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A new and aggressive form of atheism which links religion with lack of liberty and oppression has led to a selective interpretation of human rights in which religious freedom counts for little, Bishop Manfred Scheuer of Linz, in Upper Austria, has said.


The US Senate failed to advance legislation that would bar abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases where the mother’s life is threatened. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the Pro-Life Committee of the bishops’ conference, called the vote “appalling.” “The Senate must rethink its extreme stance on late-term abortions,” Dolan said. “I call upon the public to tell the Senate that this vote is absolutely unacceptable.”


Catholic funerals must be held in a church rather than in municipal funeral centres, the Bishop of Grenoble has decided, after the growing use of a secular site meant it could soon host the majority of such services in the southeastern French city.


 

In his annual message for Lent, Pope Francis describes how Jesus warned that amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.

 


The parents of a gravely ill 20-month-old boy in Liverpool are fighting a legal battle to be allowed to take their son for treatment at the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù children’s hospital in Rome.


A state-run Chinese newspaper says the Vatican and Beijing will re-establish diplomatic ties “sooner or later” and that any problems related to a deal will be solved by the “wisdom” of Pope Francis.


The president of the German bishops’ conference has said there is scope for priests to bless same-sex couples in individual cases.


Catholic Bishops in Kenya have denounced the government shutdown of the country’s three largest private television channels as “unconstitutional” and in direct contradiction to the law.


Pope Francis has called for an ecumenical day of prayer for peace, with a specific focus on people suffering as a result of conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan...


Pope Francis used a meeting with the President of Turkey on Monday to discuss the status of Jerusalem and urge the Turkish leader to pursue peace instead of war.   



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