VATICAN – The Catholic Church must help not only its own young people but also non-Catholics to become active members in society and true disciples in a chaotic world, a Venezuelan observer told the Synod of Bishops.
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HANOI, Vietnam – Vietnam has freed a well-known Catholic blogger and rights activist jailed two years ago for posting anti-government material on social media and forced her into exile in the United States.
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BANGKOK – Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai, one of two Chinese participants attending the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, concelebrated Mass with St. John Paul II twice in 1995. Although he was a member of the government-approved Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association – not recognized by the Vatican – it was only after his illicit ordination as a bishop of the Chinese-designated Diocese of Chengde that he was automatically excommunicated.
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VATICAN – Setting the stage for a monthlong gathering of bishops, Pope Francis urged synod fathers not to be crushed by "prophets of doom," but to be the signs of hope and joy for which today's young people yearn.
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WASHINGTON – Debate continues about whether the Vatican's provisional agreement with China will improve relations between the Chinese state and members of religious groups, which have had a long history of conflict.
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VATICAN – The recent Vatican-China agreement on the nomination of bishops seeks the true good of the church, the promotion of preaching the Gospel in China and the re-establishment of the church's full and visible unity, Pope Francis said in a message to Catholics in China and worldwide.
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AGLONA, Latvia – What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian shrine.
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VILNIUS, Lithuania – For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the Pope, the Vatican announced.
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VILNIUS, Lithuania – Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of communist, Nazi totalitarianism and of warning Lithuanians to be attentive to any signs of anti-Semitism or hatred.
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HONG KONG – The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media outlets.
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BATTAMBANG, Cambodia – Within weeks of the collapse of the final remnants of the Khmer Rouge in late 1998, Jesuit Father Enrique Figaredo visited some of the movement's last-standing cadres after hearing they needed assistance.

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BEIJING, China – Continuing a controversial plan, Chinese bishops allied with the government have told dioceses to prepare local versions of a “Sinicization” program to bring the Catholic Church more in-line with the government’s understanding of Chinese culture, society and politics.
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VATICAN – For more than 50 years, the writings of retired Pope Benedict XVI on the relationship between faith and politics have insisted that the measure of human freedom is the extent to which each person acknowledges being dependent on the love of God, Pope Francis wrote.
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HA TINH, Vietnam – A court in central Vietnam has jailed a Catholic activist after convicting her of subverting the communist state, ucanews.com reported.
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I was shocked when I learned of the death of Vietnamese Archbishop Paul Đọc Văn Bùi of Ho Chi Minh City. 
Published in YSN: Speaking Out