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    Jan 29, 2015

    Pope: Salvation is not for VIPs, it's offered to all God's people


    (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

    By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christ showed that the way to draw close to God is not by putting down other people and creating an exclusive club, but by embracing and encouraging others to love and do good works, Pope Francis said.

  • 2 of 4


    Jan 29, 2015

    CHA brief urges U.S. Supreme Court to maintain health care subsidies


    (CNS file photo)

    By Catholic News Service
    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down federal subsidies that have helped millions of people get health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, it will be "an incredible cruelty," said the president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association.

  • 3 of 4


    Jan 29, 2015

    Feed my sheep: Archbishops to receive palliums at home with their flock


    (CNS file photo/Paul Haring)

    By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Francis celebrates the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in June, he will set aside an element that has been part of the Mass for the past 32 years;

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    Jan 28, 2015

    Pope to dads: Play with your kids, be strong, loving, moral role models

    By Carol Glatz
    Catholic News Service
    (CNS photos/Paul Haring)

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When their lives are all work and no play, men turn their children into "orphans" who lack a father to guide them, show them love and teach them values, Pope Francis said.


Jun 16, 2014

Pope appeals for peace in Iraq, announces plans to visit Albania


 

WORLD


(CNS photos/Stringer, EPA)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis expressed his fears over increasing violence in Iraq and prayed for peace, security and reconciliation in the country.

He also announced he would be visiting Albania Sept. 21 to encourage the Catholic minority there and the people "who long suffered as a result of the ideologies of the past."

The one-day visit to Tirana will be Pope Francis' first papal visit to a European nation and a nation where all religious practice was banned from 1967 to 1990. Persecution of the church, especially the clergy, had become the norm when the Communist Party took control of the government in 1944.

The pope made his announcement after praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square June 15. He said he was following the news of increasing violence in Iraq "with deep concern."

"I invite all of you to join me in prayer for the dear Iraqi nation, above all for the victims and for those who are suffering the consequences of the growing violence, most especially the many people, including many Christians, who had to leave their homes," he said.

Pope Francis added that he hoped the whole country could enjoy "security, peace and a future of reconciliation and justice, where all Iraqis, whatever their religion, could build their nation together, creating a model of coexistence."

The United Nations estimated 1 million Iraqis have become internally displaced because of a recent upsurge in sectarian violence and the recent fall of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, to Islamist militants.

Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, who was visiting Chaldean communities in North America, called for a day of fasting and prayer June 18.

He told the Vatican's Fides news agency June 16 that the Synod of the Chaldean Church would still take place, but that instead of being held in Baghdad as originally planned, the June 24-28 meeting would be held in Kurdish-controlled Ankawa, near Irbil.

Chaldean Father Kais Mumtaz of Kirkuk told Fides June 14 that the situation unfolding in Iraq suggests that "everything seems to be leading toward only a military management" of the crisis.

He said the threat of civil war "scares many Christians even more than the advance of the Islamists: The war makes no distinction between soldiers, terrorists and civilians. It strikes Christians, Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites in the same way."