PARIS, France (CNA) -- France’s soon-to-be mandatory Universal National Service program for teens has drawn serious religious freedom concerns, with critics noting that the program prohibits religious symbols, does not allow conscripts to leave for religious services, and fails to accommodate religious dietary restrictions.

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VATICAN CITY -- The withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from a patient whose body can absorb them is a "serious violation" of the person's dignity, said two Vatican officials.

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As flames engulfed Notre-Dame Cathedral, threatening to destroy a Paris treasure that for 850 years withstood revolutions, wars and natural disasters, dazed crowds formed impromptu vigils on nearby streets. They prayed, they cried, they sang Ave Maria’s.

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Blending the medieval with the contemporary in the rebuild of Notre-Dame Cathedral will be daunting, said the lead architect on the restoration of Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral.

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PARIS - A hero emerging from the Notre Dame Cathedral fire April 15 is Father Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade, who is credited with saving a reliquary containing the crown of thorns and the Blessed Sacrament from the burning cathedral.

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MONTREAL - The fire that ravaged a large part of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris offered an opportunity for French Catholics with Canadian connections to reflect on the impact the event can have on their faith.

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VATICAN CITY - After the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris April 15, Romans and tourists could not help looking at St. Peter's Basilica and wondering, "what if?"

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Updated 04/15/2019

PARIS - A major blaze engulfed the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral April 15, sending pillars of flame and billowing smoke over the center of the French capital.

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MANCHESTER, England - Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months.
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VATICAN – As he announced he would do after he was convicted of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon met Pope Francis March 18 to hand in his resignation.
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VATICAN – The Archdiocese of Rouen concluded its sainthood inquiry into the life and death of a French priest who was killed while celebrating Mass.
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VATICAN – A French cardinal was given a six-month suspended sentence at a civil trial after he was found guilty of covering up abuses committed decades ago by a priest.
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PARIS – The French bishops' conference has condemned rising anti-Semitism in the country, as official data showed a massive increase of attacks, prompting new government measures.
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VATICAN – Italian Archbishop Luigi Ventura, 74, a Vatican diplomat who once served in Canada, Chile and western Africa, is under investigation by police in Paris for allegedly sexually assaulting a city official.
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VATICAN – The leaders of three branches of the French religious Community of St. John insist their order has enacted strong protections against clerical sexual abuse, including the abuse of its nuns by its priests and brothers.
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