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Trump and Pope Francis face off

VATICAN (SE): As the long cavalcade of menacing-looking black vehicles snaked its way through the maze of alleyways in Vatican City, dark suited men loitered behind trees, lurked in corners, leaned on fences or scurried about like agitated teenagers waiting for a first date, and the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, arrived at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican for his much talked about face to face meeting with Pope Francis on May 24.

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Apparitions of little value at Medjugorje

HONG KONG (SE): Talk of the daily appearances of Our Lady at the famed parish of St. James in Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a source of intrigue since sightings were first reported in 1981.
 
It has also been the subject of on-again-off-again Vatican investigations since the mid-1980s and while no official report has ever been released there have been rumours that there is considerable dissatisfaction with the manner in which the pilgrim site has been developed.
 

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An ecumenical pilgrim in Egypt

VATICAN (SE): Father Rafic Greiche described the recent visit of Pope Francis to the land of pharaohs and pyramids as a great blessing to the whole of Egypt, both Muslim and Christian.
 
“It boosted the morale of the Egyptian people, especially after the Palm Sunday blasts,” the spokesperson for the Catholic bishops of Egypt said.
 

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Franciscans ask for brothers in leadership

VATICAN (SE): The superiors of the four main branches of the Franciscan friars formally asked Pope Francis for permission to allow their communities to elect brothers to positions of leadership in their communities.
 
“With us Pope Francis is looking at the possibilities for moving this project forward,” Father Michael Perry, the minister general of the Friars Minor, told Vatican Radio on April 10.
 

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Trump says he will visit Vatican

HONG KONG (SE): Pope Francis rather dryly told reporters on the plane during his return from a visit to Cairo on April 30 that he had not been contacted about any visit from the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
 

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Governor invites pope to Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA (UCAN): The governor of Hiroshima, Hidehiko Yuzaki, has asked Pope Francis to visit the atomic-bombed city and send a message of peace to the world.
 
Yuzaki made the call during the pope’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square. Kyodo News reported that he also met with the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, to relay his hope for a visit to Hiroshima by the pope.
 

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Education the key to dispelling violence

CAIRO (SE): Pope Francis began his epic and much publicised visit to Egypt on April 28 by stressing that one of the prime obligations of a religious leader is to denounce violations of human rights and expose attempts to justify hatred in the name of God, in speaking to an International Peace Conference hosted by the seat of Islamic wisdom in Cairo, the Al-Azhar University.

Arguably the main event of his two-day visit, it was the first appointment on the agenda after a courtesy call to the president of the country, Abdel-Fattah Al Sisi.

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The pope of peace comes to the Egypt of peace

CAIRO (SE): “With a joyful and grateful heart I will come in a few days’ time to visit your dear homeland: cradle of civilisation, gift of the Nile, land of sun and hospitality,” Pope Francis said to the people of Egypt prior to his arrival in Cairo on April 28.

He described it as a land where patriarchs and prophets lived and where God made his voice heard.

He added that he was coming as a friend, messenger of peace and a pilgrim to the country that more than 2,000 years ago gave refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family in its flight from King Herod.

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Peeved Le Pen takes aim at bishops and the pope

PARIS (SE): In taking a couple of rather pointed digs at the two candidates for the run off of the presidential election in France, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the Conference of the Bishops of France isolated respect for the weakest members of society, migration and loyalty as citizens of Europe as the three main principles that people should seek to protect in casting their vote on May 7.

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