Inspirational address

During the Family Synod in October, I was inspired by a single, lay intervention – an address by Romanian Dr Anca-Maria Cernea, and her insistence that the Church is engaged in a spiritual battle in defence of the family, writes Francis Phillips.

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Usually out of mind

Back in the late 1980s, I briefly flirted with the idea of a religious vocation. At one stage I thought I might want to become a Catholic brother, largely because I wasn’t sure about the priesthood, writes John Allen in Crux.

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Accused of lying

A Victorian priest has denied a suggestion from Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he “fabricated" facts to protect Cardinal George Pell from accusations that he had tried to bribe a survivor to keep quiet.

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Fr Cross outside the church

Geraldton’s St Francis Xavier Cathedral, described as the most unique cathedral in Australia, is undergoing a multi-million-dollar restoration to return it to the original glory envisaged by its designer, Msgr John Hawes, nearly a century ago.

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Mgr Greg Bennet

Large numbers of faithful gathered outside the main city cathedrals in Melbourne and Sydney on Sunday to witness the opening of the Holy Door of Mercy.

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Offensive to Christians

Melbourne MP Lizzie Blandthorn has received calls of complaint from residents who claim her dark-skinned baby Jesus is inaccurate and offensive, reports Yahoo7.

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Senator Durbin

A US senator has called on Pope Francis to personally intervene with a cardinal in the Dominican Republic who has made derogatory comments about the openly gay man who is the US ambassador to that country, reports AP/Crux.

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Notre Dame University

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Affected by abuse victim chat

Cardinal George Pell was worried about his planned appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, his former housemate told the inquiry, reports Fairfax Media.

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Surprise survey findings

The main reason most US adults – Christians and many unbelievers, too – give for going to church at Christmas is to “honour Jesus,” according to a new survey from the evangelical research agency LifeWay Research.

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Inside the Vatican bank

The Vatican should be much more aggressive in dealing with people suspected of financial crimes such as money laundering and step up prosecutions and indictments, a European finance watchdog agency says.

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Maximum Christian

The sight of Starbucks cups without snowflakes provoked Donald Trump to call for a boycott and prompted The Washington Post to ask an expert which seasonal iconography has any actual religious significance.

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Archkbishop Kurtz

The leader of the US Bishops has denounced the backlash against Muslims and refugees in the wake of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, apparently by a pair of radicalised Muslims, reports the Religion News Service.

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Third year running

American religion journalists voted Pope Francis their Newsmaker of the Year for the third year in a row, reports the Religion News Service.

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Rocky revisited

Those who saw the original Rocky film might scarcely believe that it is almost 40 years since it was released, was extraordinarily popular and won the Oscar for best film.

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Anti-Islam fear beneath

Let us be clear: lurking under all the justifications for privileging Christians is a toxic fear and dislike of Muslims. The UNHCR guidelines for resettlement are there for a reason, writes Aloysius Mowe.

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Sweeping calls

Pope Francis has called for abolishing the death penalty worldwide, lifting the burden of debt on poor nations, global aid policies that respect life and revamped laws that welcome and integrate migrants, reports the Catholic News Service .

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Notre Dame University

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Notre Dame University

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Back into conflict

A Syrian priest who spent more than four months as a captive of the Islamic State is headed back to the conflict zone – and he wants both Christians and Muslims to embrace mercy, reports the Catholic News Agency.

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