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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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Build culture of encounter pope exhorts at World Youth Day

PANAMA CITY (CNS): “By your actions and your approach, your way of looking at things, your desires and above all your sensitivity, you discredit and defuse the kind of talk that is intent on sowing division, on excluding or rejecting those who are not ‘like us’,” Pope Francis told the throng of young people on January 24 during the official ceremony welcoming him to World Youth Day in Panama.
 

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Be fatherly not overbearing pope tells bishops

PANAMA (CNS): Bishops should follow the example of St. Oscar Romero, who cared for his flock with the heart of a father rather than become authoritarians lording over those in their care, Pope Francis said at a meeting with Central American bishops in Panama on January 24.
 

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Christian unity begins when blessings are shared pope says

ROME (CNS): “It is easy to forget the fundamental equality existing among us: that once we were all slaves to sin, that the Lord saved us in baptism and called us his children,” Pope Francis said at an ecumenical prayer service at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Italy, to mark the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on January 18. 
 

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Guidelines for fight against human trafficking released

VATICAN (CNS): “The more difficult you make it for people to move, the more likely they are to be trafficked so that is a very important consideration if we are really concerned about human rights and human dignity,” Jesuit Father Michael Czerny, an undersecretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said at a press conference for the release of Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, on January 17.
 

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Reading the pope’s message to the Catholics of China

Pope Francis issued his message to the Catholics of China and the universal Church shortly after the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China signed a provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops.  

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Nationalistic tendencies threaten world peace pope tells diplomats

VATICAN (CNS): “Peace is never a partial good, but one that embraces the entire human race,” Pope Francis said during his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican on January 7. He noted that the establishment of the League of Nations nearly 100 years ago had ushered in an era of multilateral diplomacy based on goodwill, readiness among nations to deal fairly and honestly with each other and openness to compromise.
 

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Pope Francis sends condolences on death of Bishop Michael Yeung

Pope Francis sent his heartfelt condolences and Apostolic Blessing to the Diocese of Hong Kong.

The letter was sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State.
 

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True heroism is self-giving, compassionate and meek pope says

VATICAN (CNS): “A world that looks to the future without a mother’s gaze is shortsighted,” Pope Francis said in his homily for the Mass of feast of Mother of God, at St. Peter’s Basilica, on January 1.
 
“It may well increase its profits, but it will no longer see others as children. It will make money, but not for everyone. We will all dwell in the same house, but not as brothers and sisters,” he said.
 

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Concert to celebrate pope’s birthday

HONG KONG (SE): Pope Francis turned 82-years-old on December 17. The Holy See Study Mission in Hong Kong together with the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong jointly hosted a concert to celebrate the occasion at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Caine Road, on December 16.
 
The concert featured a performance by local choir, Vox Antiqua, conducted by Andrew Leung, and featureing renowned singers, Paul Phoenix and Colette Lam Wing-wing, as well as organist, Ivan Leung Chin-yuen. 
 

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