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IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring By Cindy Wooden VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) — Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub drinking “a beer or a gira,” a slightly alcoholic beverage made from fermented rye bread. Yet the stories two

IMAGE: CNS photo/Wu Hong, EPA By Cindy Wooden VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) — For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope Francis lifted the excommunications or irregular status of seven bishops who had been ordained

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring By Cindy Wooden VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) — In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to break down walls of suspicion and fear. “If we look at the world scene in our time, more and more

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn By Norma Montenegro Flynn GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) — Quoting from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel,” Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic leaders and bishops to continue working toward being an evangelizing church by seeking an encounter with Christ and taking initiative while

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn By Norma Montenegro Flynn GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) — A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions were the highlights during the first day of the National Fifth Encuentro gathering taking place Sept. 20-23 in Grapevine.

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring By Carol Glatz VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, and he defended taking the title “pope emeritus.” In two private letters from the retired pope to German Cardinal Walter

By Cindy Wooden VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While God’s holy church is made up of sinners, it also has its share of hypocrites who love to cry “scandal” to point out the failings of others and make themselves appear pure, Pope Francis said at morning Mass. “The devil doesn’t have

IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Father McGuire By Mark Pattison WASHINGTON (CNS) — To be a voice for victims of clerical sexual abuse, Father Brendan McGuire realized he had to come to terms with the abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest when he was 18. It was a secret

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob Roller By Julie Asher WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pledging to “heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us,” the U.S. bishops’ Administrative Committee Sept. 19 outlined actions to address the abuse crisis, including approving the establishment of a third-party confidential reporting system for claims

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring By Cindy Wooden VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland “it looks as though the abusers are being more protected than the victims. And you could see the pain in his face.”