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{mosimage}VATICAN CITY — In a long-awaited overture to disaffected Catholic traditionalists, Pope Benedict XVI relaxed restrictions on the use of the Tridentine Mass, the Latin-language liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council.

Papal letter seeks uniting of Chinese communities

{mosimage}In a groundbreaking letter to Chinese Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI established new guidelines to favour co-operation between clandestine Catholic communities and those officially registered with the government.

Palestinian Christians concerned about future

{mosimage}JERUSALEM - The Gaza compound of the Rosary Sisters was ransacked and looted and sacred objects were destroyed during Palestinian infighting that led to the Hamas faction’s takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Canada, Latin America share similar problems

{mosimage}OTTAWA - A lack of deep evangelization lies at the root of problems shared by the churches in Canada and Latin America.

Christians in Iraq on Bush-Pope agenda

{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - Meeting for the first time, Pope Benedict XVI and U.S. President George W. Bush spoke about the precarious situation of Christians in Iraq and a wide range of other foreign policy and moral issues.

Man tries to jump at papal jeep

{mosimage}VATICAN CITY – A 27-year-old German man was forced to undergo immediate psychiatric treatment June 6 after he jumped over a barrier in St. Peter’s Square and reached the back of the open jeep in which Pope Benedict XVI was riding.

Cardinal Zen’s quest for normal relations

{mosimage}MARKHAM, Ont. - Cardinal Joseph Zen isn’t asking for much from Beijing.

“Our hope is normalization of the situation. That’s our purpose,” the 75-year-old archbishop of Hong Kong told The Catholic Register May 21 while visiting St. Agnes Kouying Church in Markham, north of Toronto. Zen has been Rome’s point man in an effort to establish diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Vatican.

Gaza violence leaves many scared, trapped

JERUSALEM - Exploding violence in the Gaza Strip has left the people weeping and trapped in a war zone, said a local parish priest.

Faith in Jesus has made the ‘continent of hope’

{mosimage}APARECIDA, Brazil - On a five-day visit to Latin America, Pope Benedict XVI identified a host of social and religious challenges and said the church should respond by focusing more clearly on the person of Jesus Christ.

Vatican recognizes power of the image

{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - They are not pushy or pesky; rather, the Pope’s own paparazzi are the epitome of discretion and class.

China’s ‘black pope’ wields great influence

{mosimage}BEIJING - He’s known as “the black pope of China” — a play on the “black pope” title given to the powerful head of the Jesuits — and whether or not people like his methods, they all agree that he is one of the most powerful laymen in China’s Catholic Church.