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  • Church-based charities provide earthquake relief in Mexico

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In the aftermath of two earthquakes in the span of two weeks in Mexico church-based relief agencies have been on the ground providing food, shelter and repairs. The magnitude 7.1 quake that hit near Mexico City Sept. 19 killed more than 230 people and injured more than 2,000 in the crumbling wreckage. The earthquake was just on the heels of the magnitude 8.1 earthquake Sept. 7 off the coast of south-eastern Mexico that killed at least 90 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

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  • 'Pontifical secret' in abuse cases needs review, advisers tell pope

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors believe they have done important work over the past three years, but, because there is so much more to be done, they presented Pope Francis with a list of suggestions, including changing the way confidentiality is imposed during church investigations of child sexual abuse.

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  • Pope says church was late fighting abuse, promises 'zero tolerance'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has endorsed an approach of "zero tolerance" toward all members of the church guilty of sexually abusing minors or vulnerable adults. Having listened to abuse survivors and having made what he described as a mistake in approving a more lenient set of sanctions against an Italian priest abuser, the pope said he has decided whoever has been proven guilty of abuse has no right to an appeal, and he will never grant a papal pardon.

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  • Bishop, Caritas staffer say situation in Mexico serious, much aid needed

    MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- A Catholic bishop and a Caritas worker in Mexico said the situation was extremely serious after the Sept. 19 earthquake, and much aid would be needed. "The situation is complicated, because the first earthquake (Sept. 7) had already affected thousands of people in Chiapas and Oaxaca," Alberto Arciniega, head of communications for Caritas Mexico, told Catholic News Service Sept. 20. "The church is continuing to assist those dioceses, but with what happened yesterday, the emergency situation is being re-evaluated to get a more exact assessment of the aid that is needed."

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  • Pope prays for victims of Mexico quake

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As search and rescue operations continued in central Mexico, where more than 200 people died after a strong earthquake Sept. 19, Pope Francis offered his prayers for the victims.

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  • Myanmar leader condemns human rights violations in speech on Rohingya

    NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar (CNS) -- Faced with a powerful military keen to have martial law declared in Rakhine state, which nearly half a million people fled in three weeks, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, avoided any mention of ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingya while broadly condemning human rights violations in her first major address on the issue.

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  • The Brothers of Charity are clear: no euthanasia is possible in our hospitals

    Brussels, Belgium, Sep 17, 2017 Church Pop.- Br. René Stockman says it clearly: the path to euthanasia is not viable for a Catholic hospital. After a board of trustees decision to allow euthanasia in Belgian hospitals sponsored by the Brothers of Charity, the community’s general superior spoke with CNA about the issues at stake, and the possibility that the Brothers of Charity might discontinue sponsoring hospitals if things do not change.

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  • Cardinal Gracias: curial reform is nearing the 'end of the tunnel'

    Vatican City, Sep 18, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Nearly four years after the Pope established his Council of Cardinal advisers to help him in the task of reforming the Roman Curia, one member of the group said their work is wrapping up, and that it could take only a few more meetings to finish what they set out to do.

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  • Fatima fulfilled: Archbishop celebrates return of Russia to Christ

    MOSCOW (CNS) -- Catholics across Russia are celebrating the centenary of the 1917 apparitions of Mary to shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. According to one of the children, Sister Lucia Dos Santos, Mary asked for a special consecration of Russia to prevent the country from disseminating its "errors throughout the world," a phrase now-retired Pope Benedict XVI interpreted as referring to communism.

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  • Pope expands scope of John Paul II institute on marriage, family

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To better prepare priests and pastoral workers to help meet the challenges families face today, Pope Francis is strengthening the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and changing its name to the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and Family.

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  • Philippine priest, kidnapped in May, freed

    MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- A senior Philippine priest taken hostage by Islamic State-inspired militants in the southern city of Marawi has been freed after almost four months of captivity. Father Teresito Soganub, vicar general of the Prelature of Marawi, told a news conference in Manila that he was doing as well as could be expected following his ordeal, reported ucanews.com.

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  • What are the Vatican's next steps in the child porn case?

    Washington D.C., Sep 15, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- What happens when Vatican City State diplomats commit crimes? The recent recall of a Vatican diplomat from the U.S. Nunciature in Washington, following suspicions of child pornography possession brings together both the workings of the criminal justice system at the Vatican and international diplomatic law.

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  • Mary was a 'courageous woman' up to the end, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Mary was a courageous woman who stood by Jesus even when the crowds turned against him and even though she knew he would face a tragic death, Pope Francis said. "At the very end, she is there, standing, looking at her son" on the cross. "Maybe she heard comments: 'Look, there is the mother of one of the three delinquents.' But she remains. Silent. She is the mother, she does not deny her son," the pope said Sept. 15 in his homily during a morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

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  • Indian bishop asks prime minister to stop hatred against Christians

    THRISSUR, India (CNS) -- The secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi "to intervene to stop hatred" in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas charged in a letter to Modi that "spiraling hatred" was being perpetuated by Raghubar Das, chief minister of Jharkhand and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is known for pursuing a Hindu nationalist legislative agenda.

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  • Freed Indian Salesian meets Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- One day after his release from captivity, Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil met with Pope Francis. According to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, the pope welcomed Father Uzhunnalil at his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Sept. 13.

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  • Witness of Colombian people a wealth for the church, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Colombia's long and arduous path toward reconciliation and a lasting peace after nearly half a century of war is a sign of hope for all Christians, Pope Francis said. Speaking to pilgrims Sept. 13 at his weekly general audience, the pope said the motto of his visit Sept. 6-10 -- "Demos el primer paso" ("Let's take the first step") -- referred to the process of reconciliation that, while difficult, is "underway with the help of God."

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  • Pope names new nuncio to Israel

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named Italian Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli to be the new Vatican nuncio to Israel and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine. The 64-year-old Vatican diplomat succeeds Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, who retired in August at the age of 75. He had served in the Holy Land for five years.

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  • Grandparents say their role has never been more crucial than today

    KNOCK, Ireland (CNS) -- Catherine Wiley, 71-year-old grandmother of 10, believes the role of grandparents has never been more crucial than today. "Today we are faced with considerations that our parents and grandparents could never ever have imagined," Wiley told more than 5,000 grandparents at the national shrine in Knock.

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  • Aid workers see humanitarian crisis as Rohingya flee to Bangladesh

    COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (CNS) -- Bangladesh is bracing for a massive humanitarian crisis because of a lack of food, sanitation, medicines and even basic housing following the exodus of as many as 350,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, fleeing violence in which at least 1,000 were killed in just two weeks.

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  • Be brave in finding new ways to live, share the faith, pope says

    MEDELLIN, Colombia (CNS) -- In a city many think of as being synonymous with new directions for the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told Colombian Catholics faith is not measured by how well they follow rules, but by the depth of their prayer life and the degree to which it pushes them to share the Gospel.

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  • Text of Pope Francis remarks on earthquake, Hurricane Irma

    VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia (CNS) -- Here is the Catholic News Service translation of Pope Francis' remarks in Spanish at the end of Mass Sept. 8 in Villavicencio: At this moment, I want to show my spiritual closeness to all those who are suffering the consequences of the earthquake that struck Mexico yesterday, leading to many deaths and great material damage. My prayer is for those who have lost their lives and for their families.

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  • Church leaders pray for victims of quake off Mexican coast

    CARTAGENA, Colombia (CNS) -- Church leaders prayed for Mexicans and Guatemalans affected by the magnitude 8.1 earthquake that struck the Pacific Coast. At the end of Mass in Villavicencio, Colombia, Sept. 8, Pope Francis prayed "for all the people who are suffering because of the earthquake last night in Mexico."

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  • Defend life, equality, unity, pope tells Colombians

    BOGOTA, Colombia (CNS) -- Consolidating peace in Colombia will mean overcoming "the darkness" of inequality and a lack of respect for human life, Pope Francis said. "Here, as in other places, there is a thick darkness which threatens and destroys life," the pope said in his homily at a late-afternoon Mass Sept. 7 in Bogota's Simon Bolivar Park.

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  • Irma cuts deadly path in Caribbean as church officials prepare response

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CNS) -- Hurricane Irma cut a deadly path through the Caribbean, leveling entire islands as it moved toward Florida Sept. 7, while Haiti prepared for a potential disaster. Whipping winds of up to 185 mph, dropping a foot or more of rain and causing potentially life-threatening storm surges, Irma posed a particularly grave risk to disaster-prone Haiti's northern coast, said Beth Carroll, emergency response coordinator in Haiti for Catholic Relief Services.

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  • Break mirror of narcissistic culture, pope tells Shalom community

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Today's narcissistic culture leads to sad souls who worry more about keeping up appearances than caring for others, Pope Francis said. Speaking to young people of the Shalom community, Pope Francis warned them of the sadness caused by narcissism, when "you live worried about putting makeup on your soul, about looking better than you are, about contemplating whether you're more beautiful than others."

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  • In new book, pope upholds traditional marriage, need to help sinners

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- By virtue of its very definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, Pope Francis said in a new book-length interview. "We cannot change it. This is the nature of things," not just in the church, but in human history, he said in a series of interviews with Dominique Wolton, a 70-year-old French sociologist and expert in media and political communication.

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  • Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, ecumenical leader, dies at 85

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- English Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, a longtime leader in Catholic-Anglican relations and former archbishop of Westminster, died Sept. 1 at the age of 85. Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster issued a statement saying his predecessor "died peacefully this afternoon, surrounded by his family and friends." Cardinal Murphy O'Connor had been hospitalized in mid-August.

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  • Pope to focus on values needed for peace, Colombian archbishop says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will help Colombians celebrate the official end of the country's 52-year civil war by urging the country to cultivate true peace, said Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, a Colombian who serves as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

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  • 'Hear the cry of the earth,' pope and patriarch urge in ecology message

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Environmental destruction is a sign of a "morally decaying scenario" in which too many people ignore or deny that, from the beginning, "God intended humanity to cooperate in the preservation and protection of the natural environment," said the leaders of the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

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  • Pope: God wants people to dream big, not listen to cynics

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God wants people to live with hope and joy -- not bitterness -- and to dream with him of a better world, Pope Francis said. "Please, make sure we do not pay attention to disappointed and unhappy people; let us not listen to those who cynically plead not to cultivate hope in life," he said Aug. 30 during his weekly general audience.

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  • Pope names Arizona Jesuit head of church jurisdiction in Kyrgyzstan

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named a 54-year-old Arizona-born Jesuit to be the new head of the church's Apostolic Administration of Kyrgyzstan. Jesuit Father Anthony J. Corcoran, who was born in Tucson, has been serving as superior of the Jesuits' Russia region since 2009 and has been working in Russia for the past 20 years.

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  • Venezuelan bishops' conference headquarters ransacked

    Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 28, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- Unidentified persons attacked the headquarters of the Venezuelan bishops' conference on Friday, stealing several items. The bishops' conference reported in two tweets Aug. 25 that “the headquarters  of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference were the victim of the mob this morning.”

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  • Pope: Catholic social teaching can contribute to building just society

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholic politicians should be guided by the church's moral and social teachings when crafting legislation, Pope Francis said. Meeting with participants in the annual meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network Aug. 27, the pope said that church teaching can contribute to a more humane and just society, but only if the church is allowed a voice in answering "the great questions of society in our time."

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  • Video shows ISIS destroying Catholic church, threatening Rome

    Marawi, Philippines, Aug 25, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- A new video has been released showing ISIS militants in the Philippines threatening to come to Rome as they desecrate a Catholic church. Filmed in the Philippine city of Marawi, the video shows militants shooting and setting fires within a church, as they destroy a crucifix and statues of Mary and St. Joseph.

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