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Pope Francis to Myanmar

MANDALAY (UCAN): Pope Francis is to pay an impromptu visit to the Union of Myanmar. His intention is to focus his visit on the troubled Rankine state where for years some one million Muslim Rohingya people have suffered persecution and dispossession.
 
Invited by the president, Htin Kyaw, Pope Francis anticipates making his visit during the dry season in November. It will be the first visit of a pope to the country.
 

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Cardinal Tong at peace prayer meet in Kyoto

KYOTO (SE): Two days after stepping down as bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon travelled to Kyoto in Japan as a representative of Pope Francis at the 30th annual Prayer Meeting on Mount Hiei, a gathering that brings people from all religions together to pray and work for peace.
 
Cardinal Tong read a letter from Pope Francis, which opened with the words, “It is my pleasure to send my cordial greetings to you and to the distinguished representatives of the different religious traditions.”
 

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Positioning the Church in the world

HONG KONG (SE): An surprising article appeared in the semi-official Vatican newspaper, Civilta Cattolica, in mid-July attacking what it called a group of right wing Catholics in the United States of America (US) for betraying Church social teaching though political alliances they have made with fundamentalist evangelical groups, especially in the area of bioethics.
 

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A scorecard on Pope Francis

Four-and-a-half years after his election, Pope Francis shows no signs of slowing down or of incapacity despite his 80 years. 
 
He has been driving deep changes in the Church and has been stringent in his critiques of clericalism and careerism.
 








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Holiday from complaints

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis is taking a bit of a summer break, but instead of going off to the traditional summer resort of popes at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome, he is taking a break from listening to complaints while remaining at home.
 
On July 14, he stuck a notice on the door of his apartment in Santa Maria saying that all complaining is banned until further notice.
 

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Pope promises to pray for Marawi

MANILA (SE): It was a long wait for the beleaguered people of The Philippines, but after a series of disasters and tragedies Pope Francis has finally expressed his solidarity with all those affected by the violence and assured the people of Mindanao of his prayers.
 
Pope Francis gave his message to Archbishop Martin Jumoad at the Pallium Mass on the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul at the Vatican on June 29.
 

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Share wealth or fail in your charter pope tells G20

HAMBURG (SE): In a message sent to the heads of state gathering in Hamburg for the G20 meeting on July 7, Pope Francis appealed for an absolute priority to be given to the poorest people in the worldwide community.
 

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No tolerance for tribal religious politics

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis may be a man of compassion and forgiveness, but when it comes to a matter of tribal religious politics he draws his Mason-Dixon Line.
Early in June, he told priests of the diocese Ahiara in Nigeria to accept and welcome their new bishop, not just despite the fact that he comes from a different tribal background, but because of it.
 

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China can learn from the Vatican about managing Hong Kong

Pope Francis and President Xi Jinping came into their present roles within a day of each other in 2013—the pope was elected on March 13 and Xi became president on March 14. However, they have followed completely different paths in governing immense and cumbersome entities—the People’s Republic of China and the universal Church.