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Hypoallergenic incense, low-gluten hosts can ease Massgoers’ allergies

Hypoallergenic incense, low-gluten hosts can ease Massgoers’ allergies

| Tara Connolly | November 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Billowing clouds of incense at Mass and the inability to receive Communion can force some Catholics to cover their face or get out of the pew because of allergies and a sensitivity to wheat.

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Pope confirms he will visit Philadelphia in September

Pope confirms he will visit Philadelphia in September

| Francis X. Rocca | November 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Pope Francis said he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, making it the first confirmed stop on what is expected to be a more extensive papal visit to North America.

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Vatican public restrooms to include showers for the homeless

Vatican public restrooms to include showers for the homeless

| Cindy Wooden | November 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

The archbishop who distributes charity on behalf of Pope Francis has announced that the public restrooms in St. Peter’s Square will include showers where the homeless can wash.

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Seal of confession is absolute, even after penitent dies, officials say

Seal of confession is absolute, even after penitent dies, officials say

| Cindy Wooden | November 13, 2014 | 1 Comment

The secrecy of a confession is maintained so seriously and completely by the Catholic Church that a priest would be excommunicated for revealing the contents of a confession when ordered to testify by a court or even after the penitent dies, Vatican officials said.

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Pope calls for global defense of Christians facing persecution

Pope calls for global defense of Christians facing persecution

| Cindy Wooden | November 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

“With great trepidation, I am following the dramatic incidents of Christians in several parts of the world being persecuted and killed because of their religious beliefs,” the pope said. “I must express my deep spiritual closeness to the Christian communities so harshly struck by an absurd violence that does not show signs of stopping.”

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Revision of ritual for dedicating altar, exorcisms, other liturgy items approved

Revision of ritual for dedicating altar, exorcisms, other liturgy items approved

| Patricia Zapor | November 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

With little discussion except over a handful of minor amendments, the U.S. bishops accepted four liturgical items Nov. 11 during their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

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Bishops OK liturgy items, endorse sainthood cause, hold elections

Bishops OK liturgy items, endorse sainthood cause, hold elections

| November 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Though there were no actions on the U.S. bishops’ agenda in Baltimore dealing with immigration, poverty and other public policy issues, the president of their conference said Nov. 11 that he hopes to meet with President Barack Obama and House and Senate leaders soon on several topics.

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Religious liberty ‘continues to be great concern,’ Archbishop Lori says

Religious liberty ‘continues to be great concern,’ Archbishop Lori says

| Carol Zimmermann | November 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, told the bishops the committee — extended for another three years — planned to focus more on teaching and expanding networks with Catholic lay groups and interfaith and ecumenical partners.

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‘Tale of two synods’ emerged from Vatican, says USCCB president

‘Tale of two synods’ emerged from Vatican, says USCCB president

| Mark Pattison | November 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

October’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was just one event, but “a tale of two synods” emerged from it, according to the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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German church commemorates 25th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

German church commemorates 25th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

| Jonathan Luxmoore | November 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

The president of the German bishops’ conference praised Catholics who helped bring down the Berlin Wall, but also urged the church to look ahead to its future mission.

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Pope hails role of St. John Paul in Berlin Wall’s fall

Pope hails role of St. John Paul in Berlin Wall’s fall

| Cindy Wooden | November 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

“Where there is a wall,” he said, “there is a closed heart. We need bridges, not walls!”

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New Vatican financial rules increase transparency, centralization

New Vatican financial rules increase transparency, centralization

| Francis X. Rocca | November 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Vatican’s new rules for budgeting and financial reporting, which will go into effect Jan. 1, call for heightened transparency and consistency in the church’s central administration and underscore the oversight powers of two economic bodies Pope Francis established in February.

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