MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As Christmas approached and the year came to a close, the Monastery of St. Clare, home to the Poor Clare contemplative nuns for 87 years in Tennessee, quietly closed.

Put people first, Pope Francis tells leaders at Davos

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis told global business and government leaders that everyone has the moral responsibility to seek the integral development of all people, but especially those who are in need, suffering injustice or whose lives are threatened.

Pope Francis decries 'barbaric resurgence' of anti-Semitism

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis condemned the "barbaric resurgence" of anti-Semitism and criticized the selfish indifference that is creating the conditions for division, populism and hatred.

Pope Francis speaks to U.S. bishops about pro-life issues, transgender ideology

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VATICAN CITY -- Protecting human life is the "preeminent" social and political issue, Pope Francis said, and he asked the head of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities to convey his support to the pro-life community.

Will 2020 be turning point for women at the Vatican?

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis opened 2020 with a strong call to acknowledge the dignity of women, end violence against them and stop the exploitation of women’s bodies.

Publisher won’t remove Benedict XVI as co-author of book on priestly celibacy

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VATICAN CITY -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI wants his name removed as co-author of a book defending priestly celibacy but the publisher insists Benedict wrote the book with Cardinal Robert Sarah.

Pope Francis establishes date dedicated to Bible focus

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VATICAN CITY -- The newly established "Sunday of the Word of God" is an invitation to Catholics across the world to deepen their appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and his word, Pope Francis said.

Malta’s Christians set welcoming tone

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An island nation that is more than 90 per cent Catholic is using the story of a shipwreck to remind Christians what ecumenism is really about — kindness, welcome and the bonds of our common humanity.

Amid threats of war, world must stay hopeful, Pope Francis tells diplomats

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VATICAN CITY -- Hope is the virtue needed to approach the coming year, especially when the looming threat of war surrounds a humanity scarred by violence, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis prays for dialogue as tensions mount between U.S., Iran

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis led pilgrims in prayers for peace as tensions between the United States and Iran escalated following the assassination of a top Iranian general.

Pope Francis tells health workers to 'uphold truest human right, the right to life'

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VATICAN CITY -- Health care professionals always must "promote the dignity and life of each person and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness," Pope Francis said.