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Caritas Manila, CRS send aid to communities flooded by tropical storm

Catholic aid agencies were involved in efforts to help people who were flooded out of their homes by a tropical storm in the northern Philippines.

A downpour inundated Manila and surrounding communities for 24 hours starting Thursday evening. Forecasters expected that the heavy rain would continue through Saturday.

Emergency response officials said 25 percent of the capital region was under water and nearly 500,000 people were affected by the twin impact of Tropical Storm Fung-Wong and late-summer monsoons.

Chilean cardinal urges people to change their ways to dispel fear

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Under strong security measures, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello led the traditional ecumenical "Te Deum" service Thursday to celebrate Chile's national holidays and urged people to change their ways to dispel fear.

Before a metropolitan cathedral packed with government officials -- among them President Michelle Bachelet, congressmen and military -- and leaders of other religious faiths, the cardinal referred to the bombing at the Escuela Militar subway station that injured 14 people Sept. 8.

Nuncio: World won't be more 'genuinely' human unless all work for peace

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Peace is never achieved once and for all, but is the fruit of a daily quest for greater justice and respect for one another, the new papal nuncio to the United Nations said Monday.

For believers, it is not merely a result of human efforts, but also a gift from the Almighty, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said.

He spoke at a prayer service on the eve of the opening of the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly. It was his first official function since arriving Sept. 8 in New York. He was the nuncio to Haiti from 2008 until July 1.

Lessons from the Levant

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The picture was perfect. Four patriarchs of the Maronite, Melkite, Syrian Orthodox and Syrian Catholic churches with the catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church sat side by side on the stage on Thursday in Washington at the In Defense of Christians Inaugural Summit. More remarkable was the coherence of the patriarchs' message: Not just Christians, but all religions of the Middle East, including Islam and Judaism, need protection. The future of the region, they declared, must be found in pluralism and inclusion.

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