Eternity has more kinds of rooms than this world does.

This is a thought inside the head of Marilynne Robinson’s fictional character, Lila, in Robinson’s recent novel. Lila has reason to think that way, that is, to think outside the box of conventional religious piety because her story is not one that fits piety of any kind.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

OTTAWA - Parliamentarians marked the first John Paul II Day a day early April 1, recalling the late pope’s legacy as a defender of human dignity against oppression.

Published in Canada

TORONTO - Schools could be made safer by eliminating a “code of silence” among students that discourages them from informing on classmates, said the head of a panel on school safety.

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GENEVA - The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations in Geneva called on the international community to assist Nigeria and neighbouring countries to rid the region of Boko Haram insurgency.

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VATICAN CITY - Without family, a legal identity and adequate education, children uprooted by the ongoing violence in Syria and the Middle East "are at risk of becoming a lost generation," said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.

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VATICAN CITY - As the people of Nigeria prepared for general elections, Pope Francis wrote to the nations' bishops urging efforts to build up a "culture of encounter" that would create a united front against Boko Haram terrorists and ethnic tensions.

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VATICAN CITY - Condemning deadly terrorist attacks against a Catholic and an Anglican church in Pakistan, Pope Francis said "the world is trying to hide" a wave of anti-Christian persecution in various parts of the globe.

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VATICAN CITY - In a joint statement, representatives of more than 50 countries have recognized that Christians are particularly endangered in the Middle East, and they called on the international community to reaffirm the human right to freedom of religion.

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VATICAN CITY - The best antidote to violence is teaching people to discover and accept differences as being valuable, Pope Francis told the bishops of North Africa.

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BANGUI, Central African Republic - An archbishop in Central African Republic compared citizens of his country to the people of Israel wandering in the desert and urged them to use the Pope's planned autumn visit to escape from their "prolonged crisis."

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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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TORONTO - Senator Don Meredith called on faith leaders in Toronto to “engage, encourage and empower our youth” to keep young people out of the clutches of violent gangs.

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa - A week of violence targeting foreign nationals and their businesses in Soweto and other Johannesburg townships is a national disgrace and "continues South Africa's shameful history of xenophobia," said The Jesuit Institute South Africa.

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VATICAN CITY - Christians are united in bloodshed as they suffer from violence and persecution in various parts of the world, Pope Francis told Christian leaders.

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OXFORD, England - An archbishop in Niger said the church would rebuild after rioters destroyed its places of worship during protests over cartoons mocking depictions of Muhammad by the French satirical newsweekly Charlie Hebdo.

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