PHILADELPHIA - A re-energized Pope Francis delighted tens of thousands of people crowded onto a thoroughfare in the city center on Saturday, delivering a folksy, off-the-cuff riff on family life that came late in the evening, and at the end of a long day of speeches and festivities that by any measure should have left the 78-year-old pontiff drained.

Published in Francis in America

SANTIAGO, Cuba - Pope Francis ended his trip to Cuba by blessing the city of Santiago de Cuba and telling Cubans to treat family as an "opportunity" rather than a problem.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY - More than 360 participants, including 18 married couples from around the world, were expected to attend October's Synod of Bishops on the family.

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TORONTO - One hundred more families, three-million more dollars and an infinite well of compassion will be the Archdiocese of Toronto’s response to photos of three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s tiny, lifeless body lying on a Turkish beach.

Published in Canada

WASHINGTON - A U.S. federal judge Aug. 21 gave the Obama administration 60 days — until Oct. 23 — to release the hundreds of immigrant mothers and children being held in locked detention centres.

Published in International

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rican Catholics have been quite outspoken against same-sex marriage, but their voices were not as strong during or after a massive outdoor same-sex wedding ceremony supported by government.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis reflected on the “serious social damage” caused by unemployment and praised governments for their efforts to create jobs Aug. 19.

Published in Vatican

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - One of the leading voices among Africa’s bishops predicts a new flexibility in Catholic teaching at this October’s Synod on the Family, allowing bishops and bishops’ conferences in different parts of the world to adapt Church teaching on the family to the culture, economic situation and political landscape in their part of the world.

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ROME - A Tuscany priest is offering a baby bonus of more than $2,000 to Italian Catholic families who have three or more children. But there are strings attached.

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VATICAN CITY - Caring for all of creation includes paying particular attention to the needs of young people and the aged, Pope Francis told the audience of a Catholic radio station in Argentina.

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OTTAWA - On July 20, 2005 same-sex marriage became legal in Canada. Ten years later, Canada has experienced a steady erosion of religious freedom and conscience rights, undergone negative changes in sex education and parental rights, while also seeing a shift in the rights of children, according to several observers.

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VATICAN CITY - In word and deed, Pope Francis will take his vision of a Catholic's approach to family life, parish life, charity, economics, immigration and good governance to Cuba and the United States during a Sept. 19-27 visit.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis is expected to draw a crowd of up to 2 million people to Philadelphia at the end of September’s World Meeting of Families, event organizers said during a visit to Rome June 25.

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VATICAN CITY - The working document for this fall's Synod of Bishops on the Family called for expanded discussion and pastoral solutions to challenges such as how economic disparity and environmental degradation affect families as well as the impact of infertility, aging and disability.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has formally approved the Canadian delegates to October's world Synod of Bishops on the family.

Published in Canada