VATICAN CITY - Although the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists continues, Pope Francis and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko still share hope that a political solution can be found, the Vatican said.

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VATICAN CITY - Despite the ongoing violence in the Central Africa Republic, Pope Francis wants to visit the country Nov. 29-30, plans for the visit are in place, and the security situation is being monitored, the Vatican spokesman said.

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VATICAN CITY - Even though the Vatican may be a target for terrorism, it won’t be “paralyzed by fear,” said the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

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VATICAN CITY - The Christmas tree and Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square will be set up and unveiled earlier than usual this year to be ready for the opening of the Year of Mercy.

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ROME - An Italian investigative journalist spoke out against what he called a “medieval” Vatican law that might result in a jail sentence of up to eight years for publishing confidential Holy See documents.

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VATICAN CITY - Patients have a right to a diagnosis that includes the possible causes of their illness, not just treatment addressing the symptoms, said a doctor invited to a Vatican-sponsored congress.

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ROME - On the evening of Nov. 16, 1965, quietly alerted to the event by word-of-mouth, some 40 Roman Catholic bishops made their way to celebrate Mass in an ancient, underground basilica in the Catacombs of Domitilla on the outskirts of the Eternal City.

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NEW YORK - Despite intense opposition from some conservatives and new revelations of financial scandals in the Vatican, Pope Francis is at peace with the reformist course he has set for the Catholic Church, according to a cardinal who is a leading advisor to the pontiff.

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VATICAN CITY - Financial wrongdoing at the Vatican, leaked documents and arrests by the Vatican police may make it seem like 2012 all over again, but the situation -- while serious -- is not the breach of papal privacy that the earlier "VatiLeaks" scandal was.

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VATICAN CITY - A Vatican official and a former lay consultant on a pontifical commission were arrested for leaking documents to an Italian journalist who has announced plans to publish them in a book.

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VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said an apostolic exhortation on the family following the recently concluded Synod of Bishops could be released soon.

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VATICAN CITY - Two of the 13 final small-group reports of the Synod of Bishops for the family contained apologies: one for ways in which a lack of pastoral care may have contributed to the breakdown of marriages and one for "harsh and merciless" attitudes toward unwed mothers and their children, the divorced and homosexuals.

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UNITED NATIONS - The information and services that space technology provides must be shared as much as possible by the countries of the world to reduce the risk that economic and social inequalities will widen, a Vatican official told the United Nations.

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VATICAN CITY - With 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis asked forgiveness for scandals that have occurred within the Church recently.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican opened the “Gift of Mercy,” a shelter for homeless men, just a few hundred metres away from St. Peter’s Square.

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