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It was ranked alongside Russia, India and China as an emerging global economic powerhouse but now the pillaging of Brazil’s natural resources, corruption at the highest levels and a crippling drought is threatening that status
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- Lynch to challenge Ukip MEPs on immigration and EU policies ahead of general election
- Bishop of Paisley denounces rise of anti-Semitism after reports of Jews leaving Scotland
- Islamic State ‘begins to kill’ Christians abducted from north-east Syria
- Charity network warns that one in four Europeans is poverty stricken or socially excluded
- It's not easy being turbulent priests James Macintyre
- Our evangelisation plans rest on outdated assumptions Chris McDonnell
- Pray for those who persecute you Bishop Angaelos
Texts, speeches, homilies
Czech priest and philosopher Fr Tomáš Halík was presented with the Templeton prize for "affirming life's spiritual direction" earlier this month. The award, which is valued at £1.1 million, was presented at a ceremony at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. In his acceptance speech Fr Halík warned that western society had sacrificed Christian altruism for secular tolerance and that this mentality led to ghettoisation and a culture in which different ethnic groups did not mix.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Britain told the bishops of England and Wales that Pope Francis personally supports Cardinal Vincent Nichols over his criticism earlier this year of the Government’s welfare reforms.
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?”