VATICAN CITY – As Christians in the Middle East continue to suffer innumerable hardships this Lenten season, the Vatican has announced that this year’s Good Friday Collection will benefit Christian communities in the Holy Land.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Critics say an Indiana mayor's decision to rename the city's Good Friday holiday in the name of inclusivity ended up marginalizing Christians.

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ROME — Read the Vatican’s English translation of Pope Francis’ prayer last night at the conclusion of the Via Crucis service at Rome’s Colosseum.

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VATICAN CITY — Entering in silence and lying prostrate on the floor in front of the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis commemorated Jesus' death on the cross.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY - By reflecting on the Passion of Christ, the author of the Way of the Cross meditations for Pope Francis' Good Friday service said he will focus on the suffering unfolding in the world today and how "the martyrs of the 21st century are undoubtedly the apostles of today."

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Even the daily trip home from work can be an adventure. One wintry night, I stood on a jam-packed city bus impatiently tracking its slow progress up a crammed street. We finally came in sight of the station. And there we stopped. Stuck. Inexplicably, the bus glued itself in place while minutes passed.

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VATICAN CITY - Widespread indifference to the violent persecution of Christians and other communities suggests the world is full of Pontius Pilates who eagerly wash their hands of all responsibility, the papal preacher said.

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The biblical accounts of Jesus’ passion and death focus very much on His trial, describing it in length and in detail.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

TORONTO - At St. John’s Bakery, the spiced, sweet scent of freshly baked hot cross buns fills the air. The bakery revives this popular tradition every year in anticipation of the joy of Jesus’ resurrection. But more than preparing an Easter treat, the hands that make the hot cross buns are symbols of hope and community.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

VATICAN CITY - Iraqi and Syrian refugees who have fled persecution in their homelands and the Palestinian Christians struggling to survive in the land of Jesus deserve the prayers and material support of Catholics around the globe, a Vatican official said.

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VATICAN CITY - Uncovering the cross and genuflecting before it in his stocking feet, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Pope presided at the service April 6 and chanted the solemn prayers of intercession for the church, for himself and for the world, but during the homily he sat and listened.

Following tradition, the homily was delivered by the preacher of the papal household, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa.

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VATICAN CITY - An Italian couple, married 59 years, let the joys and sufferings of families guide the reflections they prepared for Pope Benedict XVI, thousands of pilgrims and potentially millions of television viewers to meditate on during the Stations of the Cross at Rome's Colosseum.

The Pope asked Danilo and Annamaria Zanzucchi to write the meditations for his Good Friday service April 6 in Rome. The Zanzucchis, who have five children and 12 grandchildren, are the co-founders and were the longtime leaders of the Focolare's New Families Movement.

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