News/International

OXFORD, England – Germany's bishops' conference expressed regret over a June 30 parliamentary vote to allow same-sex weddings, vowing to defend the "Catholic understanding of marriage."

Christian, Muslim leaders highlight Lebanon as country of coexistence

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BEIRUT – Top Christian and Muslim leaders and Lebanese government representatives agreed that Lebanon should be highlighted as an example of peaceful coexistence, noting that "the deepening of democracy in Lebanon sends a message of hope to the Arabs and to the world."

Pope calls for respecting UK parents' wishes to care for dying child

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called for respecting the wishes of a terminally ill child's parents to accompany and care for their child "until the end."

Pope Francis donates $75,000 euros to Greek island struck by earthquake

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ATHENS, Greece – Pope Francis has donated 50 thousand euroes ($73,000) to the island of Lesbos, Greece, which is recovering from a June earthquake.

Vietnamese Catholic blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison

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HANOI, Vietnam – A Vietnamese court sentenced a Catholic blogger to 10 years in prison for propaganda against the Communist government. Rights activists described the sentence as "heavy."

Arizona fire forces residents from homes; blaze fuelled by high winds

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PHOENIX – Residents of the town of Mayer, including roughly 100 families who regularly attend Mass at St. Joseph Mission, were allowed to return home June 29 after evacuating for a time because of the Goodwin Fire burning in the nearby Prescott National Forest.

Doctors say it's a miracle that toddler survived ninth-floor fall

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The doctors at the Children's Hospital in San Miguel, Argentina, find no explanation for the quick recovery of Martin Chain – a three-year-old boy who fell from the ninth floor when he was playing on the balcony of his apartment.

Despite rumours, soccer superstar Messi not denied Catholic wedding

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LIMA, Peru – An Argentine diocesan official has clarified that the local archbishop did not deny a sacramental Catholic wedding to Argentinian soccer player Lionel “Leo” Messi and his girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo.

What China can learn from the Vatican in handling Hong Kong

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Pope Francis and President Xi Jinping came into their present roles within a day of each other in 2013 – Pope Francis was elected March 13 and Xi became president March 14. However, they have each followed a completely different path in governing immense and cumbersome entities – the People's Republic of China and the universal church.

Resilience, resourcefulness help Gazans cope with daily hardships

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JERUSALEM – Gazans demonstrate an "inspiring" resilience and resourcefulness and more importantly, a sense of hope, despite the daily hardships they face, said the regional director for Palestine and Israel of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

Caritas Palermo: First stop for many migrants who cross Mediterranean

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PALERMO, Italy – Young African men crowded the courtyard, while others squatted on the cool, gray marble floor inside the Caritas diocesan facility near the gritty central train station of the Sicilian capital.