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Rwandan bishops’ apology falls short

HONG KONG (SE): The bishops of Rwanda issued an apology on November 20 for the involvement of the Church and some of its priests and religious in the genocide that saw over 800,000 people, mostly from the minority Tutsi population, die between 1994 and 1997.

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Taiwan opposition to same-sex marriage

TAIPEI (UCAN): The Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference in Taiwan issued a statement expressing the opposition of the Church to a bill that would allow same-sex marriage and asked the people of the island state to pray and fast for the cause.

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An everyday kind of mercy

ROME (AsiaNews): There are no spectacular revelations, big projects or out of the box ideas in the apostolic letter introduced by Pope Francis at the ceremony to close the Holy Door and end the Jubilee of Mercy at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on November 20.

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A death mourned in Cuba celebrated in Miami

HONG KONG (SE): “It is true that the rock of St. Peter, on which the Catholic Church was built, is solid and lasting. Throughout history, that institution has demonstrated its experience, its wisdom and its capacity to adapt to reality,” Brazilian Dominican, Father Carlos Alberto Libânio Christo, quotes Fidel Castro, the late president of Cuba who took power in a violent revolution in 1959, as saying in his book, Fidel and Religion.

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Fifty-nine million out of school

GENEVA (AsiaNews): About a third of all children in developing nations do not get the opportunity to go to school, because they must work. But what is more surprising, around the same number say their schools are not safe.

The results of a study carried out by the ChildFund Alliance on school absenteeism in 41 nations, found the highest out of school rate is in Afghanistan, where nine out of 10 children are not in the classrooms.

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Cuba responds to pope’s jubilee request

HAVANA (SE): The government of Raul Castro in Cuba has announced the release of 787 prisoners on November 16 as a response to a request issued by Pope Francis for the Jubilee Year.

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Sign of the times in United States election

HONG KONG (SE): “All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity,” Pope Francis told the United States Congress in September last year.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops repeated the papal statement in a press release issued on November 9, after Donald Trump was declared president-elect of the nation. The bishops also note that millions of Americans voted for an opportunity for their families.

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Earthquakes are God’s punishment

ROME (SE): Father Giovanni Cavalcoli earned himself a rap over the knuckles from the Vatican when he told La Zanzara talk-back radio on November 4 that he believes two devastating earthquakes in central Italy that claimed almost 300 lives were the result of human sins, such as civil unions between gays.

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New history of Vatican II

VATICAN (SE): L’Osservatore Romano is promoting Storia del Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II, a new history of the Second Vatican Council written by Piero Doria, an historian who works for the Vatican Secret Archives.

The newspaper praised the book, as well as its preface, written by Archbishop Marcello Semeraro, from Albano.

Archbishop Semeraro is the secretary of the Council of Cardinal Advisers. He calls the council an event and prophecy.

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A Mass of hope in Iraq

ERBIL (AsiaNews): Even a thick layer of soot covering the walls of the church was not enough to obliterate graffiti proclaiming Islamic State scrawled across the remains of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Qaraqosh, Iraq, from sight, as Archbishop Petros Mouche prepared to offer the first Mass in the remains of the once stately building in two years on October 30.

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