SEOUL, South Korea - Pope Francis told Korean Catholics that the reunification of their divided peninsula as well as the harmony of South Korean society depend on the practice of Gospel virtues, especially charity and forgiveness.

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SEOSAN, South Korea - Pope Francis told young Asian Catholic leaders to witness to Christ in everything they do.

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SEOUL, South Korea - Speaking at the execution site of anonymous Korean martyrs, Pope Francis told Catholic bishops and young laypeople from across Asia to evangelize their continent through dialogue and openness, even with others suspicious or intolerant of the church. But he also urged them to challenge aspects of their cultures incompatible with Christian values.

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SEOUL, South Korea - Pope Francis placed 124 Korean martyrs on the last step toward sainthood in a beatification Mass Aug. 16 that brought elation to the 800,000 people in attendance.

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SEOUL, South Korea - Addressing young people from Korea and other Asian countries on their concerns about the future, Pope Francis said the best hope for reunification of the divided Korean peninsula lay in brotherly love and a spirit of forgiveness.

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SEOUL, South Korea - Celebrating Mass before some 50,000 people, Pope Francis prayed that Christian values overcome demoralization in economically successful societies.

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SEOUL, South Korea - Starting his first visit to Asia, Pope Francis urged South Korean political and civic leaders to seek peace on their divided peninsula and strengthen their nation's commitment to democracy and social justice.

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SEOUL, South Korea - Families of the victims of the April Sewol ferry accident appealed directly to Pope Francis for justice on the eve of his Aug. 14-18 Korean visit.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq.

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Pope Francis departs Aug. 14 on a five-day trip to South Korea, his first to Asia and the start of an important new papal focus on the region: In January, Francis will return to visit Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and a trip to Japan — where the Pope wanted to go as a young priest — is reportedly under consideration.

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VATICAN CITY - As he dispatches a top aide to wartorn Iraq this week, Pope Francis made his most impassioned plea yet for the world to halt the “slaughter” of Christians and other religious minorities by Islamic extremists.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis wants a "poor Church for the poor," but that "doesn't necessarily mean a Church with empty coffers," said Cardinal George Pell, "and it certainly doesn't mean a Church that is sloppy or inefficient or open to being robbed."

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy - The aisle is paved with stone from an ancient Roman road; the apse is made of carefully trimmed evergreen bushes; the columns are tall, thin cypress trees; and the nave is a lily pond, complete with gold fish.

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NORTHVILLE, Mich. - When St. John Paul II canonized 103 Korean martyrs in 1984 in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Alexius Hong was there to attend the canonization Mass.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants.

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