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Two sides of pope’s views on marriage

VATICAN (SE): On his long flight from Azerbaijan to Rome on October 2, Pope Francis spoke at length with reporters during an in-flight press conference about his views on marriage and pastoral care of people in irregular situations.

He has been quite vocal in the past on the necessity of welcoming those who are divorced and remarried, as well as the same sex attracted into the caring fold of the Church, but on the plane he made a quite clear distinction between dogma and pastoral care.

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Rent a Priest picks up the slack

KOCHI (UCAN): Former Catholic priests in the southern Indian state of Kerala have launched a Rent a Priest service which aims at filling the gap for people who do not want to go to their parishes.

People who can’t stand their parish priests can hire a former priest through the service who is listed under an association called Catholic Priests, Ex-Priest and Nuns Association.

Former priests in this association provide sacramental services.

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China contributes to Vatican consultation on environment

VATICAN (SE): “The long term task of building a harmonious society and the understanding that to be truly and enduringly harmonious, the harmony must not only extend beyond the borders of China and include all peoples of the world, but above all, it must include harmony between humans and nature,” Hu Deping, the head of a delegation from China to a consultation prior to the Conference of Parties 22 on the environment held at the Casina Pio IV at the Vatican, said.

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Pope receives gift from Xi Jinping

HONG KONG (SE): “And the Chinese president sent me a gift. They are good relations,” Pope Francis told an inflight media conference on his way back to Rome from Georgia and Azerbaijan on October 2.

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Vatican peace push to Colombia

BOGOTA (SE): Pope Francis is continuing his push for world peace. Following on from his World Day of Prayer for Peace at Assisi and the appearance of his secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, at the United Nations to address 193 representatives of countries on Vatican diplomacy for peace, he dispatched the cardinal to Bogota, Colombia, as a go between in the 52-year-old conflict between the government and the Colombia People’s Army.

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Bringing former enemies together in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO (UCAN): In a move to encourage reconciliation in post war Sri Lanka, Caritas has set up 40 Caritas Village Peace Committees in 13 dioceses that span Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim communities.

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Around the traps

 

Angel becomes blessed

VATICAN (CWN): A German priest known as the Angel of Dachau was beatified as a martyr in Würzburg, Germany, on September 24.

Father Engelmar Unzeitig (1911 to 1945) was ordained in 1939. Assigned to Austria, he spoke out on behalf of the Jews.

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Praying with each other not against each other

ASSISI (SE): “We have not prayed against one another today, as has unfortunately occurred in history,” Pope Francis said on September 20 in addressing a gathering of world religious leaders at an interfaith prayer for peace in the world at Assisi in Italy.

Looking at the vast diversity of his audience he noted, “Our religious traditions are diverse. But our differences are not the cause of conflict and provocation, or a cold distance between us.”

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Something does not love a wall in Calais

LONDON (SE): When on 26 June 1963 the then-president of the United States of America, John Kennedy, quoted Robert Frost as saying, “Something there is that does not love a wall,” while standing before the concrete divide of East and West Berlin, he touched a deep chord in people’s hearts.

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Tightening canonisation

Vatican (SE): The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has announced there will be new rules governing the role of medical boards investigating miracle cures in the beatification and canonisation processes.

They strengthen requirements for acceptance of authenticity and set stricter standards for the documentation of payment to experts.

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