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Research on early martyrs acknowledged

VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com): Two special awards were granted for research on the history of martyrs at a November 30 meeting of the Pontifical Academies on the witness of martyrs.

One Pontifical Academy Prize went to the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, which is conducting archeological work in Jerusalem. The other went to Daria Mastrorilli, an archeologist working on the cemeteries of Rome.

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Targeting North Korea with a giant cross

SEOUL (AsiaNews): A Christmas tree on Aegibong Peak on the South Korean side of the demilitarised zone that separates the Republic of Korea in the south from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north, is to be topped with a brilliantly lit crucifix that will be clearly visible from the north.

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Celluloid star turned Benedictine to address conference

PASO ROBLES (Agencies): The Central California Marian Eucharistic Conference will feature a Benedictine sister, Mother Dolores Hart, an award-winning former actress as its guest speaker in January next year. She played alongside Elvis Presley in two movies, Loving You and King Creole, and still votes for the Academy Awards, 

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A tale of two priests tried by circus

HONG KONG (SE): “Trial by media circus does not help victims of sexual abuse or educate society in relation to the abhorrence of the crime, and while scapegoating one group of people may lead a society to believe that it is addressing the issue, it is, in fact, not,” Father Sean McDonagh, from the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, told the Sunday Examiner.

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New Mass translation kicks off

HONG KONG (SE): Most parts of the English-speaking Church began using the new translation of the Mass on the first Sunday of Advent, November 27.

While reports on what for many was a new experience say that except for half the congregation automatically defaulting to well known phrases, especially in short responses, and a lot of fumbling with books and printed sheets, things went smoothly enough.

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Our liturgies need a more inter-cultural flavour pope tells Church in Africa

HONG KONG (SE) : “I would say that it is important not to lose sight of the universal aspect of inculturation,” Pope Benedict XVI said during a prepared press conference on the plane on his way from Rome to the African nation of Benin on November 18.

“Indeed I would prefer to speak more of inter-culturality than of inculturation; in other words, of the meeting of cultures in our shared truth of being human in our time,” he continued.

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Was Shakespeare a closet Catholic?

VATICAN CITY (CNS): An opinion piece in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on November 18, suggested that William Shakespeare was a Catholic who was forced to conceal his faith in 16th century Protestant England, while leaving hints about it throughout his vast body of work. 

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Vatican looks at adult stem cells but still rules out the destruction of embryos

VATICAN CITY (CNS/SE): In rejecting research using embryonic stem cells, the Catholic Church is not trying to impede science or delay treatment that can save lives, Pope Benedict XVI insisted on November 12, during a talk to delegates attending a conference under the theme of Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture, held at the Vatican.

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