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Archbishop speaks on Medjugorje and millenials

KNOCK (CNS): Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a place of prayer, conversion and pilgrimage for millions of people, but the Church must be prudent and not rush to any judgment on the alleged Marian apparitions there, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, said.
 

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China’s state-aligned Catholic organisations tell US to back off

HONG KONG (UCAN): Responding to the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom of the United States (US) State Department, held in Washington DC from July 16 to 18, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC) and other officially sanctioned religious organisations in China say the gathering “maliciously hyped” China’s ethnic and religious policies.
 

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Cardinal Ortega the voice of Cuba’s poor dies at 82

VATICAN (CNS): Jaime Cardinal Ortega Alamino, the retired archbishop of Havana, Cuba, was a proud Cuban who pressed for greater freedom for his Church and for an end to the United States (US) embargo on his homeland. He died on July 26 after a long battle with cancer, at the age of 82.
 

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First Mass celebrated in Notre Dame since fire

PARIS (CNS): Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris said on June 15 that the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris could never be reduced to a cultural or “patrimonial good” as he celebrated the first Mass in the historic Gothic church since it was devastated by a huge blaze on April 15 (Sunday Examiner, April 21). The cathedral has been closed since then.
The Mass was celebrated in the Chapel of the Virgin to mark the anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral’s altar, an event that usually takes place on June 16 each year.
 

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East African bishops issue child protection handbook

NAIROBI (CNS): The Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa, known as AMECEA, introduced a handbook titled, Child Safeguarding— Standards and Guidelines: A Catholic Guide for Policy Development, in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 29.
 
The handbook is meant assist Church leaders develop standards to safeguard the safety of children and its release followed a May 28 to 30 child safety seminar attended by bishops, clergy, religious men and women and laypeople working in various ministries. 
 

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Fire at Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral

PARIS (Agencies): A major blaze engulfed the iconic Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, sending pillars of flame and billowing smoke over the centre of the French capital on April 15.
The daily newspaper, Le Monde, reported that the fire erupted in the attic of the cathedral and televised images showed the church’s iconic steeple ablaze.
 
BBC News reported that the blaze erupted at around 6.30pm, Paris time, but that the cause was uncertain, but might be linked to renovation work that the cathedral was undergoing. 

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Prayers, grief and solidarity after mosque attacks in New Zealand

AUCKLAND (CNS): New Zealand’s Catholic bishops expressed horror and distress at a March 15 terrorist attack targeting two mosques in Christchurch, in which at least 50 people died and at least as many injured. 
 
The attacks took place at or near the Al Noor Mosque, most of the victims were killed, and at the Linwood Mosque as  people gathered for Friday prayers.
 
Muslims had gathered at the mosques for Friday prayers. Some of those killed were children, it has been reported.
 

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Growing anti-Christian hostility in France

WARSAW (CNS): Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe, which is linked to the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, warned of growing “anti-Christian hostility” in France, identifying a spate of assaults on churches and Christian monuments.
 

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Japan to welcome Pope Francis in November

TOKYO (UCAN): Pope Francis confirmed that he is to visit Japan in November when speaking to the press on the flight taking him to the World Youth Day gathering in Panama on January 23. “I will go to Japan in November. Get ready!” he told them.
 
“The pope will come to Japan in the second half of November and will visit Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Thomas Aquinas Manyo Cardinal Maeda of Osaka, confirmed on January 24.
 

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Conviction of former Adelaide archbishop overturned

NEWCASTLE (CNS): New South Wales District Court judge, Roy Ellis, overturned the conviction of Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson, whom a lower court found guilty of failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse by Father James Fletcher.
 
The 68-year-old archbishop was the highest-ranking Church official to be found guilty of abuse-related charges stemming from the actions of clergy. 
 

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