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Pope, Orthodox patriarch hold ‘summit’ to battle siege of Mideast Christians

Barely six months after his first visit to Cuba, where he was lauded for helping to engineer the historic detente between Havana and the US, Pope Francis is returning Friday for yet another diplomatic triumph. In a private reception room … Continue reading

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Pope gets shoe shine on Cuba-bound plane

ONBOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – A wealthy Mexican-American broadcaster, who shined shoes as a boy to help his single mother, gave Pope Francis’s shoes a quick polish on the papal plane on Friday as a tribute to people struggling … Continue reading

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The Latest: Pope signals hope for visits to China, Russia

HAVANA (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis’s historic meeting in Cuba with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and his subsequent trip to Mexico (all times local): 7:50 a.m. Pope Francis is taking a big step toward improving relations with the … Continue reading

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Millennium after split, pope and Russian church to meet in Cuba

By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) – Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church meet in Havana on Friday, nearly 1,000 years after Eastern Orthodoxy split with Rome, for the first encounter in history between a Roman Catholic … Continue reading

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Russian Orthodox Church allowed to return debt in prayers

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian regional court has ruled that an Orthodox Church diocese can repay part of an outstanding debt in prayers rather than money. In a ruling that went viral Thursday, the Nizhegorodsky Regional Court said the local … Continue reading

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Ahead of Pope’s visit, Mexico gang violence targets priests

Mexico City (AFP) – When Pope Francis arrives in Mexico on Friday he will land in the most dangerous country for priests in Latin America, with dozens killed in the past decade. The drug war that has killed tens of … Continue reading

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Italy’s Renzi rejects Church interference in gay civil unions debate

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi rejected on Friday the Roman Catholic Church’s interference in a parliamentary debate on legislation that offers homosexual couples legal recognition and limited adoption rights. Renzi spoke a day after the head of … Continue reading

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In meeting Pope Francis, patriarch asserts Russia’s role

MOSCOW (AP) — When Patriarch Kirill meets Pope Francis this week, the historic event will allow the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to assert Russia’s leading role in the Eastern Christian world. It may also allow Kirill, a skillful … Continue reading

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Pope departs for Cuba, first stop before Mexico

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has begun a seven-day trip that will take him first to Havana, Cuba, then to Mexico. The Alitalia jet carrying Francis and his entourage departed Friday morning from Rome’s airport. First stop is Havana’s airport, … Continue reading

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Pope heads for historic encounter with Russian patriarch

U.S. The body of a missing California woman likely sat in a Walmart parking lot for months before anyone noticed, according to authorities.  Lauren Moss, 22, was reported missing out of Seaside, Calif., in mid-November, according to Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. John Thornburg. Her … Continue reading

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