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Rome’s first multi-religious half-marathon

VATICAN (CNS): Some 2,000 people completed the first ever multi-religious half-marathon (21 kilometres) in Rome, Italy on September 17. The Via Pacis (Peace Road) initiative was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture.
 
According to Monsignor Melchor Sanchez de Toca y Alameda, undersecretary of pontifical council and head of the office’s section on sport, almost 4,000 people also signed up for the shorter, five kilometer fun run.
 

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Goodwill gesture gone wrong

ROME (SE): A bishop in Spain issued a public apology after a parish priest allowed the local Hindu community to carry an image of the Hindu god with an elephant head, Ganesh, in a procession at the church.
 
The priest who allowed the procession to take place subsequently offered his resignation as the vicar general of the diocese. It was accepted.
 
On August 20, the Hindu community of Ceuta and Melilla, two autonomous Spanish communities located on the coast of North Africa, visited the church of Our Lady of Africa.

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Police blamed over stoush with refugees

ROME (CNS): Violence erupted in Rome when police attempted to clear around 100 mostly Eritreans and Ethiopians with official refugee status from a square near the main Roma Termini railway station on August 24.
 
Police claim they were forced to use water cannons after people started throwing things at them and hitting them with sticks.
 
On August 19, some 800 refugees had been evicted from an abandoned building nearby, where they had be sheltering since 2013.
 

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A pope scowls at Rome!

ROME (SE): The city of Rome awoke on the morning of February 4 to see large, glossy posters featuring Pope Francis plastered on billboards at 40 locations around the city asking him where his compassion and mercy are in the midst of the series of persecutions he has been carrying out against certain sectors of the Church since he took over the papacy.

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First Asian rector for Angelicum in Rome

MANILA (Agencies): Father Rolando de la Rosa has become the first Asian to be appointed rector of a pontifical university in Rome.

The Filipino Dominican will take on the top job at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum.

Father Dela Rosa will serve a four-year term from the beginning of the next academic year, September 1, through to 2020.

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Christ relives his passion in humanity

VATICAN (SE): The Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) of Jesus Christ, like that of all humanity of our age, is a thread uniting the meditations that will accompany the 14 stations at the world famous Good Friday observance at the Colosseum in Rome on March 25.

Vatican Radio reported that the text of the meditations for this year has been prepared by Gualtiero Cardinal Bassetti, the archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, Italy.

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Pope invited to Great Mosque of Rome

VATICAN (SE): A Muslim delegation formally invited Pope Francis to visit the Great Mosque of Rome, the largest outside the Islamic world. It would mark the first time a pope has visited the local mosque, which was opened in 1995.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson, confirmed that the pope received the invitation on January during an early morning private audience at the Vatican with a five-person Muslim delegation.

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We have a pope!

Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina, was elected as the 265th successor to St. Peter on March 13. He has chosen the name Francis and will be known to the world as Pope Francis.

The diocese of Hong Kong warmly welcomes Pope Francis and is asking people to pray for him as the leader of the Catholic Church.

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