For several years now, Catholic refugee policy — articulated passionately and repeatedly by the Holy See and many national bishops’ conferences — has focused on the urgent secondary thing, rather than the most important primary thing.

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CARACAS, Venezuela – The Venezuelan bishops' conference has labeled the new government of Nicolas Maduro "illegitimate" and called for a "change in government."
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LIMA, Peru – Elide Pena, 55, grins when she talks about her favourite Christmas memory: the time when she fell under Santa’s sleigh attempting to grab a toy for one of her grandchildren during a Christmas party in her native Venezuela.

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Neighbouring countries are bracing to receive an additional five million Venezuelan refugees this year on top of the three million people who have already left the crisis-stricken nation.

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VATICAN – The Catholic Church must help not only its own young people but also non-Catholics to become active members in society and true disciples in a chaotic world, a Venezuelan observer told the Synod of Bishops.
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VATICAN – With the help of the Migrant and Refugee Section of the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, eight bishops' conferences in Latin America have joined efforts to assist Venezuelans in transit through or settling in their home countries.
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While the biggest refugee crisis in the Western Hemisphere languishes in media obscurity, one Catholic agency is working with the most vulnerable Venezuelan refugees flooding the back country of Colombia’s borderlands.

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CARACAS, Venezuela – A jail riot and fire that killed 68 people in Venezuela's deadliest tragedy in decades could have been prevented, according to the Venezuelan bishops' conference.
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BOGOTA, Colombia – Bishops in Colombia are calling on officials, parishes and the international community to increase efforts to help Venezuelan migrants, who are leaving their country at the rate of at least 50,000 people per month.
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The global refugee crisis is transforming Catholic outreach, as agencies and the communities they serve struggle to bring basic services to 66 million people displaced by war, famine and natural disaster and another 258 million voluntary migrants seeking a better life outside their home countries.
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BROOKYLN, N.Y. – A priest who served a number of parishes in Brooklyn and moved back to Colombia four years ago to retire was brutally murdered there March 10.
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CARACAS, Venezuela – In his New Year’s message, the Archbishop of Caracas encouraged transparent elections the results of which the citizenry could trust, in order to alleviate the grave crisis affecting the country.
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CARTAGENA, Colombia - At the Church of St. Peter Claver, a saint venerated throughout the Americas as a champion of human rights, Pope Francis offered special prayers for Venezuela and its people suffering in the midst of a huge political and economic crisis.

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO COLOMBIA – Flying to Colombia, with a flight plan changed to avoid Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean Sea, Pope Francis told reporters that Colombia and its neighbor, Venezuela, were in his prayers.

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VATICAN CITY – After violence followed a controversial vote in Venezuela this weekend, the Vatican Secretary of State has encouraged the country's citizens to find a "peaceful and democratic" way out of the crisis.

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