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Pope says he hopes to visit Japan in 2019
VATICAN (CNS): “Taking advantage of your visit, I would like to announce my desire to visit Japan next year. We hope it is possible to do,” Pope Francis told members of Japan’s Tensho Kenoh Shisetsu Kenshoukai, a cultural association which visited the Vatican on September 12 
 
The pope has received several invitations to visit Japan, including an invitation in 2013 from prime minister, Shinzo Abe. 
 

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Australian prime minister vows to protect religious freedom
SYDNEY (SE): Australia’s prime, minister, Scott Morrison said new religious freedom laws were needed to safeguard personal liberty in a changing society, according to a CathNews report on September 10.
 

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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.
 

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Venezuelan archbishop named to top position in Vatican Secretariat of State
VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Francis has named Venezuelan Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, current nuncio to Mozambique, to be the third-ranking official in the Vatican Secretariat of State the Vatican announced on August 15. 
 

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Fight fake news Philippine media urged
MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig, chairperson of the Philippine bishops’ Commission on Social Communications told the delegates at the four-day 4th National Catholic Media Convention in Davao City to be “journalists of peace.” He said, “As Catholic media practitioners ... we must be men and women of prayer.” 
 

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Two more  Chile bishops resign
VATICAN (CNS): The Vatican on June 28 that Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of two more of Chile’s bishops: Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, and Bishop Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca of Talca, in the wake of a papal investigation into abuse of power, negligence and the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church in Chile.
 

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Philippine president calls God stupid
MANILA (UCAN): Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, after spewing diatribes against Catholic bishops and priests in recent months, has turned the focus of his invectives on God.
 
Speaking during a technology summit in the southern city of Davao on June 22, Duterte said he found fault in the creation story and questioned the concept of original sin.
 

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Vietnam’s new cyber law sparks concern
HANOI (AsiaNews): Vietnam’s National Assembly approved a cyber security law on June 12, giving the authorities the power to access sensitive private user data spy on users and exercise greater control over websites and social media like Facebook and Google.
 
For activists, this means loss of privacy and greater restrictions on freedom of thought. The government insists the new restrictions are necessary on national security grounds.
 

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#MeToo called to support women abused for their faith
VATICAN (CNS): Under the title, #MeToo for All, Aid to the Church in Need has published an open letter to four actresses asking help in publicising the widespread sexual exploitation of women because of their faith. 
 

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Pope names apostolic visitor to Medjugorje
VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis named Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser as apostolic visitor to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, for an indefinite period, the Vatican announced on May 31.
 
The retired archbishop of Warsaw-Praga, Poland, had initially sent to the town as the pope personal envoy to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and of the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions.
 

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