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Force alone cannot stop 'religious cleansing' in Mideast, custos says

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Although Christians, Muslims and Jews have struggled for hundreds of years to live peacefully alongside each other in the Middle East, "we have never seen the kind of 'religious cleansing' we are witnessing today," said the head of the region's Franciscans.

"All religious communities must raise their voices against this abomination" being carried out, particularly in Iraq and Syria, by terrorists calling themselves the Islamic State, said Franciscan Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custos of the Holy Land.

Pope names new archbishops of Madrid, Valencia

Pope Francis reassigned two prominent Spanish bishops, giving a new leader to the country's largest diocese and leaving a vacancy at the head of the Vatican's liturgical office.

The Vatican announced Thursday that the pope had named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra as the new archbishop of Madrid and Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera to be archbishop of Valencia, in eastern Spain.

Syriac patriarch calls Islamic State actions 'attempted genocide'

Returning from a visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State invasion "pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide."

"What we, the five patriarchs, saw in Ankawa, Irbil and other cities of Kurdistan, was something indescribable in terms of the violation of human rights and the threat of disappearing of various communities among the vulnerable minorities of Northern Iraq," Younan said. "It is a pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide.

Liberian bishop: Lack of proper health care facilitates rapid spread of Ebola

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The emergence of Ebola in West Africa ought to be an "awakening for Liberia and for the world of the need for proper health care," said Bishop Andrew Karnley of the diocese of Cape Palmas, Liberia.

The bishop, who has been on a mission appeal tour in St. Louis and meeting with church officials in New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, spoke with NCR on Sunday at the headquarters of the SMA Fathers here. Karnley called health care "a basic human right, not a privilege."

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