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Congo protests end in six deaths as new elections are demanded

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags:

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KINSHASA, Congo — Security forces in Congo violently dispersed protesters who were demanding that President Joseph Kabila hold fresh elections.

A spokesman for the U.N. Stabilization Mission said the organization had recorded six deaths, dozens of injuries and more than 240 arrests in Kinshasa when demonstrations were staged after Masses Jan. 21. The church’s lay coordinating committee organized the demonstrations.

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Pope Francis leaves Chile, Peru with consistent message of unity, dialogue

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

LIMA, Peru — Pope Francis tackled politically charged issues during his weeklong visit to Chile and Peru, decrying human trafficking, environmental destruction, corruption and organized crime in speeches before audiences that included political leaders.

At the same time, he called for unity, dialogue and coexistence in each of the two countries, which have been marked by political tension and sometimes-violent conflicts. Invoking Mary, he called for compassion, which he also demonstrated as he blessed a Chilean prisoner’s unborn baby and consoled people who lost their homes in devastating floods a year ago on Peru’s northern coast.

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Pope meets with survivors of clergy sex abuse in Chile

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: ,

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SANTIAGO, Chile — Pope Francis met in private Jan. 16 with survivors of sexual abuse by Chilean clergy, a Vatican spokesman said, but his actions threatened to be overshadowed by controversy over a Chilean bishop.

Greg Burke, the spokesman, said the pope met with “a small group of victims of sexual abuse by priests” at the apostolic nunciature in Santiago, Chile.

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Pope Francis says violence against women cannot be treated as normal

January 19th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: ,

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PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru (CNS) — Society cannot look the other way and allow a culture that demeans the dignity of women to persist, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to the people of Puerto Maldonado, located in the region known as Madre de Dios (“Mother of God”), Pope Francis said it was sad to see how “in this land, which is under the protection of the Mother of God, so many women are devalued, denigrated and exposed to endless violence.”

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Amazonians need defense of life, earth, cultures, Pope Francis tells Peru

January 19th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru — Pope Francis called on indigenous people of the Amazon to work with missionaries and bishops to shape a church with an “Amazonian and indigenous” face.

The pope pledged the church’s “whole-hearted option for the defense of life, the defense of the earth and the defense of cultures” and called his audience to work together toward the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, which he has called for 2019.

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Pope praises ‘Land of Dreams’ at final Mass in Chile

January 18th, 2018 Posted in International News

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IQUIQUE, Chile — Christians must be aware of the injustices and exploitation suffered by migrants and those seeking a better life for themselves and their families, Pope Francis said.

On the last leg of his trip in Chile, the pope said the cry of the poor “opens our hearts and teaches us to be attentive.”

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Pope officiates at impromptu wedding aboard flight in Chile

January 18th, 2018 Posted in Featured, International News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO IQUIQUE, Chile — Love was literally in the air as Pope Francis performed an impromptu wedding ceremony at 36,000 feet aboard his flight in Chile.

During his flight to Iquique Jan. 18, the pope was approached by LatAm flight steward Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga and asked for a blessing for him and his wife, stewardess Paula Podest Ruiz.

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Pope to Mapuche: No culture better than another

January 17th, 2018 Posted in Featured, International News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

TEMUCO, Chile — Celebrating Mass in a land steeped in indigenous history and culture, Pope Francis said the greatest threat facing humanity is the stifling of differences driven by the idea that some cultures are better than others.

Greeting members of the Mapuche people and other indigenous peoples living in southern Chile Jan. 17, Pope Francis recognized the suffering and injustice endured by the indigenous population.

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Sea of humanity greets pope at Mass in Santiago

January 16th, 2018 Posted in Featured, International News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

SANTIAGO, Chile — The beatitudes are not cheap words for those who think they know it all yet do not commit to faith; they are the fruit of a hopeful heart that yearns for peace and happiness, Pope Francis said.

Christ’s response to the longings and aspirations of those seeking a life of happiness are not a “product of those prophets of dooms who seek only to spread dismay” or “mirages that promise happiness with a single ‘click,’ in the blink of any eye,” the pope said Jan. 16, celebrating his first public Mass in Chile.

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Pope seeks forgiveness in Chile for ‘irreparable damage’

January 16th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) — Pope Francis, in his first formal speech in Chile, asked forgiveness from those who were sexually abused by priests.

Addressing government authorities and members of the country’s diplomatic corps Jan. 16, the pope expressed his “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church.”

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