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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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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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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SEOUL, South Korea – Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon of Uijeongbu has been waiting years for this moment, with the leaders of the two divided Koreas poised to meet for a historic summit just inside South Korean territory April 27.
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HONG KONG – Catholics in China's Henan province have been warned that venues will be closed if they do not adhere to the revised regulations on religious affairs.
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BEIJING – In a rare move, a top Chinese official answered journalists' questions about a new white paper on religious freedom and the ongoing talks between his government and the Vatican.

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HONG KONG – China's ruling Communist Party has further stepped up control over all religions, dissolving its long-standing State Administration for Religious Affairs bureau and handing its functions to the party's United Front Work Department.

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VATICAN – Dialogue and respectful understanding are the prerequisites for social harmony and world peace, Hong Kong Cardinal John Tong Hon told a symposium on Christianity and China.
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VATICAN – The Catholic Church in China registered 48,556 baptisms in 2017, reflecting the vitality and missionary strength of the Catholic communities there, according to a report by Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
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HONG KONG – A senior Vatican official has hinted there is an unofficial agreement between the Holy See and Beijing on the appointment of bishops, even as negotiations to formalize arrangements continue to hit roadblocks, reported ucanews.com.
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HONG KONG – The Chinese Communist Party's top leader in charge of religion has made it clear that Beijing intends to retain a tight grip on the Catholic Church.

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FUZHOU, China – As the Catholic Church in China journeys toward a normalized relationship with the Holy See, one priest in dialogue with Chinese bishops has seen vast improvement in openness and dialogue on the part of leaders, both in the patriotic and underground Churches.

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HONG KONG – Hong Kong Christians came together to pray for terminally ill Liu Xiaobo, less than a week before his death.

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Pope Francis and President Xi Jinping came into their present roles within a day of each other in 2013 – Pope Francis was elected March 13 and Xi became president March 14. However, they have each followed a completely different path in governing immense and cumbersome entities – the People's Republic of China and the universal church.

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VATICAN CITY – The Vatican expressed "grave concern" over the situation of a bishop in mainland China who has been in government custody for almost 10 months and moved repeatedly in an apparent attempt to prevent him from assuming leadership of his diocese.

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