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Vatican following case of Chinese Bishop Ma, spokesman says

Vatican following case of Chinese Bishop Ma, spokesman says

VATICAN, June 24, 2016– The Vatican said it has had no direct contact with Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai, who apparently wrote a blog post in June that gave many people the impression he had recanted an earlier decision to abandon the Chinese government’s Catholic Patriotic Association. At his episcopal ordination in 2012 [...]

Unity, honor and hope on pope’s agenda for Armenia

VATICAN, June 24, 2016– Pope Francis said he would travel to Armenia June 24-26 to promote closer bonds with the Armenian Orthodox church, honor the Armenian people’s steadfast faith in the face of tragedy and support them in their efforts to build a peaceful future. In a video message transmitted June 22 on Armenian television, [...]

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Vocational support: Cardinal uses music as part of his ministry

VATICAN, June 24, 2016– Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri’s priesthood always has had a musical soundtrack. In fact, he bought a piano while living in Haiti and shipped it to his new posts first in Paraguay, then India, Brazil and on to his Vatican apartment. The well-traveled piano is still in his apartment. Another medium grand Yamaha [...]

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Benedict shows core of priesthood is being ‘immersed in God,’ pope says

VATICAN, June 23, 2016– Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to retire and live a life fully dedicated to prayer represents one of the most important lessons he gives the world’s priests, Pope Francis said. In retirement, Pope Benedict shows “in an even clearer way” the core of priestly ministry is a life fully immersed in God, [...]

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There’s no excuse for it: Pope Francis on the death penalty

VATICAN, June 23, 2016– In a video message sent Wednesday to a gathering of advocates for abolition of the death penalty, Pope Francis welcomed their efforts as a way to promote the right to life of all persons. “Nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person,” the Pope said [...]

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Pope delivers weekly catechesis alongside his ‘brother’ refugees

VATICAN, June 22, 2016– Joined closely by just over a dozen refugees at his weekly public audience, Pope Francis said that in following Jesus’ example, the Christian excludes no one. “Jesus teaches us not to be afraid of touching the poor and the excluded, because he is in them,” said the Pope during his Wednesday [...]

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Vatican marks ‘Laudato Si” anniversary with new website

ROME, June 22, 2016 — Marking the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace launched a new website dedicated to the document and efforts around the world to put its teaching into practice. The site — www.laudatosi.va — “witnesses not only to the impact of the [...]

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Death penalty fosters revenge, not justice, pope says

VATICAN, June 22, 2016– Use of the death penalty is an unacceptable practice that sows vengeance and does not bring justice to the victims of crime, Pope Francis said. No matter how serious the crime, to kill a convicted person is “an offense to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human [...]

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Renew efforts to build peace, help refugees, pope says

VATICAN, June 21, 2016– Assist and accompany refugees while working to build peace in the world, Pope Francis urged on the eve of World Refugee Day. “Refugees are people like everyone, but war took away their home, work, relatives and friends,” he said in the run-up to the United Nations-sponsored day June 20. Seeing the [...]

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Who was Elizabeth of the Trinity? The story behind a new saint

VATICAN, June 21, 2016– Pope Francis has announced the canonization date of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a Carmelite nun of the 20th century who will be formally recognzied as a saint October 16. In March, the Pope had acknowledged a miracle worked through the intercession of Blessed Elizabeth, paving the way for her canonization. [...]

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The world needs Christ more than ever, Pope Francis says

VATICAN, June 19, 2016– On Sunday Pope Francis said that with a growing sense of emptiness and insecurity gripping the world, Jesus Christ is needed more than ever before, since he alone knows how to answer humanity’s deepest questions. “The world needs Christ more than ever, needs his salvation and his merciful love,” the Pope [...]

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Christian persecution extends beyond genocide, Pope says

ROME, Italy, June 18, 2016– In a wide-ranging question and answer session on Saturday, Pope Francis said it is “reductionism” to describe the violence against Christians in the world; the correct word, he said, is persecution. “I want to say clearly, I do not like it when one speaks of a genocide of Christians, for [...]

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For Pope Francis, the Catholic laity can transform the world

VATICAN, June 18, 2016– The Church should always value the transformative power of faith-filled laity who are willing to serve the Gospel, Pope Francis said Friday. “We need well-formed lay people, animated by a sincere and clear faith, whose life has been touched by the personal and merciful love of Christ Jesus,” the Pope told [...]

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Too many couples do not understand marriage is for life, pope says

ROME, June 17, 2016 — Because most people today do not understand that sacramental marriage really is a bond that binds them to each other for life, many marriages today can be considered invalid, Pope Francis said. Raising a point he has raised before, and one also raised by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis [...]

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Vatican lends hand in welcoming new group of Syrian refugees to Rome

VATICAN, Jun 17, 2016– Since 2015, when the refugee crisis reached a fever pitch in Europe, five Syrian families fleeing civil war have found refuge in Italy with the help of the Vatican. As of Thursday, nine more people have been added to that list. “Following the visit of the Holy Father to the Island [...]

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Approach families with respect because God is at work, pope says

ROME, June 17, 2016– Like Moses before the burning bush, those talking about the real-life situations of families must take off their sandals because they are standing on holy ground, Pope Francis said. The pastoral care of families requires “a climate of respect capable of helping us listen to what God is saying,” the pope [...]

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