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Prevalence of rape destroying Congo, says church official

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The high incidence of rape in Congo is not just destroying women, but is destroying the nation’s society, said the general secretary of the church’s national justice and peace commission.

In Africa, the woman is “the central and most important guardian of values in society,” said the general secretary, Sister Marie-Bernard Alima, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Kalemie.

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2012 papal trip to Mexico, Cuba being studied seriously, spokesman says

November 10th, 2011 Posted in International News

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Vatican officials are at an advanced stage in studying the possibility of a papal trip to Mexico and Cuba in the spring of 2012, the Vatican spokesman said.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, told reporters Nov. 10 that the nuncios to Mexico and Cuba have been told to inform those governments that “the pope is studying a concrete plan to visit the two countries, responding to the invitations received” from them.

Father Lombardi said a definite decision regarding a trip in the spring should be made within a few weeks. The fact that the nuncios were asked to inform the governments demonstrates the advanced nature of the planning, he said. Read more »

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British court: Church can be held liable

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MANCHESTER, England — A British court has ruled that the Catholic Church can be held legally liable for the crimes of abusive clergy.

The Nov. 8 ruling by the High Court in London for the first time defined in British law the relationship of a priest to his bishop as that of an employee to an employer, instead of seeing the priest as effectively self-employed.

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Priests urge Hanoi Catholics to remain calm after attacks

November 8th, 2011 Posted in International News Tags: , , , ,

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HANOI, Vietnam — Redemptorists at a Hanoi parish have urged local Catholics to keep calm after a mob led by government officials attacked a convent and church in early November.

The Asian church news agency UCA News reported tens of thousands of people attended 10 special Masses celebrated Nov. 5-6 at Thai Ha Church in the capital. Each Mass was attended by an estimated 3,000-5,000 people.

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Analysis: Latin America’s indigenous want voice in use of their land

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LIMA, Peru — Most of the environmental battles Brother Paul McAuley fights seem endless, mainly conflicts between indigenous communities and loggers operating on their lands or oil companies that have spilled toxic substances into their waterways.

Sometimes, however, there’s a victory. In mid-October, the Peruvian government overturned a law that would have allowed water from one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River to be diverted to irrigate export agriculture operations on Peru’s desert coast, a measure critics called a political-patronage boondoggle.

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Disarmament drive in Sao Paulo churches yields 271 firearms

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SAO PAULO — Nineteen parishes in Sao Paulo, Brazil, opened their doors to collect guns and ammunition as part of the city-wide Religions United for Disarmament campaign that collected 271 firearms and 173 rounds of ammunition during nine days.

The weapons were collected during the World Week for Disarmament in late October under the direction of the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Civil Guard, the city’s police force.

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Coptic Catholic leader warns of Christian-Muslim rift in Egypt

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FRIBOURG, Switzerland — The patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church in Egypt blamed Islamic fundamentalists for the increasing number of attacks on Christians and criticized a growing division between Muslims and Christians since the country’s February revolution.

Speaking Oct. 30 at St. Nicolas Cathedral in Fribourg, Switzerland, during a day of prayer for persecuted Catholics, Cardinal Antonios Naguib, Coptic Catholic patriarch of Alexandria, said the links between Muslims and Catholics that were reinforced in the period just after the revolution have deteriorated.

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Traditionalist says group rejects Vatican doctrinal conditions

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Catholic News Service

ROME — The consensus among leaders of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X is that a “doctrinal preamble” presented by the Vatican is “clearly unacceptable,” according to the district superior of the society in Britain.

The comments, made by Father Paul Morgan in an online newsletter in early November, appeared to dim prospects for a Vatican reconciliation with the society.

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Poll: Almost half of Irish report unfavorable view of church

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DUBLIN — Almost half of Irish people polled say they now have an unfavorable view of the Catholic Church.

Of those with a negative view, three-quarters cite the abuse scandals — the abuse or its cover-up — as a cause. However, 23 percent say that their negative view is due to the church’s history and structures.

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Indian bishops want charges dropped against Christian protesters

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BANGALORE, India — Meeting with the top government leader of the Karnataka state, 14 Catholic bishops called for the withdrawal of dozens of “false cases” against Christians protesting a series of 2008 attacks on three dozen churches.

Led by Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore, the prelates urged Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda Oct. 28 to withdraw all pending cases against “innocent Christian youth, who are still made to suffer by going to the courts and are being harassed by the police investigations.”

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