Put yourselves in the other person’s shoes before passing judgment, says Pope

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Offering counsel and admonishing sinners are works of mercy, but they are not a license to pretend to be better than others, Pope Francis said. To counsel others is a chance to see how well you, too, measure up to essential standards, he told pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square. In his final general audience during

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Iraqi Catholics return to church ransacked by ISIS

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There were gasps, followed by tears at a small church in northern Iraq as a group of Christians returned to their parish Sunday to find that everything had been destroyed, including the statue of the Virgin Mary, which ISIS militants had decapitated before they left. A confessional had been turned into a closet, a tomb

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Iraqi priests celebrate Mass in church liberated from ISIS

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Priests have celebrated Mass in the town of Bashiqa for the first time in two years after Iraqi forces liberated it from ISIS. The Mass was held on Wednesday at the Mart Shoomy Assyrian church, which remains severely damaged after being ransacked by militants during the ISIS campaign. Photographs show the priests flanked by Kurdish

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Christian town captured by ISIS and citizens used as human shields

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ISIS has taken Mosul and several surrounding villages and towns, one of which is a predominantly Christian town. Militants in the Christian town have been holding down the fort despite heavy gunfire fights with Iraqi-led forces. With help from Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga fighters, a Christian paramilitary group forced ISIS to the center of

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True Christian charity is more than just making donations, says Pope

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While donation campaigns and charitable contributions for the needy are important, true Christian charity involves a more personal touch, Pope Francis has said. Coming face to face with the poor may pose a challenge and tempt people to turn the other way and give in to “the habit of fleeing from needy people and not

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Children are the most vulnerable migrants and must be protected, says Pope

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Children are the most vulnerable and hardest hit among the world’s migrants and require special protection, Pope Francis said. “Children are the first among those to pay the heavy toll of emigration, almost always caused by violence, poverty, environmental conditions, as well as the negative aspects of globalisation,” he said. “The unrestrained competition for quick

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Albanian president unveils statue of St Teresa in New York

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Albanian President Bujar Nishani unveiled a statue of St Teresa of Calcutta in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York. Hundreds gathered for the ceremony outside St Athanasius Catholic Church, where the figure of the founder of the Missionaries of Charity cradling a child in her arms has been installed. St Teresa, often recalled as “a

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Pope Francis deplores ‘global war’ on marriage

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Pope Francis has said that a global war on marriage is underway and Catholics must respond by helping couples stay strong and by providing pastoral care to those experiencing difficulty. “Today there is a global war to destroy marriage,” the Pope said during a meeting in Tbilisi with priests, religious, seminarians and lay people active

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If you talk about a crime in Catholic confession, can the priest report it to the police?

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No, the very most a priest may do is require the penitent to surrender to authorities and may withhold absolution if the penitent refuses to do so. The Sacramental Seal is inviolable. Quoting Canon 983.1 of the Code of Canon Law, http://www.vatican.va/archive/EN... the Catechism states, "...It is a crime for a confessor in any way

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Bangladeshi Catholic editor flees country in fear of her life

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Rosaline Costa heard people tell her “be careful” so often she decided that she had to flee her native Bangladesh for the United States to stay alive. Costa, 67, a Catholic, has been the editor of Hotline Bangladesh for 30 years. The monthly newsletter chronicles corruption, crime, terror and religious violence in the nation, which

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