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  • Update: Abuse in Ireland: Pressure mounts for pope to address scandal

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis is traveling to Ireland specifically for the World Meeting of Families, but the sex abuse crisis is dominating headlines before his Aug. 25-26 trip. While coverage of clerical abuse in the United States, Chile and Australia continues, Irish news media have been filled with articles about how a top Vatican official allegedly tried to get Irish government officials to support deals that would protect church records of abuse allegations and limit the financial liability of the church.

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  • On Assumption feast, pope asks consolation for all who suffer

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Mary's assumption into heaven was a special sign of God's favor, but it also indicates God's desire to save all people, body and soul, Pope Francis said. Reciting the Angelus prayer on the feast of the Assumption Aug. 15, Pope Francis also asked the crowd in St. Peter's Square to join him in praying for the 38 people who died Aug. 14 when a large span of a highway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy.

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  • Canon lawyers explain how Vatican abuse trials function

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Any member of the clergy accused of the sexual abuse of a minor is tried according to procedures outlined in the Code of Canon Law and specific norms spelled out in "Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela" ("Safeguarding the Sanctity of the Sacraments").

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  • Pope revises catechism to say death penalty is 'inadmissible'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Building on the development of Catholic Church teaching against capital punishment, Pope Francis has ordered a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert "the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person" and to commit the church to working toward its abolition worldwide.

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  • Argentina Senate votes down abortion decriminalization bill

    MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The Argentine Senate voted against a bill that would have decriminalized abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Senators voted 38-31 against the measure early Aug. 9 following a 15-hour debate. The measure had been approved in June by the lower house of Congress.

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  • Underground priests removed in China for holding summer youth camp

    GANSU, China (CNS) -- Two underground parish priests in China's Gansu province have been removed after being accused of holding a summer camp for a youth group at their church. Father Wang Yiqin of Hui county and Father Li Shidong of Leling in Shandong province were serving Maijiqu Ganquan Church in Tianshui Diocese, ucanews.com reported.

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  • One-time East Timor rebel renews faith, finds calling in teaching

    DILI, East Timor (CNS) -- At 24 in late 2006, Egidio Lay Carvalho, a ragged and disgraced ex-soldier lay, miserable in Becora Prison and began to take stock of his life. Like most of his countrymen, Carvalho was nominally a Catholic because of centuries of Portuguese occupation; Dominican friars had established a mission on the island by 1556.

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  • Fear, uncertainty lead to a 'do-it-yourself' religion, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Like the ancient Israelites, Christians today also can fall into the temptation of creating their own idols when difficulties and uncertainties arise, Pope Francis said.
    "To escape precariousness human nature looks for a 'do-it-yourself' religion. If God does not show himself, we create a tailor-made god," the pope said Aug. 8 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Faith is a relationship, not a set of rules, pope says at Angelus

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Doing God's will means first of all believing in Jesus and allowing love for him to translate into love for one's neighbors, Pope Francis said. The Gospel story of the multiplication of loaves demonstrates the concern Jesus showed for people's daily physical needs, the pope said, but the passages that follow show how "it is even more important to cultivate our relationship with him, reinforcing our faith in him who is the 'bread of life' come to satisfy our hunger for truth, our hunger for justice, our hunger for love."

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  • Pope prays Blessed Paul VI will intercede for 'church he loved so much'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- On the 40th anniversary of the death of Blessed Paul VI, Pope Francis went into the grotto under St. Peter's Basilica to pray at his predecessor's simple tomb. The pope who oversaw the last sessions of the Second Vatican Council and began implementing its teachings died Aug. 6, 1978, at Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence outside of Rome.

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  • Catechism change shows 'true dogmatic progress,' archbishop says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert that capital punishment is morally inadmissible shows how the church can grow in its understanding of the implications of basic tenets of faith, said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

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  • Thousands march in support of Nicaraguan bishops

    Managua, Nicaragua, Jul 31, 2018 ACI Prensa.- The streets of Nicaragua were filled on July 28 by thousands of demonstrators supporting the country’s bishops and priests after repeated attacks by paramilitaries with ties to the government.

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  • Latin Patriarchate objects to Israel's new nation-state law

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem strongly criticized Israel's recently adopted law that defines the country as the nation-state of the Jewish people for failing to provide constitutional guarantees for the rights of indigenous people and other minorities in the country.

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  • Contraception feeds violence against women, papal theologian says

    SYDNEY (CNS) -- The widespread use of contraception has led to increased violence and aggression against women, the theologian of the papal household said during a mid-July visit to Sydney. Dominican Father Wojciech Giertych, appointed to his position by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, said that the contraceptive mentality has distorted male sexuality, leading to violence toward women.

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  • Indian Catholic leaders protest call to ban sacrament of reconciliation

    NEW DELHI (CNS) -- India's Catholic Church has led a chorus of protest over a demand to ban the sacrament of reconciliation from the chairwoman of the National Commission for Women. "This demand is absurd and it displays ignorance about the sacrament of confession," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, president of Catholic Bishops Conference of India, told Catholic News Service July 27.

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  • Update: Pope accepts Cardinal McCarrick's resignation as cardinal

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the resignation from the College of Cardinals of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, and has ordered him to maintain "a life of prayer and penance" until a canonical trial examines accusations that he sexually abused minors.

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  • Jailed Vietnamese Catholic activist ends hunger strike

    HANOI, Vietnam (CNS) -- A prominent Catholic blogger and activist ended a two-week hunger strike in a Vietnamese prison after she met with visiting U.S. diplomats, local bloggers reported. Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 39, stopped her strike after the visit July 23, ucanews.com reported, after the Network of Vietnamese Bloggers released a statement July 25.

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  • What makes the Holy See's diplomacy unique

    Washington D.C., Jul 26, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- At a religious freedom event in Washington, D.C., this week, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States explained how the Holy See takes a unique approach to diplomacy and the promotion of religious liberty.

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  • Two churches desecrated in Nicaraguan diocese

    Jinotega, Nicaragua, Jul 25, 2018 ACI Prensa.- Two churches in the Diocese of Jinotega in northern Nicaragua have been desecrated in the past week, amid rising tensions between the Church and the government of president Daniel Ortega.

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  • US bishops: 'Humanae vitae' is perennially relevant

    Washington D.C., Jul 25, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- The US bishops have drawn attention to the continual relevance of Humanae vitae, Blessed Paul VI's encyclical on the regulation of birth, to mark the 50th anniversary of its promulgation.

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  • Cardinal Collins urges prayers for victims of Toronto shooting

    TORONTO (CNS) -- Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto urged people to pray with him for the victims of a shooting spree that claimed three lives, including a 10-year-old girl, late July 22. An 18-year-old woman, Reese Fallon, also was killed in the rampage on Toronto's Danforth Avenue, the center of the city's Greek community. The incident left 13 others injured, according to police.

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