VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis deplored the "abuses and inhuman acts" of Islamic State militants, and called on all religious leaders to condemn them "unanimously and unambiguously." He also said he hoped to travel to the Middle East to comfort persecuted Christians there.

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VATICAN CITY - A new kind of ghetto needs the church's presence and people's solidarity: the "digital slum" where cyberbullying and online pornography and abuse run rampant, said speakers at a Vatican news conference.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis told authorities from the Dominican Republic that the “truth” must prevail in the investigation of a former Vatican ambassador who was convicted and defrocked for abusing teenage boys in the Caribbean country.

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October 2, 2014

Zero tolerance

In a widely reported statement Pope Francis recently told bishops to protect minors with “utmost care” and warned that anyone who failed would “be held accountable.” 

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Ten years ago, a friend took his then eight-year-old son to Buffalo to see their favourite football team, the St. Louis Rams, play the Bills. Both father and son are diehard Rams fans and the son wore a Rams jersey to the game. 

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A showdown between Pope Francis and a conservative bishop in Paraguay is heating up as the bishop rejected charges that he sheltered a priest accused of sexual misconduct, and claimed that Pope Benedict XVI himself vouched for the suspect cleric just days before his election as pope in 2005.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican has ordered a Roman Catholic diocese in eastern Paraguay to remove a priest accused of sex abuse in the United States and to restrict the activities of the bishop who hired him.

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VATICAN CITY - More than a meeting and homily, Pope Francis laid out a clear road map for the Church when he celebrated Mass and welcomed abuse survivors to the Vatican.

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VATICAN CITY - The UN Committee Against Torture urged the Vatican to impose "meaningful sanctions" on any Church authority who fails to follow Church law in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and asked that Church officials worldwide be required to report abuse allegations to local police.

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DUBLIN - The Vatican's chief prosecutor of sex abuse crimes said the Church needs to do more to develop the process for punishing bishops who fail in their duty to protect children.

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VATICAN CITY - As Pope Francis prepares to address the new Vatican panel charged with tackling the clergy sexual abuse scandal, victims are demanding the Catholic Church take immediate action to expose perpetrators and punish the bishops who protected them.

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VATICAN CITY - The majority of bishops' conferences in the Americas, Europe and Asia have complied with a Vatican mandate to draw up anti-abuse guidelines, said the Vatican's top investigator of clerical sex abuse.

Without counting Africa, "more than half of the conferences responded" by the May deadline, Msgr. Charles Scicluna of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in an interview with the Italian monthly Catholic magazine Jesus.

All those who did not send in their proposed guidelines would be getting "a letter of reminder," he added.

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ARLINGTON, Va. - A Virginia woman who claims a priest sexually abused her while meeting with her to perform exorcisms has filed suit against the Arlington Diocese and the Virginia-based pro-life group he formerly headed for $5.3 million in damages.

The suit, filed June 19 in Arlington County Circuit Court on behalf of a woman identified only as Jane Doe, claims Father Thomas Euteneuer, former director of Human Life International, abused her between April 2008 and September 2010.

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INDIANAPOLIS - Noting that the church in Philadelphia is "now my family, an intimate part of my life" a year after being appointed to lead the church there, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said that the clergy sexual abuse scandal "has caused terrible suffering for victims, demoralized many of our clergy, crippled the witness of the church and humiliated the whole Catholic community" in that region.

He made this assessment June 20, hours after a Philadelphia jury told Judge Teresa Sarmina that they could not agree on four of five charges in a clergy sexual abuse trial. Judge Sarmina instructed the jury, which has been in deliberations for 12 days, to continue to seek a verdict in the case against Father James J. Brennan and Msgr. William Lynn.

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PHILADELPHIA - After jury members said they could not agree on four of five charges in a Philadelphia clergy abuse trial June 20, Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina instructed them to continue deliberations in order to reach a verdict.

Sarmina suggested June 20 -- the 12th day of jury deliberations -- that they rehear portions of testimony from two accusers to help them finalize their decision. She also turned down a defense request for a mistrial.

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