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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate leaders pledged on Wednesday to take swift action on legislation imposing more stringent sanctions on North Korea for willfully violating international law by pushing ahead with its nuclear weapons program....
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- If the federal government refuses to make changes to an agreement to reform Ferguson's police and court systems, city leaders are willing to confront the matter in court, the mayor said Wednesday....
DETMOLD, Germany (AP) -- A 94-year-old former SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp is going on trial this week on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder, the first of up to four cases being brought to court this year in an 11th-hour push by German prosecutors to punish Nazi war crimes....
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- International debate over whether tampons and other feminine hygiene products should be tax-free has made its way to conservative Utah, where a bill is set to be heard by a committee made up of only men....
IMAGE: CNS photo/L'Osservatore RomanoBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Haideral-Abadi, Pope Francis expressed his hopes that Iraq and other war-torncountries would have leaders strong enough to bring once-divided peoplestogether."I wish for Iraqis and for all of us -- for the wholeworld -- leaders like this," the pope said Feb. 10 as he gave the Iraqileader a medallion featuring an olive tree -- a sign of peace -- that holds together asplit rock."Inshallah, inshallah," al-Abadi replied, usingthe Arabic word for "God willing."In addition to meeting Pope Francis, the prime minister heldprivate talks with top officials of the Vatican Secretariat of State. With Islamic State militants still operating in large areasof Iraq and with the people still recovering from war, the discussions included"the life of the church in the country" and "the situation ofChristians and ethnic and religious minorities with particular reference to theimportance of their prese...
By Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A jubilee year that does not openpeople's wallets to share what they have with others is not a true jubilee,Pope Francis said."This pope isn't inventing that," he insisted."It's in the Bible."At his weekly general audience Feb. 10 in St. Peter'sSquare, Pope Francis spoke about the description of a jubilee year in theBook of Leviticus. The religious feast also had serious social implications, hesaid, because it proclaimed a forgiveness of debts, the freedom of indenturedservants and special generosity toward the poor and the stranger."It was a kind of 'general amnesty,' which permittedeveryone to return to their original situation with the cancellation of everydebt, the restitution of land and the possibility of enjoying once again thefreedom proper to members of the people of God," he said.For God's chosen people, who are called to holiness, thepope said, the jubilee prescriptions help "to combat poverty andinequality, guaranteeing a dignified l...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis commissioned hundreds of “Missionaries of Mercy” during Mass on Ash Wednesday at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.In his Bull announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father said the Missionaries of Mercy “would be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith.” Priests chosen to be Missionaries of Mercy have also been given the authority to pardon “even those sins reserved to the Holy See.” Above all, the Pope said, they will be “living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon.”During Ash Wednesday Mass, the Pope focused on the theme of mercy as we begin the season of Lent.In his homily during the Mass, Pope Francis said the day’s readings present two invitations: First, to be reconciled to God. In order to do so, he said, we must first r...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has donated 500 rosaries to the detainees in a prison in the Italian city of Padua. The priest entrusted with delivering the gift is Don Marco Sanavio, who had the idea “more directly” to  involve prisoners in the “Moment of Peace” (Un’ attimo di pace) initiative launched four years ago on the web in Italy.The Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, reports that the request for the rosaries came from Zhang Augustine Jianqing, a young Chinese man currently incarcerated in the Padua prison, who also participated in Rome at the presentation of the book-length interview of Pope Francis by veteran Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, The Name of God is Mercy.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis flies to the Cuban capital on Friday for an unprecedented meeting with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. The private conversation between the two leaders will take place at Havana airport and is expected to last for a couple of hours, after which Pope Francis will continue onto Mexico City at the start of his pastoral visit to that Latin American nation.The Pope and the Patriarch will also sign a common declaration on issues of shared concern, such as the problem of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, the challenges of secularization, the protection of life, and other areas where Catholics and Orthodox can cooperate more closely together.The President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch will be accompanying Pope Francis in Havana for this historic encounter. He talked to Philippa Hitchen about the conditions that made this long awaited meeting possible….Listen:  The ca...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis departs for Mexico on Friday, for a week-long visit to the country and the people under the sign of mercy and peace. Vatican Radio’s Veronica Scarisbrick is in Mexico ahead of the Holy Father’s arrival, and spoke with the Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. “Many people think that the Pope will come [with] solutions to their problems,” said Archbishop Pierre, “obviously, the Pope does not come for that.” The Apostolic Nuncio went on to say, “I think it is just a question of respect for the people – the people are responsible.”Click below to hear the extended conversation of Vatican Radio's special envoy in Mexico, Veronica Scarisbrick, with the Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, Archbishop Christophe Pierre Asked about the role of the Church in Mexican history, culture and society, Archbishop Pierre said, “The Pope knows that the faith has a long history in the life of the M...
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