MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Church officials expect the Pope's Jan. 15-19 visit to bring healing to victims of disasters. They also emphasized that the visit will not be a fundraising event for the Church.

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Following up on remarks to 60 Minutes about the clergy sex abuse crisis and other controversial topics, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has stressed that the Catholic Church needs a system to hold bishops accountable and must “avoid crowd-based condemnations.”

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VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church calls for the creation of job opportunities and the recognition of the dignity of the poor, not simply for more handouts or expanded government welfare programs, Pope Francis said.

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ROME - Every human being has a right to food, and no business plan or economic policy can override that right, Pope Francis told world leaders gathered in Rome.

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VATICAN CITY - Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput says hot-button socio-sexual issues won’t be the central focus when the World Meeting of Families welcomes Pope Francis to the City of Brotherly Love next year.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis condemned the "unacceptable episodes of violence" in Jerusalem, episodes that "do not spare even places of worship," after an attack in a synagogue left four worshippers, a policeman and the two attackers dead.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has warned doctors and ethicists on several hot-button social issues, attacking abortion, embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia as “playing with life” and “a sin against God.”

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis said he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, making it the first confirmed stop on what is expected to be a more extensive papal visit to North America.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis’ penchant for austerity and humility will face a diplomatic challenge when he visits Turkey’s new ostentatious presidential palace on his first visit to the country later this month.

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PALO, Philippines - One year after one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded crashed across the central Philippines, Church leaders in some of the worst-hit parts looked to Pope Francis' brief January visit to Leyte Island with hope, and slight trepidation.

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VATICAN CITY - In his latest bid to ease the suffering of the poor — and upend the expectations of the papacy — Pope Francis plans to build showers for the homeless under the sweeping white colonnade of St. Peter’s Square.

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The 25th anniversary of the defeat of European communism, dramatically punctuated by the smashing of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, was a historical moment of biblical proportions. The peaceful dismantling of the Soviet empire — so much so that the Soviet Union ceased to exist altogether in 1991 — was never thought to be possible, let alone to be accomplished by the very workers and ordinary people in whose name communism ostensibly ruled. Rarely is it possible to see in history the finger of God so clearly at work.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis condemned the "absurd violence" being used against Christians in several countries and called on people of good will everywhere to take up the cause of religious freedom.

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VATICAN CITY - As world leaders prepared to meet in Australia to continue looking at ways to improve the global economy, Pope Francis asked them "not to forget that many lives are at stake" behind their discussions and decisions.

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VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church needs priests who show their people that being Christian is a lifelong journey toward holiness, a journey that proceeds by serving God and serving their brothers and sisters, Pope Francis said.

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