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CNEWA disburses $1.8 million to 24,000 families in the Middle East

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The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a papal agency based in New York City, issued an update Tuesday in the form of a press release on its work to aid families in need in the Middle East.

According to the CNEWA press release:

Since May 2012, CNEWA has disbursed U.S. $1,799,767 for more than 24,069 needy displaced Syrian families and 24,234 children; the Christians of different denominations make up more than 80 percent of aid recipients.

Vatican official says UN framework is best way to fight terrorism

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The United Nations' framework provides the "only viable way" of dealing with the global nature of modern terrorism "which knows no borders," the Vatican's secretary of state told the U.N. General Assembly on Monday.

"This reality requires a renewed United Nations that undertakes to foster and preserve peace," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, emphasizing that recent terrorist activity is "criminal behavior that is not envisaged by the juridical configuration of the United Nations charter."

Vatican, Vietnam hope to foster closer relations

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The Vatican aims to restore diplomatic ties with the Vietnam government, which in return pledged to support local Catholics' involvement in the country's social and charitable activities after the two sides' latest talk.

The Vatican delegation, led by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, Vatican's Under-Secretary for Relations with States, worked with the Vietnamese delegation, led by Bui Thanh Son, deputy minister for foreign affairs, Sept. 10-11 in Hanoi.

Religious leaders try to cope with Islamic State attacks

Religious leaders agree the Islamic State must be stopped. Their struggle is how best to do it.

"As mainstream religious leaders of different faiths get together, it strengthens the voice of moderation," said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group.

A group of mainstream Muslim scholars sought to strip the Iraqi and Syrian militants of any legitimacy under the cover of Islam in an open letter in Arabic issued Wednesday.​​

Pope's Mideast ambassadors to summit at Vatican

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The Vatican's seven ambassadors throughout the Middle East will hold a summit at the Vatican this week that will be addressed by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Pope Francis.

Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi announced the convening of the Vatican officials, formally known as apostolic nuncios, in a short press briefing Tuesday.

While neither Lombardi nor a statement issued by the Vatican gives firm reasoning for the summit, it comes as focus around the world is centered on efforts to combat the Islamic State militant group.

Hong Kong Cardinal Tong appeals for government restraint, calm protests

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Monday evening, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents continued to swarm the streets inside and around the administrative region's Central District in a more festive, peaceful, even prayerful mood following a clash with police Sunday, when they launched their civil disobedience movement for democracy.

English Catholic bishop resigns, admits affair with woman

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An English Catholic bishop has resigned after admitting that he has been "unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest."

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, chairman of the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said in a statement that he would step down "with immediate effect."

"I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors," Conry said in a statement read out in parishes of his diocese at Masses Saturday and Sunday.

Syrian refugees' reactions mixed to airstrikes against Islamic State

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Ask Syrian refugees sheltering in neighboring Jordan about the advent of U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State militants in their homeland, and the reactions will be mixed.

Some welcome the surprise military intervention, saying it could lead to ending the nearly 4-year-old war in Syria and diminish the power of Islamic State fighters and other terrorist groups operating in the country.

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October 10-23, 2014

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