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Pope takes time out for retreat

CONTINUING an 80-year-old papal tradition, Pope Benedict XVI this week cancelled regular audiences and cleared his calendar to make a weeklong Lenten retreat...

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Love of the cross stands for life

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Contemplating Christ nailed to the cross should stimulate people to protect human dignity and "to fight every form of contempt for life", Pope Benedict XVI says in his 2007 message for Lent...

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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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