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Pope Francis serene despite ‘pain’ over archbishop’s letter cardinal says
VATICAN (CNS): While recent accusations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano have created tension in the Church, Pope Francis is approaching the situation calmly, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, said in an interview posted on August 30 by Vatican Insider the online supplement of the Italian newspaper, La Stampa.
The cardinal said that in situations like the current crisis “that obviously creates so much bitterness and worry,” the pope “has the ability to take a very serene approach. From what I saw—I haven’t seen him today, but I have seen him in these days; I was with him during the trip to Ireland and after—he seems serene,” Cardinal Parolin said. 
Vocations in Ireland have dwindled due to abuse scandal pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS): While the faith of Catholics in Ireland is strong, the scandal of abuse and cover-up by Church leaders has caused a decline in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, Pope Francis said. 
During his weekly general audience on August 29, the pope led pilgrims in praying a Hail Mary to Our Lady of Knock so “the Lord may send holy priests to Ireland, that he sends new vocations. In Ireland there is faith; there are people of faith, a faith with great roots. But you know something? There are few vocations to the priesthood. Why? This faith doesn’t flourish because of these problems, the scandals, many things,” he said. 
In his talk the pope reflected on his August 25 to 26 visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. 
The thousands of families participating from around the world, he said, were “an eloquent sign of the beauty of God’s dream for the entire human family.”
Victims hurt by fellow Catholics’ lack of compassion
WASHINGTON (CNS): Sexual assault victims say they were hurt not only by individual priests, but by Church officials and ordinary Catholics who treated them with intolerance and indifference. 
Four survivors of sexual assaults by priests, with Jim VanSickle and Mike McDonnell of Pennsylvania, Michael Norris of Houston and Judy Larson of Utah, shared their stories. 
Many of them have not been to a Catholic Church in years. They say the hardhearted attitudes of diocesan officials, staff and ordinary churchgoers and an atmosphere at their parishes allowed the abuse. 
“Being raised Catholic, I remember—you don’t speak out against your own church,” said VanSickle. “Nobody’s going to listen to you.” 
They said their view of Catholicism changed when fellow believers showed them no compassion. 
“I’ve known others that came forward. They were ridiculed and ostracized—even by their own family members,” the 55-year-old VanSickle recounted. 
He had suffered silently for 37 years after being sexually abused by a priest at the age of 16. 
Extremism cannot be fought with extreme language
VATICAN (CNS): Catholic legislators must defend religious freedom around the globe, but they must take care to ensure they do not fall into the trap of showing disrespect toward or intolerance of other religions while doing so, Pope Francis said on August 22. 
The pope met with participants of the annual meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network and the group’s “freedom summit.” 
According to the group’s website, the network began in 2010 “as an independent and nonpartisan international initiative to bring together practicing Catholics and other Christians in elected office on a regular basis for faith formation, education and fellowship.” 
Pope Francis told participants that the Christian politician is called “to try, with humility and courage, to be a witness” to Christian values and to propose and support legislation in line with a Christian vision of society and of the human person. 
The situation of Christians and other religious minorities in some parts of the world has “tragically worsened” due to “intolerant, aggressive and violent positions” even in countries that claim to recognise the freedom of religion, he said.

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