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Francis creates secretariat to elevate, consolidate Vatican communications

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Pope Francis has consolidated and elevated the level of importance of the Vatican's different communications enterprises, creating a new high-level Secretariat for Communications tasked with carrying out work before undertaken by nine separate offices.

The new secretariat becomes only the third of its type at the highest levels of the Vatican bureaucracy, joining church departments that oversee foreign and internal relations and economic matters in importance.

Constitutional blocks in Myanmar impede Aung San Suu Kyi’s presidential pursuit

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 The military lock on the government of Burma, now known as Myanmar, continues. According to the Associated Press, the country’s pariliment voted Thursday against several constitutional amendments aimed at ending the military’s veto power and allowing opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi a shot at the presidency.

From the report:  

Another side to Chicago's Cardinal Francis George on LGBT issues

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I was a longtime friend and confrere of Cardinal Francis George before I left the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and married my husband, Jeff Jackson. I had sent the cardinal a copy of my book, Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey, and his positive written reaction to that memoir, which explores my integration of sexuality, spirituality, and relationship, has given me hope for the Catholic church.

Battling fear in a post-Charleston world

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On Sunday, for the first time in my life, I experienced fear in Bible study. A well-dressed stranger sat down at our table, and my mind went to a place I never thought it would at a time like that: "Is this man going to discuss Scripture with us for an hour and then pull out a gun and kill us?"

In post-9/11 New York, I often experienced fear in the subway, walking by tourist sites and going to top floors in high-rises. But church was always a safe refuge, emotionally and physically.

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