News/International

WASHINGTON – A Michigan priest criticized for emphasizing suicide in his homily during a recent funeral for an 18-year-old who took his own life has since apologized.

Church will spare no effort to end abuse, bring justice, Pope Francis tells Curia

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VATICAN – Acknowledging the gravity of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, Pope Francis told members of the Roman Curia that the church's strength does not depend on its members' perfection, but on the willingness to recognize its failings and correct them.

Vietnam's communist government, Vatican agree to upgrade diplomatic relations

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VATICAN – Delegations from the Vatican and from Vietnam reported continued progress in their discussions, including agreeing on "upgrading" relations with a permanent papal representative "in the near future," a Vatican press statement said.

Illinois attorney general says dioceses failed to address clerical sex abuse

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CHICAGO – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's report claiming that the clergy sexual abuse of minors in the state is "significantly more extensive" than what the state's dioceses had previously reported is unfair and "just false," according to the top lawyer for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Armenian Apostolic Church appoints first-ever representative to the Holy See

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VATICAN – The Armenian Apostolic Church, one of six in the Oriental Orthodox communion, will have a fixed representative in Rome, similar to the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Methodists.

Police, Muslim youth help guard churches at Christmas in Indonesia

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JAKARTA, Indonesia – More than 90,000 police and soldiers and a moderate Muslim youth group will help guard nearly 50,000 churches across Indonesia, including some previously attacked by terrorists, during the Christmas period.

Pope assigns Italian journalists to key posts in Vatican communications

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VATICAN – Pope Francis made new appointments to the Dicastery for Communication, naming Andrea Tornielli, an Italian journalist, as its "editorial director" and Andrea Monda, an Italian journalist and religion teacher, as editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Pope Francis asks bishops to meet with sex abuse victims before February meeting

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VATICAN – Before traveling to Rome for a major Vatican summit on the clerical sex abuse crisis and child protection, each participating bishop should meet with survivors of abuse, said the committee organizing the meeting.

Head of Ukrainian Catholics welcomes leader of new independent Orthodox church

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WARSAW, Poland – The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church welcomed the election of a leader for the country's new independent Orthodox church.

Politicians blaming 'every evil' on migrants is unacceptable, Pope Francis says

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VATICAN – In today's climate of mistrust, rejection and nationalism, the world urgently needs peacemakers and politicians who protect and lovingly serve others, Pope Francis said in his annual message for the World Day of Peace Jan. 1.

Catholic groups raise concerns that UN climate rulebook lacks ambition

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WARSAW, Poland – Catholic participants and observers criticized a "lack of ambition" by government negotiators at a U.N. conference on climate change that ended Dec. 15 with agreement on a rulebook to implement the 2015 Paris climate accord.