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Cardinal defends priestly celibacy

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Two months after taking over as head of the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes has issued a strong and lengthy defence of priestly celibacy...

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Africa, Asia lead Church growth

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The latest Vatican statistics confirm that the Church's population and ministerial workforce are continuing to shift to developing countries, especially those in Africa and Asia...

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Pop star working for God

BOCA RATON, Florida (CNS): Fame brought drugs and the fast life for many pop stars decades ago, but for the singer known as Dion it also came with an emptiness and a voracious hunger for more...

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Cardinal who allowed altar girls dies

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Spanish Cardinal Antonio Javierre Ortas, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, died on February 1 in his apartment near the Vatican...

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Gay adoption disappointment

LONDON (CNS): The president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said he was "deeply disappointed" over the British Government's refusal to exempt 13 Catholic adoption agencies from gay rights regulations...

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Peace plea for Lebanon

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI appealed for an end to conflict in Lebanon and Gaza, then helped children launch two doves to symbolise the search for peace around the world...

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Heaven: Is it divine or dull?

What is heaven really like? An Italian Bible scholar believes the Church is underselling heaven and needs to do more to portray it as a place to aspire to after death. Vatican correspondent JOHN THAVIS reports.

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