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    Oct 31, 2014

    Halloween costumes that mock religious figures called disrespectful


    (CNS photos/Nancy Wiechec)

    By Rose Ybarra,Catholic News Service
    BROWNSVILLE, Texas (CNS) -- Every October, many look forward to Halloween -- the trick-or-treating, the parties and especially the costumes.

  • 2 of 4


    Oct 31, 2014

    Pope says official exorcists show church's love for the suffering


    (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA)

    By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Exorcists, assigned to that ministry by their bishops, demonstrate the love and care of the church for "those who suffer

  • 3 of 4


    Oct 31, 2014

    Praise God, proclaim salvation, pray for the persecuted, pope says


    (CNS photos/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

    By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Prayer and mission are the very breath of the Christian life, Pope Francis said.

  • 4 of 4


    Oct 31, 2014

    Panelists examine role of religion in Supreme Court justices' ruling


    (CNS photos/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

    By Sarah McCarthy, Catholic News Service
    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The influence of religion on U.S. Supreme Court justices has grown more prominent in the last 50 years, according to


Nov 21, 2012

Pope condemns escalating Gaza conflict, calls for truce, talks


 

WORLD


(CNS photo/Ahmed Jadallah, Reuters)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI condemned escalating hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, saying hatred and violence are never an appropriate solution to problems.

He also called for greater efforts to promote a truce and peace negotiations.

"I am following with great concern the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," the pope said at the end of his general audience Nov. 21.

                                               (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

"Hatred and violence are not the solution to problems," he said to applause from those gathered in the Paul VI hall.

"I encourage the initiatives and efforts of those who are seeking to establish a cease-fire and to promote negotiations," he said.

He also called on leaders on both sides of the conflict to make "courageous decisions in favor of peace and put an end to a conflict that has negative repercussions throughout the entire Middle East region, which is already troubled by too many conflicts and is in need of peace and reconciliation."

The pope expressed his closeness to victims and all those suffering because of the violence.

His appeal came as both sides in the conflict launched fresh attacks.

Just hours before the pope spoke, a bomb exploded on a bus in Tel Aviv, wounding at least 10 people.

That attack followed a weeklong Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip aimed at stopping rocket strikes by Palestinian militants.

More than 140 Palestinians and at least five Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive.

In the United States, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace urged the U.S. to provide leadership to end the violence and retaliation unfolding in the region.

"An immediate cease-fire must be negotiated as a precondition so that leaders on both sides can give Israelis and Palestinians hope for a different future free of fear and full of promise," Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, said in a Nov. 20 letter to National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon. The USCCB released the text of the letter Nov. 21.

(CNS photo/Amir Cohen, Reuters)

Bishop Pates wrote that Israel has a right to defend its citizens following "morally unjustifiable" rocket attacks from Gaza that killed Israeli civilians, but said its use of force must be proportionate and discriminate. He made note of the reported Palestinian death toll and the many who have been wounded.

The bishop also said the director of Caritas Jerusalem has been appealing for supplies to help the hospitals in Gaza that are "overwhelmed with casualties."

He said the continuing violence has "serious implications for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for regional stability."

The bishop urged the U.S. government to work to end the latest violence "before it spirals further out of control."

"Violence will not bring peace to the region," he said. "It will only reinforce historic hurts and deepen divisions, making peace even more remote."