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Bishops to attend Rome meeting on preventing abuse

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Catholic News Service

ROME — Representatives of most of the world’s bishops’ conferences and 30 religious orders will meet in Rome in early February to launch a global initiative aimed at improving efforts to stop clerical sexual abuse and better protect children and vulnerable adults.

The conference, “Toward Healing and Renewal,” will be held Feb. 6-9 at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and is being supported by the Vatican Secretariat of State and several other Vatican offices.

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Abortions to select sex moving from Asian countries to West, author says

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Catholic News Service

ROME — Aborting unborn girls on account of their gender has been a documented trend in certain Asian countries for at least two decades. Now, according to an Italian biologist and author, the practice is also growing in the West.

Women and couples who emigrate from cultures where male children are deemed more prestigious and economically valuable “will often bring those same values to their new country,” said Anna Meldolesi, author of “Never born: Why the world has lost 100 million women” (“Mai nate: Perche il mondo ha perso 100 milioni di donne”), in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service Jan. 22.

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British cardinal: Suspicion, inertia, impatience damage ecumenism

January 23rd, 2012 Posted in International News

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Catholic News Service

CHESTER, England (CNS) — A British cardinal encouraged Christians to overcome the “three enemies of ecumenism” and to pray for the progress of closer unity.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, retired archbishop of Westminster, said “suspicion, inertia and impatience” had damaged the ecumenical project. Read more »

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Belgian bishops pledge to pay damages to abuse victims

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Catholic News Service

OXFORD, England — Belgium’s Catholic bishops have pledged a “culture of vigilance” against future sexual abuse by priests and said guilty clergy must compensate their victims even if their crimes are no longer punishable by law.

“We cannot repair the past, but we can take moral responsibility by recognizing sufferings and helping victims recover,” Bishop Guy Harpigny of Torunai and Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, the church’s delegates for abuse, told a Brussels news conference Jan. 12.

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Nigerian bishops call for end to nation’s strike

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LAGOS, Nigeria — The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria called on the Nigerian government and organized labor to negotiate a settlement to a crippling nationwide strike.

The bishops expressed concern Jan. 12 that “things seem to be deteriorating by the day” as the country endured the fifth day of a work stoppage that at times erupted into violence.

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Bishops see hope, fear in visit to Mideast Christians

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Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM — Almost a year after the eruption of the Arab Spring uprisings, the Middle East is a place of hope and fear for Christians, said Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz.

Bishop Kicanas, chairman of the board of the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Relief Services, was in Baghdad late last year and visited Egypt prior to his arrival in Jerusalem Jan. 8-12 for the annual Holy Land Coordination meeting with bishops from the United States, Canada and Europe.

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Sarkozy: St. Joan of Arc embodies ‘Christian roots of France’

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DOMREMY, France — French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised his country’s patron, St. Joan of Arc, for helping “forge the national conscience.”

“For the church, Joan is a saint. For the republic, she’s the incarnation of the finest French virtues, including a patriotism that consists of loving one’s homeland without resenting others,” the president said Jan. 6 after attending Mass at Domremy to mark the 600th anniversary of her birth.

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John Paul II tried to end Irish inmates’ 1981 hunger strike

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Catholic News Service

DUBLIN — Declassified British documents reveal the extent to which Pope John Paul II tried unsuccessfully to intervene to end a 1981 hunger strike by Catholic prisoners in a British jail in Northern Ireland.

The documents claim that, after the pope sent a special envoy, the leader of the Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners, Bobby Sands, was willing to suspend the fast just days before he died.

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Italian experts need lasers to re-create Shroud of Turin effect

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Using high-tech lasers shooting pulses of ultraviolet light, Italy’s national research agency succeeded in reproducing on linen cloth colorations similar to those seen on the Shroud of Turin.

The enormous technical difficulty in achieving the positive results also makes it highly unlikely that the shroud is a fake from medieval times, the agency said.

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Nigerian bishops call for security after church bombings

By

Catholic News Service

LAGOS, Nigeria — Catholic leaders condemned the spate of bomb blasts in Nigeria and urged the government to get control of security.

Lagos Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie criticized the government for its failure to protect citizens.

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