VATICAN CITY - As the Ukrainian Catholic bishops met in a private audience with Pope Francis Feb. 20, Ukraine was marking its first Day of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes, commemorating those who died in the Euromaidan movement one year earlier.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis urged Ukraine's Catholic bishops to focus on the social and human tragedies unfolding in their country and avoid politicizing their role as Church leaders.

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WARSAW, Poland - Catholic and Orthodox archbishops in Ukraine appealed for national unity against pro-Russia separatists as calls mounted for the United States to help arm Ukrainian forces.

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VATICAN CITY - The only word worthy of being heard in the throes of war is "peace," and there is nothing more scandalous than a nation made up of Christians engaged in conflict, Pope Francis said.

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WARSAW, Poland - A top Baltic church leader voiced concern about possible Russian aggression against Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and appealed to Western Catholics to be better informed about the situation.

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ROME - Propaganda and fear were the sparks that ignited the conflict in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has become a real war, said a Jesuit military chaplain.

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OXFORD, England - Russia's Catholic Church expressed surprise and concern after a wave of raids on its parishes and charities, part of a government clampdown on organizations with foreign links.

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