VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis joined Austrian church leaders in praying for the 71 refugees found dead in an abandoned truck near Vienna and he condemned the smuggling of migrants as an offense "against the whole human family."

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The Catholic Women’s League of Canada has called on the federal government to invoke the notwithstanding clause to block implementation of physician-assisted suicide.

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WASHINGTON - Exploitation and discrimination abound among refugees from Myanmar's ethnic minority communities who have landed in Malaysia, a five-member contingent from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops learned.

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TORONTO - Organizers of the Gift Box campaign set up during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto to raise awareness of human trafficking have exceeded their expectations, volunteers say.

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MANILA, Philippines - Sr. Margaret Maung doesn't wear a nun's habit, but a traditional "longyi" and a simple blouse.

Experience has taught the provincial superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in Myanmar to embrace the country's cultural dress even while representing her faith.

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ROME - Elections, like profit reports, have regular short-term rhythms, which is why Pope Francis' encyclical letter on the environment was so "appropriate and absolutely essential" for waking people up to the dangers of climate change, said California Gov. Jerry Brown.

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TORONTO - With thousands expected in Toronto for the Pan Am Games this summer, Faith Alliance To End Human Trafficking's Gift Box project seeks to share with the city and its guests the horrors of selling souls.

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MANCHESTER, England - Bishops across the European Union are calling on member states to be generous toward tens of thousands of migrants flooding across the Mediterranean.

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VATICAN CITY - The poor, migrants in search of a better life and the unemployed want what all human beings want: life, dignity and a chance to earn a decent living, Pope Francis said in several speeches urging compassion and assistance by both governments and individuals.

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VATICAN CITY - With an obligation to lead and protect everyone in their nations, government officials cannot be content "to hope that the poor collect the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich," Pope Francis said in a message to the Summit of the Americas.

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VATICAN CITY - Bringing the light of hope to ending human trafficking means confronting the brutal "darkness" of evil that is driving those who exploit others, said a number of women religious helping victims.

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TORONTO - Covenant House is stepping up to give young women and girls caught in the grip of the sex trade a way out.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

OTTAWA - Canada’s parliamentary crusader against prostitution and human trafficking is leaving federal politics.

Conservative MP Joy Smith said she will not run in the next federal election so she can devote her time to fighting human trafficking in Canada.

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TORONTO - Pope Francis called for “the globalization of charity and co-operation” on the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees, but the Sisters of St. Joseph may have beaten the Pope to it with their submission to a United Nations commission in early January.

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VATICAN CITY - Leaving their habits behind and disguised along with police in regular clothes, a small group of three or four nuns raid brothels in Calcutta, India, at night, snatching young women and girls as young as 12 from the clutches of their captors.

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