VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has defended its decision to invite China to an organ trafficking summit after an outcry from medical experts and ethicists about the country’s record of using executed prisoners as organ donors.

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UNITED NATIONS – Saying poverty is the greatest challenge facing humanity, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations called on nations to seek solutions to poverty not only based on economics but to also address personal, social and environmental factors that contribute to it.

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VATICAN CITY – To offer clearly and accurately the Catholic Church's positions on abortion, contraception, genetic engineering, fertility treatments, vaccines, frozen embryos and other life issues, the Vatican released an expanded and updated guide of the church's bioethical teachings.

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VATICAN CITY – Ugly churches with bad acoustics don't do justice to the richness and beauty of the liturgy – and it's this connection between art and faith that's vital for priests to understand today, a Vatican official insists.

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ROME, Italy – As colder weather settled over Rome last week, two area charities have found ways to reach out to those without food or shelter during the cold winter nights: one by turning a church into a temporary shelter, another by partnering with a newly-opened McDonald’s near the Vatican.

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VATICAN CITY – A McDonald’s opening in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica is to offer free meals to the homeless in a move aimed at defusing controversy over the fast food restaurant.

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ROME – Pope Francis warned thousands of pilgrims to be wary of criminals seeking to sell tickets to his weekly Vatican audience, which is always free.

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VATICAN CITY – nice theory, but must be actively pursued with concrete policies aimed at promoting the common good and the dignity of the human person.

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VATICAN CITY – More than 3.9 million pilgrims visited and attended papal events, liturgies or prayer services during the Holy Year of Mercy in 2016, the Vatican said.

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VATICAN CITY – Despite increased persecution and attacks against Christians, the faithful must strengthen their courage and joyful desire to follow Christ no matter the cost, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY – After the recent unauthorized ordination of bishops in China, which falls just ahead of a major meeting for Chinese Catholic representatives, the Vatican has issued a statement reaffirming their position on the matter.

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VATICAN CITY – A Vatican decision to reaffirm its opposition to gay priests has angered activists who thought Pope Francis was changing Rome’s attitudes toward homosexuality.

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VATICAN CITY – The updated version of the Vatican's document on priestly formation, released Wednesday, deals with issues of clericalism, homosexuality, and the protection of minors, among other things.

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VATICAN CITY – Women – lay and religious – make up almost 20 per cent of the Vatican workforce, and a group of them have formed an association designed as a forum for collaboration, sharing and outreach.

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VIENNA, Austria – In order to realize the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons the discourse of the international community surrounding nuclear security must be based on an ethic of trust, responsibility, and cooperation – not fear and suspicion, Vatican official Msgr. Antoine Camilleri said Tuesday.

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