"Both candidates said that whatever their status is after the elections, either as the winner or as the loser, they will both welcome the Holy Father."
The government of Sierra Leone banned public Christmas and New Year's celebrations because they may exacerbate efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus.
President Ernest Bai Koroma said that despite immense help from the international community, the number of people infected with the virus continues to rise.
Ebola infections in Sierra Leone recently surpassed those of Liberia and Guinea.
While abuse in the church was "sickening" and "shameful," the great majority of cases occurred in non-institutional settings, wrote Archbishop Anthony Fisher.
"Obedience and closed environments also seem to have had a role in the prevalence of abuse within some religious orders and dioceses."
Faith and Justice: "It wasn't all Muslims against all Christians in the country. ... This is not, in fact, a religious war."
While Vatican officials are busy working with other religious groups in formulating a collective message on nuclear disarmament, no-nukes activists are looking for ways to influence the actions of their faith leaders.
Vatican officials traveled to Vienna for the third international conference to examine the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons Dec. 8-9 and delivered a message from Pope Francis calling for nations with nuclear arsenals to find a way to rid themselves, and the world, of these kinds of arms.
Latin American church leaders apologized for historical complicity with colonial atrocities in the Amazon and called for a church with an "Amazonian face" in a pastoral letter issued as negotiators from around the world met for a climate summit here.
"The exploitation of the Amazon through mining, the expansion of farming and ranching, road construction, hydroelectric dams and timber companies demand that the church take a more prophetic stance," they wrote.
Citing an order “to treat respectfully Creation,” a group of Catholic bishops have called for an end of the use of fossil fuels, and for negotiators at the United Nations climate talks in Lima, Peru, to lay the foundation for an internationally binding agreement next year in Paris.
“Humankind on the Planet Earth is ordained to live in equity, justice and dignity, peace and harmony in the midst of the order of Creation. Humankind is ordered to treat respectfully Creation, which has a value in itself,” the bishops said.
As the United Nations climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, entered its high-level negotiating period, lights of hope lit Sunday night around the world.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn also said open controversy is "absolutely essential" when discussing the future of the Catholic church.