VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.

Pope Francis: Albania proves to world that diverse religions can live in peace

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VATICAN CITY - People of different religious beliefs can and must live together in peace, Pope Francis said.

Send prayers, aid to those hit by Ebola, Pope Francis says

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for prayers and concrete help for the thousands of people affected by the deadly Ebola virus.

Pope Francis to bishops: Guard the faith, build hope, love sinners as they are

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VATICAN CITY - Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis ends South Korea trip with overture to China

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis ended his first official visit to Asia on Monday (Aug. 18) with a fresh overture to China and a call for reconciliation between South Korea and its communist neighbor, North Korea.

Hundreds brave rain to try to get final glimpse of Pope Francis in South Korea

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SEOUL, South Korea - Hundreds of Catholic faithful and non-Catholic admirers of Pope Francis braved the pouring rain to try to get a glimpse of him outside his final Mass before he left South Korea.

Charity, forgiveness keys to Korean reunification, says Pope Francis

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SEOUL, South Korea - Pope Francis told Korean Catholics that the reunification of their divided peninsula as well as the harmony of South Korean society depend on the practice of Gospel virtues, especially charity and forgiveness.

Pope Francis tells Asians to witness to Christ in all aspects of life

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SEOSAN, South Korea - Pope Francis told young Asian Catholic leaders to witness to Christ in everything they do.

Pope earmarks Holy Thursday collection for disaster relief in Japan

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Men sit amid debris in an area that was destroyed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, in Minamisanriku, Miyagi prefecture, in northern Japan, April 6. (CNS photo/Toru Hanai, Reuters) VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has decided the collection taken up at his Holy Thursday evening Mass will be used to help those affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan.

The March 11 disaster left more than 13,000 people dead and another 13,700 unaccounted for. More than 150,000 were made homeless and many lost their jobs, especially in the fishing industry.

Each year, the Pope chooses where to send the collection taken up during the Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the diocese of Rome.

'Silent Night' gains World Heritage List recognition from UNESCO

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'SIlent Night' has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in recognition of its role in fostering cultural diversity. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemit z) WARSAW, Poland - The world's most popular Christmas carol, "Silent Night," has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in recognition of its role in fostering cultural diversity.

"This is a song of freedom for the world, whose beautiful melody and text have inspired versions in more than 300 languages," Michael Neureiter, president of Austria's Silent Night Society, told Catholic News Service.

"Although it comes from the Catholic tradition, its calm, harmonic sound has made it accessible internationally. As such, it's not just a Christian song, but also a human song."

"Stille Nacht," or "Silent Night," was written as a poem in 1816 by Fr. Joseph Mohr in Mariapfarr, where he was assigned as an assistant parish priest. It premiered as a carol for two solo voices on Christmas Eve 1818 at the newly established St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, near Salzburg, with music composed by the church organist, Franz Gruber.

Exorcist boot camp: preparing for battle with the devil

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A priest performing the rite wears a purple stole. A crucifix and holy water are among the religious items used in the rite. (CNS Photo)VATICAN CITY - A call to arms — to take up the weapons of the rosary and prayer — rang out at a recent international conference on exorcism in Rome.

The Church needs more training of both priests and laypeople in fighting the influence of the devil and bringing spiritual healing to those in need, attendees said.

"This is warfare. We've gotten way behind. We've lost the concept of spiritual warfare," said Msgr. Marvin Mottet, the official exorcist of the diocese of Davenport, Iowa.

The 80-year-old retired priest said that about once a month he sees a serious case of possession and "tons" of cases of demonic influence in which people are being "bothered or attacked by evil spirits." Those kinds of cases, he said, are "a daily thing."