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Don’t lose hope, pope tells Middle East Christians

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians in the Middle East not to lose hope despite the serious difficulties they face.

“I extend my prayerful thoughts to the regions in the Middle East, encouraging all the priests and faithful to persevere with hope through the serious suffering that afflicts these beloved people,” he said.

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Permissive sexual attitudes weaken society, pope tells U.S. bishops

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Permissive attitudes toward sex, cohabitation before marriage and acceptance of same-sex marriage can damage individuals and are harmful for society, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of U.S. bishops at the Vatican.

“It is in fact increasingly evident that a weakened appreciation of the indissolubility of the marriage covenant, and the widespread rejection of a responsible, mature sexual ethic grounded in the practice of chastity, have led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost,” the pope said March 9.

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Faith is light at end of life’s struggles, pope says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — When life feels like a dark and silent tunnel, faith gives a Christian light and music, Pope Benedict XVI said at the end of his weeklong Lenten retreat.

Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa led the pope’s retreat Feb. 26-March 3 in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Apostolic Palace, offering the pope and top Vatican officials three meditations each day on the theme “Christians’ Communion With God.”

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Bishops have last word on faith, Vatican panel says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Theologians and bishops have complementary roles in furthering understanding of the Catholic faith, but the former must ultimately defer to the latter on questions of definitive interpretation, according to a new report from a Vatican panel of theological advisers.

“Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria” is the latest report from the International Theological Commission, a group of theologians appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to study themes of current interest and offer expert advice to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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Vatican donates $2 million to aid drought-stricken region of Africa

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VATICAN CITY — A Vatican foundation has awarded more than $2 million in aid to projects aimed at halting desertification in Africa’s Sahel region and to promoting rural development, education and irrigation.

“We have assigned over $2 million dollars for more than 200 projects” in the nine countries covered by the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, said Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

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Pope warns infertility specialists against profit motive

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — An almost exclusive reliance on technology and a focus on financial profit seem to dominate the field of medical responses to infertility, Pope Benedict XVI said.

However, what couples need and deserve, he said, is “a correct diagnostic evaluation and a therapy that corrects the causes of infertility.”

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Charitable works are key to evangelizing, pope says

February 24th, 2012 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — An authentic Christian faith is demonstrated through concrete acts of charity and those acts are an essential part of the Catholic Church’s new evangelization effort, Pope Benedict XVI told members of a Rome-based charity.

“The witness of charity touches human hearts in a special way,” the pope said, and “the new evangelization, especially in a cosmopolitan city like Rome, requires a great openness of spirit and a wise readiness to help all.”

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Lent should be time of grace, defeating temptation, pope says

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The 40 days of Lent are a time of spiritual renewal in preparation for Easter, but they also are a time to recognize that evil is at work in the world and even the Catholic Church faces temptations, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The pope explained the meaning of Lent during his weekly general audience Feb. 22, Ash Wednesday.

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Church leaders called to preserve tradition, pope tells new cardinals

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Leaders and members of the Catholic Church do not have the authority to determine its teaching and structure but are called to ensure its fidelity to Jesus and to the faith passed on by the apostles, Pope Benedict XVI told the 22 new cardinals he created.

“The church is not self-regulating, she does not determine her own structure, but receives it from the word of God, to which she listens in faith as she seeks to understand it and to live it,” the pope said in a homily Feb. 19 during a Mass concelebrated with the new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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Pope creates 22 new cardinals, including three from U.S., Canada

February 20th, 2012 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI created 22 new cardinals from 13 countries — including three from the United States and Canada — placing red hats on their heads and calling them to lives of even greater love and service to the church.

The churchmen who joined the College of Cardinals Feb. 18 included Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York; Edwin F. O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and former archbishop of Baltimore; and Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.

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