of Armagh -- used his message for the March 17 feast to recall that St. Patrick was first brought to Ireland as a slave by traffickers.

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  • Shady business deals that threaten employment a 'grave sin,' pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Employers who make business deals that threaten people's livelihood commit a sin that robs men, women and their families of their dignity, Pope Francis said. "Whoever -- because of economic maneuvering and business dealings that are not all clear -- closes factories and businesses and takes work away from men and women commits a grave sin," the pope said March 15 before concluding his weekly general audience.

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  • Vatican maze: Retracing the path of abuse accountability proposals

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Recent exchanges in the media between the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a former member of a papal advisory commission have highlighted a lack of clarity and transparency when it comes to finding better ways to make bishops and religious superiors more accountable for how they handle allegations of sexual abuse.

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  • What does it actually mean for a priest to be 'laicized'?

    Rome, Italy, Mar 15, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- When reports came out recently about Pope Francis’ decision to modify the penalties for several priests found guilty of abusing minors, the question arose as to whether the Pope was being too merciful in his decision.

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  • Catholics call for unity after court upholds removal of Park Geun-hye

    Catholics in South Korea called for unity following a unanimous ruling March 10 by the Constitutional Court to uphold the impeachment of now-former President Park Geun-hye. On the day of the Constitutional Court ruling the bishops' conference head called for "rebuilding the country through harmony," and Seoul's Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung put out a message saying Koreans should accept the decision regardless of what side they were on.

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  • Pope: Conversion doesn't happen through magic, but concrete actions

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Conversion doesn't come from the wave of a magic wand, but from learning to do good through concrete actions every day, Pope Francis said. While even "the saintliest person sins seven times a day," conversion happens through humility and trying to become "better than the day before," the pope said March 14 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Pope talks criticisms, populism in latest interview with German weekly

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When facing criticism, a sense of humor and the grace to remain at peace are always the best response, Pope Francis said in an interview with Germany's Die Zeit newspaper. In the interview, published March 8 online and in print March 9, the pope laughed and said the Roman dialect featured in posters that were plastered around the Rome city center criticizing him "was great."

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  • More than 200 Korean martyrs are up for beatification

    Seoul, South Korea, Mar 9, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The first Bishop of Pyongyang, an American born-bishop, and numerous priests and laity are among the 213 who could be beatified and advanced on the process to sainthood under a process begun in South Korea.

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  • U.S.-Holy See ties won't change with Trump, U.S. diplomat says

    ROME (CNS) -- Despite opposing views on some issues, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See will still look for common ground on global issues, the interim leader of the embassy said. "There's an expectation that the relationship between President (Donald) Trump and Pope Francis will be difficult to establish" and that "the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Holy See is going to suffer and that is not the case at all," Louis Bono, charge d'affaires to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See said. Bono temporarily leads the embassy while it waits for a new U.S. ambassador to be named and confirmed.

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  • With passage in House, Philippines poised to reinstate death penalty

    The Philippines stands poised to reinstate the death penalty after it was put on hold 11 years ago. The church in the Philippines, which has grown more vocal in recent months, continues to oppose the measure that passed the Philippine House on the third and final reading March 7 and is widely expected to move quickly through the Senate. This latest version specifically targets drug crimes.

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  • Bible, like cellphone, should be carried always, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians should care about reading God's messages in the Bible as much as they care about checking messages on their cellphones, Pope Francis said. As Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend themselves from temptation with the word of God if they "read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it" into their lives, he said before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square March 5.

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  • What's it like to be an 'invisible' child under China's one-child policy?

    Beijing, China, Mar 5, 2017 CNA.- For some 35 years, the population of China was strictly controlled by the Communist government’s one-child policy. Parents were only allowed one child, and additional pregnancies meant forced abortions or hefty fines and penalties, such as the loss of a job. These additional children could be denied family household registration, which is the equivalent of denying them citizenship and basic services such as public transportation and education.

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  • Why is gendercide wrong and screening for Down syndrome okay, advocates ask

    London, England, Mar 4, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Is it ok to abort a baby who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome? What about if you find out the baby is a girl, and you wanted a boy?   One UK ethics watchdog recently endorsed early pregnancy tests to screen for Down syndrome but opposed the same tests to find out the baby's sex, lest it lead to gendercide.

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  • Young man facing leukemia 'left his mark on the world'

    Madrid, Spain, Mar 2, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pablo Ráez was just 21 years old when he died last Saturday in Spain. But the young man, a devout Catholic, made a difference in the world, helping increase bone marrow donations in his home city by more than 1,000 percent.

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  • Faith can't grow without temptation, pope tells Rome priests

    ROME (CNS) -- Faith is a continuing path of growth and maturity that cannot progress without the presence of temptations, Pope Francis told priests of the Diocese of Rome. How faith develops in "a man, in a priest" despite his flaws can be seen in St. Peter, the pope said March 2 as he led a meditation with diocesan and religious clergy.

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  • Dutch church leaders speak out against populist shift

    AMSTERDAM (CNS) -- Dutch church leaders have signed a petition against the "exploitation of Christianity" by populist politicians in upcoming parliamentary elections, as the Catholic bishops' conference urged voters to back parties "contributing to the common good."

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  • In Rome, a new generation of Benedict XVI scholars is on the rise

    Rome, Italy, Mar 2, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The theological legacy of Benedict XVI continues, four years after his pontificate came to an end. A group of graduate students has gathered around the Ratzinger Foundation to further their studies and discussions on the thought of the former Pope, cardinal, and theology professor.

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  • Priest: We need to praise what is good, true in the Muslim faith

    Vatican City, Feb 28, 2017 CNA.- Not only is there a good deal in common between Muslims and Christians, but Catholics are called to respect and work together with those who practice the Muslim faith in recognition of truth and goodness they do possess, said Islam scholar Fr. Thomas Michel.

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  • Surgeon and father among sainthood causes moving forward

    Vatican City, Feb 27, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis recognized on Monday the heroic virtue of eight persons on the path to canonization, including an Italian surgeon and father of eight who suffered from several painful diseases throughout his life.

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  • Local bishop says again Mary is not appearing in Medjugorje

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "The Virgin Mary has not appeared in Medjugorje," said Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, the diocese in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which includes Medjugorje. Two weeks after the Vatican announced Pope Francis was sending a Polish archbishop to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and the thousands of pilgrims who flock to Medjugorje each year, Bishop Peric posted his statement Feb. 26 on his diocesan website.

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  • God is faithful -- trust him and don't worry, Pope Francis says

    Vatican City, Feb 26, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- While earthly pleasures such as power and money bring temporary satisfaction, they are ultimately fleeting and deceptive, Pope Francis said Sunday, explaining that God alone is faithful and in trusting him, we have nothing to worry about.

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  • Rome's Anglican pastor: Papal visit an exciting, but normal, step

    Rome, Italy, Feb 25, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis will tomorrow become the first Roman Pontiff to set foot in an Anglican parish in Rome, marking a symbolic act the church’s pastor said is hugely significant, yet surprisingly normal for two communities that are close to one another.

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  • Australian archbishops to ask Vatican for clarity on confession issues

    SYDNEY (CNS) -- Australia's five archbishops said they would consider asking the Vatican for clarification on concerns raised in a government inquiry into sexual abuse of children in the church. Among those concerns were whether the seal of confession includes only the sins confessed, not other information revealed in confession, and under what circumstances -- specifically concerning an abuser -- a priest could withhold absolution.

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  • South Sudan bishops condemn atrocities, appeal for help to prevent famine

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- South Sudan's Catholic bishops asked for the world's help to prevent mass starvation that threatens the lives of more than 5 million people. In a separate statement, they also said the looming famine was a man-made catastrophe. They denounced government and rebel troops for attacking the civilian population and at times operating "scorched-earth" policies in defiance of international law.

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  • Iraqi Christians erect large cross in area liberated from ISIS

    Mosul, Iraq, Feb 23, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- After years of darkness, hope has returned to Telekuf-Tesqopa. Located just 17 miles from Mosul, the village is rebuilding after being liberated from ISIS. As a visible sign of the rebuilding, a giant cross was erected on a hill, marking the victory of the Christian faith against the darkness of the jihadists.

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