LIMA, Peru – Catholic Church leaders in Venezuela say a peaceful transfer of power from embattled President Nicolas Maduro to a transitional government, probably led by National Assembly president Juan Guaido, is the best hope for the crisis-wracked country.
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CUCUTA, Colombia – Pvt. Andry Rosales hugged a Colombian soldier and broke into tears as he surrendered himself to this country's military.
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CARACAS, Venezuela – The Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference is calling on Nicolas Maduro’s government to allow humanitarian aid to enter the country and be peacefully distributed to people who are desperately in need of it.
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The $53 million Ottawa plans to spend on migrants, refugees and ordinary people suffering through economic breakdown in Venezuela could help cover an open wound of human suffering in neighbouring Brazilian towns that are hosting thousands of refugees.

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MERIDA, Venezuela – The Archbishop of Merida has ruled out Vatican mediation of the Venezuelan crisis after president Nicolas Maduro made public a letter to Pope Francis requesting intervention.
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BEIJING – The president of China's state-sanctioned bishops' conference has pledged to work with the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association to develop the Sinicization of religion in the communist nation.
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For several years now, Catholic refugee policy — articulated passionately and repeatedly by the Holy See and many national bishops’ conferences — has focused on the urgent secondary thing, rather than the most important primary thing.

Published in Register Columnists
MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Managua Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Jose Baez reiterated his calls for dialogue and respecting human dignity in Nicaragua, where the president has crushed protests, closed critical media outlets and persecuted anyone – including priests – publicly opposing his administration.
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VATICAN – The Catholic Church must help not only its own young people but also non-Catholics to become active members in society and true disciples in a chaotic world, a Venezuelan observer told the Synod of Bishops.
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SUTIABA, Nicaragua – Father Victor Morales was awakened at 5 a.m. by the young men on the barricade outside his church. "They're coming, father. They're here," they told him.
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The streets of Nicaragua were filled on July 28 by thousands of demonstrators supporting the country’s bishops and priests after repeated attacks by paramilitaries with ties to the government.
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JINOTEGA, Nicaragua – Two churches in the Diocese of Jinotega in northern Nicaragua have been desecrated in the past week, amid rising tensions between the Church and the government of president Daniel Ortega.
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua – As attacks on Catholic clergy continue and anti-government protesters are besieged by Nicaraguan police and paramilitaries, the bishops said they would pray an exorcism prayer.
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Thirty years ago I was in Nicaragua as Daniel Ortega’s first presidency was approaching its best-before date. Apart from a trip to the Holy Land, it was the most inspirational trip of my life because of the people I met, the hardships they endured at the hands of the Americans, and the hopes and dreams that filled their hearts.

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VATICAN – In an age when technology is ever-evolving, Catholic news organizations must be willing to adapt to effectively proclaim the Gospel to all, Pope Francis said.
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