SYDNEY -- After two days of hearings, the seven judges of Australia's High Court reserved their decision on whether to hear an appeal of Cardinal George Pell's conviction for the 1996 sexual assault of two choir boys.

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SYDNEY -- Three Sydney priests have swapped clericals for camouflage to join the 3,000 Australian Defence Force reservists providing support to firefighters and communities in the grip of the bushfire crisis.

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CANBERRA, Australia -- Saying that "there is no end in sight to the horror which confronts us," Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the bishops have implemented a national response to months of wildfires.

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As some of the worst wildfires in Australian history rage across four states, thousands of people in affected areas in New South Wales and Victoria continue to be evacuated to safety.

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CANBERRA, Australia -- The Australian government has released its second "exposure draft" of its religious discrimination legislation, winning widespread praise from faith groups, including the Catholic bishops, following changes to the original legislation released in October.

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SYDNEY -- The Australian government has decided to revisit its religious discrimination legislation after key religious groups -- including the Archdiocese of Sydney -- said they would withdraw their support.

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SYDNEY -- The High Court of Australia has decided to give Cardinal George Pell, 78, a final chance to argue against his conviction on five counts of child sexual abuse.

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SYDNEY -- The Australian government said it will make changes to religious freedom legislation concerning religious hospitals and aged-care facilities, after the Catholic Church pushed for changes to a recently released draft legislation package.

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SYDNEY -- The Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania have become the latest in the country to pass legislation criminalizing priests who fail to report the abuse of children disclosed during confession. The country's six states and two territories are all expected have such laws in place in coming months.

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SYDNEY -- The Australian government is preparing to introduce the country's first religious freedom laws, but some senior Catholic clerics are concerned they may not go far enough.

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SYDNEY -- Thousands of pro-life supporters demonstrated in the streets of Sydney, expressing their opposition to a bill in the New South Wales state parliament that would permit abortion until birth for any reason.

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SYDNEY, Australia (CNA) -- While Cardinal George Pell of Australia is appealing his sexual abuse conviction in court, he and his supporters are making arrangements for a “safe hideaway” for the cleric, should his conviction be overturned.

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OTTAWA - Msgr. Carl Reid, a married Catholic priest, expected to retire in his adopted home of Victoria, B.C., in another six years or so, but Pope Francis had other plans for him and his wife.

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SYDNEY – A man Cardinal George Pell was convicted of sexually assaulting said he is finding it hard to "take comfort" in the cardinal's six-year jail sentence because a request to appeal the conviction is due to be heard June 5.
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MELBOURNE, Australia – Cardinal George Pell, 77, was sentenced to six years in prison March 13, just over two weeks after a Melbourne court allowed the publication of news that he had been found guilty of sexually abusing two boys.
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