COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Canonizing Sri Lanka's first saint, who ministered to Catholics under persecution three centuries earlier, Pope Francis proclaimed what he called the "fundamental human right" of religious freedom.
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Arriving in Sri Lanka, a country recovering from two-and-a-half decades of ethnic and religious civil war, Pope Francis said reconciliation would require its people to explore their painful recent history and accept persistent differences within their multicultural society.

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PILAR, INDIA - Sri Lankan Catholics are looking forward to Pope Francis’ canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz Jan. 14, but the enthusiasm and eagerness of Fr. Cosme Jose Costa stands apart.

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VATICAN CITY - Interreligious reconciliation and recovery from natural disaster will be major themes of Pope Francis' Jan. 13-18 visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, according to the Vatican spokesman.

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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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MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle confirmed July 29 that Pope Francis will visit Jan. 15-19, after spending several days in Sri Lanka.

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