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Dutch bishops express ‘shame and sorrow” over sexual abuse history

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A report on a Dutch inquiry said “several tens of thousands of minors” were sexually abused by Catholic Church personnel between 1945 and 2010, and it faulted church leaders for covering up the abuse and failing to help victims.

Dutch bishops and heads of religious orders expressed “shame and sorrow” at the revelations and pledged to “take all measures provided for under church and civil law” to prevent and punish such abuse in the future.

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Cuban bishops confirm papal visit in 2012

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HAVANA — The Cuban bishops announced that 2012 would be a Marian jubilee year and that Pope Benedict XVI would come to Cuba as a “pilgrim of La Caridad,” the popular name for the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, the country’s patroness.

In a Dec. 8 pastoral letter, they declared a jubilee year from Jan. 7, 2012, through Jan. 6, 2013, and said Cubans need the joy of faith, the strength of Christian love, and the light of hope that can come from “a reunion with our Christian roots” and with the “enthusiastic reception of the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

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Refugee treaty needs improvement, says Vatican official

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GENEVA — More than half a century after its creation, an international treaty designed to protect refugees has room for improvement, a Vatican official said.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to U.N. and other agencies in Geneva, noted the Holy See was among the original 26 states that took part in the conference on the status of refugees in 1951, which then led to the U.N. Convention on the Status of Refugees.

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Irish priests struggle, hurt by sins of the minority

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Catholic News Service

DUBLIN — Father Damien McGroarty, 29, is one of the youngest diocesan priests in Ireland. Ordained just over a year ago, he should still be at the honeymoon stage of his vocation.

Instead, an independent audit of clerical sexual abuse in his Raphoe Diocese left him soul-searching about the public’s perception of priesthood.

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Focus on money ignores human needs, says cardinal

December 5th, 2011 Posted in Featured, International News

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DURBAN, South Africa — Excessive focus on money is destroying the environment and dehumanizing people, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas Internationalis.

Religious communities have a duty to call attention to the importance of the human person, who is “at the center of creation,” he said while international leaders were debating the extension of legal limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions.

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German dioceses sell publishing business

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WURZBURG, Germany – Germany’s Catholic dioceses have ordered the immediate sale of a church-owned publishing house after reports that it made millions of euros selling erotic and pornographic titles.

“The board of management knows our mandatory requirements as shareholders regarding this company’s value orientation, and that these are written into its statutes,” the Association of German Dioceses said in a Nov. 22 statement.

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U.S. priest in Rome is new nuncio to Ireland

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has named U.S. Msgr. Charles J. Brown, a longtime official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland.With the appointment, he was named archbishop of the titular see of Aquileia.

The appointment, announced by the Vatican Nov. 26, comes at a delicate moment in Vatican-Irish relations. In July, the Vatican recalled its previous nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, after Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and others sharply criticized the Vatican’s handling of clerical abuse.

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In Benin, pope asks church to care for ‘the poor, the weak, the outcast’

November 21st, 2011 Posted in Featured, International News Tags: , , , ,

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COTONOU, Benin — On a three-day visit to Benin, Pope Benedict XVI urged African Catholics to witness the hope of the Gospel in their daily lives and make the church a model of reconciliation for the entire continent.

In a particular way, the church must be “attentive to the cry of the poor, the weak, the outcast,” the pope said at a Mass Nov. 20 for more than 50,000 people who filled a stadium in Cotonou.

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Cardinal Law turns 80, replaced at Rome basilica

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Cardinal Bernard F. Law, former archbishop of Boston, has been replaced as archpriest of the Rome Basilica of St. Mary Major, the Vatican announced.

In a regular bulletin listing church appointments and resignations Nov. 21, the Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI had named Spanish Archbishop Santos Abril Castello, the Vatican’s vice chamberlain, to the post.

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Fear silences Christians in Pakistan, archbishop says

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TORONTO — Fear has silenced the voice of Pakistani Christians since the political murder of Shahbaz Bhatti last spring, said the retired archbishop of Lahore, Pakistan.

“People are very sad, very bitter. They said, ‘If that happens to him what happens to us?'” Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha said in mid-November.

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