VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has warned doctors and ethicists on several hot-button social issues, attacking abortion, embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia as “playing with life” and “a sin against God.”

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis said he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, making it the first confirmed stop on what is expected to be a more extensive papal visit to North America.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis’ penchant for austerity and humility will face a diplomatic challenge when he visits Turkey’s new ostentatious presidential palace on his first visit to the country later this month.

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PALO, Philippines - One year after one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded crashed across the central Philippines, Church leaders in some of the worst-hit parts looked to Pope Francis' brief January visit to Leyte Island with hope, and slight trepidation.

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VATICAN CITY - In his latest bid to ease the suffering of the poor — and upend the expectations of the papacy — Pope Francis plans to build showers for the homeless under the sweeping white colonnade of St. Peter’s Square.

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The 25th anniversary of the defeat of European communism, dramatically punctuated by the smashing of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, was a historical moment of biblical proportions. The peaceful dismantling of the Soviet empire — so much so that the Soviet Union ceased to exist altogether in 1991 — was never thought to be possible, let alone to be accomplished by the very workers and ordinary people in whose name communism ostensibly ruled. Rarely is it possible to see in history the finger of God so clearly at work.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis condemned the "absurd violence" being used against Christians in several countries and called on people of good will everywhere to take up the cause of religious freedom.

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VATICAN CITY - As world leaders prepared to meet in Australia to continue looking at ways to improve the global economy, Pope Francis asked them "not to forget that many lives are at stake" behind their discussions and decisions.

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VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church needs priests who show their people that being Christian is a lifelong journey toward holiness, a journey that proceeds by serving God and serving their brothers and sisters, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pope Francis said the sudden end to the division of Europe was prepared by the prayers and sacrifice of many people, including St. John Paul II.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has removed outspoken U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Vatican's highest court and named him to a largely ceremonial post for a chivalric religious order.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis, who has called the Catholic Church to go out to the peripheries and who described himself as coming from "the end of the Earth," will visit the heart of European secular and economic power: the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

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November 6, 2014

Have mercy

There is nothing novel in a Pope rejecting the death penalty, but in typical style Pope Francis went a step further recently by also denouncing life sentences. 

Published in Editorial

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis raised the prospect of no-cost marriage annulments Nov. 5 after revealing he had dismissed a Church official for selling annulments for thousands of dollars, which he called a “public scandal.”

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY - A month after closing a Synod of Bishops on the family stirred by controversy over divorce, same-sex unions and other non-marital relationships, Pope Francis will open an interreligious conference dedicated to traditional marriage.

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