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Four arrested for threats against pope

BRESCIA (Agencies): Following a tip from the United States of America (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation, four people were arrested by police in Brescia, northern Italy, and in the Balkan state of Kosovo on suspicion of being terrorist risks and making threats on social media against Pope Francis. 

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Paris is a call for transformation

VATICAN (Agencies): Pope Francis called for a global and transformational agreement from the United Nations (UN) Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP21) in an address at the UN offices in Nairobi during his visit to Kenya on November 26.

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Pope meets president of South Sudan

KAMPALA (SE): Pope Francis met with the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, at the statehouse of the president of Uganda in Kampala on November 27.

Vatican Radio reported that the pope and the president held a 15-minute private meeting.

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Get into the streets for Mother Earth

HONG KONG (SE): On November 29, the eve of the beginning of the United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change in Paris, people in Hong Kong responded to the call of Pope Francis to get out onto the streets and plead for the environment.

An animated Pope Francis said that he wants mess and bustle in the dioceses in his call to Catholic people to get out onto the streets.

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Pope gives Castro cross to refugees’ parish church

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis is donating a crucifix that was given to him by the president of Cuba, Raul Castro, during the recent papal visit to the Caribbean nation to the parish church of Lampedusa, an island haven for refugees in the Mediterranean.

Vatican Radio reported on November 12 that the crucifix measures over three metres high and is crafted from wooden oars tied with ropes to symbolise the reality of migrants who have crossed the sea in flimsy boats.

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Hope lies in balanced relationships

HONG KONG (SE): During the first days of a three-nation swing through Africa from November 26 to 30, Pope Francis spoke on three basic themes into which he wove his favourite topics of care for the earth, human rights and interreligious harmony.

In Kenya, he expressed the hope that his time with the people would be a sign of the Church’s esteem for all religions.

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No second-tier members in Church

VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis said that the laity are not second-tier members of the Church, automatons at the service of the bishops, whose role it is to carry out blindly orders that come from on high.

Rather, he said that as disciples of Christ and their natural insertion in the world, they are called to animate in the spirit of the gospel every environment, activity and relationship, which otherwise may go unnoticed and abandoned.

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Missionaries of mercy from Hong Kong

HONG KONG (UCAN): Hong Kong is not divulging the identity of the priests who volunteered to be part of Pope Francis’ initiative to appoint missionaries of mercy—priests granted the special faculty to absolve sins normally reserved to the Holy See.

A chancery notice published on October 12, said that the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, will recommend one or two priests to enroll as missionaries of mercy.

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New congregation at Vatican gobbles up three others

VATICAN (SE): Coming up to the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops on Family Life, Pope Francis announced that he is establishing a new Vatican congregation: the Congregation for Laity, Family and Life.

Vatican Radio reported on October 22 that the new congregation will replace the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Council for the Laity, and the Academy for Life.

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Fast-track annulments do not apply across the board

HONG KONG (SE): The Reform Process for Canon Causes of Declaration of Nullity of Marriage (Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus) issued by Pope Francis on August 15 this year simplifying the procedure of the marriage annulment processes in some circumstances may not be able to be used as widely as initially anticipated.

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