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French court orders removal of St. John Paul II statue from town square

A French court has told authorities in Ploermel, France, to remove the small town's statue of St. John Paul II on claims the statue's placement in a public square violated the separation of church and state.

While the court said the statue's location and size are "ostentatious" in nature, the main issue was not with the image of the pope, but rather, the public display of the statue under a cross, according to a Vatican Radio report Wednesday.

Vatican newspaper blasts Muhammad cartoons as pouring 'gasoline on the fire'

The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper blasted a series of cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad as "blasphemous" but also condemned the "mad and bloodthirsty" extremists who opened fire at a Texas exhibit of the cartoons.

The front-page article in L'Osservatore Romano likened the exhibit in Garland, Texas, to pouring "gasoline on the fire" of religious sensitivities and was critical of its sponsors, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, and professional provocateur Pamela Geller.

It's not enough to love Francis; you must live his teachings, archbishop says

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Wake up and take action; Pope Francis makes this call in "The Joy of the Gospel," but it seems people "are still sleeping, caught up in a million secondary things," Archbishop Victor Fernandez said.

In his short guide on how to apply the pope's apostolic exhortation -- Evangelii Gaudium in Latin -- the Argentine archbishop said if the teachings in the document were taken seriously, church communities would see significant changes, renewal, life and new energy.

Archbishop, citing Olympic champion, says migrants should not be feared

An English archbishop has reminded Catholics of the achievements of one of their country's most famous migrant athletes just days ahead of a general election in which immigration will feature as a major issue.

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, vice president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, held up Mo Farah as an example of why migrants should not be feared, saying his life was a "wonderful story of optimism and hope."

Deal imports American bottom-line accounting to Italy's Catholic churches

A number of Catholic parishes in Italy are set for a management overhaul following a new training program launched on Tuesday between the Villanova School of Business and the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

The deal signed between the two universities will see Villanova bring educators from its Center for Church Management and Business Ethics to the classroom in Rome.

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May 22-June 4, 2015

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