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Popular notions of hard-working families forking out for benefit scroungers are well wide of the mark, argues the author of a new book, which shows that virtually everyone at some point in their lives needs government support
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- Black Catholic bishop sees 'pattern of excessive force' by police as Ferguson riots continue
- 'Forgotten' Christianity must remind people of its service to others
- Pope raises human rights concerns with Egyptian President
- What the Pope really meant in Strasbourg Bishop William Kenney
- I want to see Catholic women ordained bishops – but not into the hierarchy as it is Una Kroll
- A renewed energy about the US Church Fr Tony Flannery
Texts, speeches, homilies
Addressing the heads of all UN agencies, in Rome, Pope Francis said charity and justice should be based on "an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters, whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death."
US politics have for too long been deeply divided along the lines of race and ethnicity; money plays too great a role and politicians ought to be aware of their call to serve the common good.
It was the "day of four popes" - when Pope Francis canonised John Paul II and John XXIII and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI concelebrated the Mass.
Pope Francis in his Easter Urbi et Orbi address prayed for a ceasefire in Syria and for government and rebel fighters there to never "again use deadly force" against civilians. He also prayed for victims of violence in Iraq and for the success of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
In his Good Friday homily, the papal preacher, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, focused on Judas Iscariot, whose "greatest sin was not in having betrayed Christ but in having doubted his mercy". We can all betray Jesus, he warned - by worshipping that "idol par excellence" - money, or by a spouse being adulterous or by a minister being "unfaithful to his state in life".
Pope Francis at the Chrism Mass, during which the sacramental oils are blessed, preaches on priestly joy, which is "a priceless treasure, not only for the priest himself, but for the entire faithful people of God", and admits he has occasionally had "moments of listlessness and boredom" in his ministry.
Pope Francis' 2014 Good Friday meditations reflect on women and children who have been abused, desperate migrants and those who have lost their jobs because of the economic crisis.
Pope Francis challenged his 100,000 hearers at this year’s Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square, asking in the narrative of Christ’s passion and death, “Who am I?”
It is the Lampedusa of the United States – the border crossing where each year hundreds of desperate migrants perish trying to enter in search of a better life. On 1 April the US bishops' migration committee, who have long campaigned for illegal immigrants to be allowed to regularise their status, highlighted the issue at a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
To commemorate the 34th anniversary of the death of the former Archbishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero, a German Jesuit, Fr Martin Maier SJ, who has worked in the country, spoke at an ecumenical service at St Martin in the Fields in London