News/International

OXFORD, England - Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus of Warsaw resigned just two days after formally taking office, after admitting that he acted as an informer for Poland's former communist secret police and that his co-operation harmed the church.

Saddam's execution draws Vatican criticism

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VATICAN CITY - Executing someone guilty of a crime "is not the way to restore justice and reconcile society," the Vatican spokesman said after Saddam Hussein was hanged Dec. 30.

Church must show women are equal

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ROME - Unless the Catholic Church can show the world concrete models of male-female co-operation in positions of responsibility and decision-making, the church will continue to struggle against charges that it is chauvinistic, said Mary Ann Glendon.

Mass translation could be ready by March

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican could approve the new English translation of the main Mass prayers as early as mid-2007 if the work of its advisory committee proceeds as planned, the committee said.

A shower of roses in Beijing

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Chinese Singles for ChristBEIJING, China - She sat at the hospital bed, her baby face brightening as visitors came to hold her hand, tell her stories and shower her with gifts of s'mores, pizza and, most of all, roses.

A growing faith in atheist China

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Bernadette Woo attended her first Mass at Christmas 2001BEIJING, China - They came clutching their shopping bags, curious newcomers who pushed and shoved their way to get a closer view. As regular worshippers celebrated in silence, the visitors chatted and filed in and out of the overflowing cathedral throughout the service.

Afghan mission bound to fail, says Caritas head

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TORONTO - Canada's twin goals of military success and humanitarian aid in Afghanistan are doomed to failure, the president of Caritas Internationalis told The Catholic Register as he visited the international aid network's Canadian partner.

Turkey's Christians urged to live in harmony with all

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Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Bendedict XVIISTANBUL, Turkey - Closing out a four-day pilgrimage of dialogue in Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass with the tiny Christian community in Istanbul and encouraged it to live in harmony with the Muslim majority.

"Brothers and sisters, your communities walk the humble path of daily companionship with those who do not share our faith, yet profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us adore the one, merciful God," the Pope said in a sermon.

Papal gestures win over Turkish hosts

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Pope visits the Istanbul, Blue MosqueISTANBUL, Turkey  - During his four-day trip to Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI, known for his precise and incisive words, showed he was also a master of the spontaneous gesture.

While his scholarly words in a September lecture in Germany offended millions of Muslims, his prayer in an Istanbul mosque surprised and delighted many of them.

Benedict offers friendship to Turkish Muslims

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Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with Ali Bardakoglu, the head of Turkey's religious affairs directorateANKARA, Turkey - Acknowledging that his four-day trip to Turkey would be largely symbolic, Pope Benedict XVI opened his visit by paying respect to the Turkish state and extending a hand of friendship to its predominantly Muslim population.

On the plane from Rome Nov. 28, Pope Benedict told reporters, "We must not exaggerate; one cannot expect great results in just three days. The value (of the trip) I would say is symbolic, the fruit of the encounters themselves, of encounters in friendship and respect."

Value of priestly celibacy reaffirmed

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials, meeting to review the status of married priests, reaffirmed the value of priestly celibacy and said its importance should be highlighted among priests and seminarians.