NAIROBI, Kenya -- The grisly murders of missionary priests and a local priest, a lay volunteer and 40 seminarians in Burundi are the focus of a recently opened investigation into their sainthood cause.

Pope Francis praises work of popular movements for social change

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VATICAN CITY -- Popular movements can spark the change needed to ensure a future that is no longer in the hands of elites and powerful people, but includes the poor who have the inalienable right to a life of dignity, Pope Francis said.

Sister traded hoops for a life of prayer

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The last time Poor Clare Sister Rose Marie of the Queen of Angels hugged her mom or other family members was in 1994 when she made her solemn profession of vows to her religious order.

Pew survey shows majority of Catholics don't believe in 'Real Presence'

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WASHINGTON -- A new study about the level of Catholic belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist showed that a majority of Catholics do not believe that the bread and wine used at Mass become the body and blood of Christ.

Japan's bishops renew hope for nuclear-free world

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VATICAN CITY -- With the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the bishops of Japan are renewing calls and prayers to build peace by abolishing nuclear weapons worldwide and promoting integral human development.

Boys Town founder steps toward sainthood

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OMAHA, Neb. -- The sainthood cause of Fr. Edward J. Flanagan — the founder of Boys Town — took a step forward July 22 with the presentation of the “positio” to the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes, along with a letter of support from Omaha Archbishop George J. Lucas.

Pope Francis encourages priests to be faithful despite abuse crisis

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis acknowledged the shame and frustration felt by priests who are discouraged by the actions of fellow clergy members who betrayed the trust of their flock through sexual abuse and abuse of conscience and power.

Pope Francis joins prayers for victims of bloody weekend in U.S.

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WASHINGTON -- Pope Francis joined Catholic Church leaders expressing sorrow after back-to-back mass shootings in the United States left at least 31 dead and dozens injured in Texas and Ohio Aug. 3 and 4.

JPII Institute VP says school's identity is 'seriously threatened'

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VATICAN CITY (CNA) - The vice-president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome said that changes to the school’s governing structure and academic program are a serious threat to its identity, and to the important pastoral ministry it supports.

Pope Francis: Prostitution is 'disgusting vice'

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VATICAN CITY -- Prostitution is a horrendous crime that reduces vulnerable women to tortured slaves who are at the mercy of their clients, Pope Francis said.

Cause for beatification of British missionary in Zimbabwe opens Sept. 5

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MANCHESTER, England -- The Vatican has allowed the bishops of Zimbabwe to open the sainthood cause of a British missionary murdered after he refused to abandon his ministry to people with Hansen's disease during the country's civil war.