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Vatican official urges ‘real reforms’ in Syria

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican official deplored the growing violence in Syria, and called on political leaders there to enact “real reforms.”

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi made the remarks Dec. 2 to a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, which was discussing the Syrian crackdown on regime opponents that has left an estimated 4,000 people dead in recent months.

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Pope prays for migrants, calls for aid

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI expressed concern for the millions of migrants around the world, and encouraged the agencies trying to help them.

“I entrust to the Lord all those who, often forcibly, must leave their homeland, or who are stateless,” the pope said at his noon blessing Dec. 4.

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Christian theology has role in promoting peace, pope says

December 2nd, 2011 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Theology is not simply an academic discipline or a means of explaining the faith to believers, it also has a role in promoting peace and harmony, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Catholic theology’s attention to the links between faith and reason “is more necessary than ever today” because it demonstrates the compatibility of different sources of knowledge, avoiding “the violent results of a religiosity opposed to reason and of a reason opposed to religion,” the pope said.

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On World AIDS Day, Vatican renews call for access to therapy

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The deaths each year of more than a million people from AIDS, the suffering of their families and the new infections of hundreds of thousands of infants are unacceptable when the medicines needed to prevent them exist, a Vatican official said.

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, said World AIDS Day must be a time “to promote universal access to therapies for those who are infected, the prevention of transmission from mother to child, and education” in responsible sexuality.

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Pope praises efforts to ban death penalty

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI gave a special greeting of encouragement to delegations meeting in Rome — including a group from Illinois — to promote the abolition of the death penalty.

During his weekly audience Nov. 30 at the Vatican, Pope Benedict said he hoped the work of the delegations would “encourage political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a number of countries to eliminate the death penalty” and promote progress in penal law that speaks equally to “the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

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Step out of the pope- mobile, please

November 30th, 2011 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI greeted with a smile the news that a German citizen had filed a complaint against him for not wearing a seat belt in his popemobile.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said Nov. 30 that the complaint was not being taken seriously at the Vatican.

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Vatican to herald Christmas with carols this year

November 29th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , , , ,

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VATICAN CITY —The Vatican is planning to sing its way into the Christmas season this year, with a chorus and orchestra leading Christmas carols at the annual unveiling of its Nativity scene.

The hourlong evening ceremony Dec. 24 will feature traditional Christmas songs in several languages, performed by a 100-person choir and orchestra in St. Peter’s Square.

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Pope urges world pact on climate change

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI urged international leaders to reach a credible agreement on climate change, keeping in mind the needs of the poor and of future generations.

The pope made the remarks at his noon blessing at the Vatican Nov. 27, the day before officials from 194 countries were to begin meeting in Durban, South Africa, to discuss the next steps in reducing greenhouse gases and stopping global temperatures from rising.

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Pope defends efforts to deal with sex abuse with transparency

November 28th, 2011 Posted in Vatican News Tags: , , , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In a speech to U.S. bishops, Pope Benedict XVI defended the church’s “honest efforts” to confront the priestly sex abuse scandal with transparency, and said its actions could help the rest of society respond to the problem.

While the church is rightly held to high standards, all other institutions should be held to the same standards as they address the causes, extent and consequences of sexual abuse, which has become a “scourge” at every level of society, the pope said Nov. 26.

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Pope expresses concern for Africa’s educational crisis

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In his document on the church in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the educational crisis on the continent, calling high illiteracy rates “a scourge on par with that of pandemics.”

“True, it does not kill directly, but it contributes actively to the marginalization of the person — which is a form of social death — and it blocks access to knowledge,” the pope said.

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