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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.

Details on 2015 World Meeting of Families emerge as countdown begins

Sept. 22 marked exactly one year before the start of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, so organizers for the event took the occasion to brief staff of the Philadelphia archdiocese on the latest details.

Registration for the Sept. 22-25 event will begin within several weeks as agreements with speakers for the program are finalized. That part of the planning is ahead of schedule, as registration for the meetings held every three years in a different city typically begins only eight to nine months before the event.

All nations need to respond to terrorism, Vatican official tells U.N.

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Addressing the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, the Vatican's secretary of state said "terrorism represents a fundamental threat to our common humanity" and its escalation requires the response of a "shared commitment" from all nations.

"Nations must come together in order to fulfill our primary responsibility to protect people threatened by violence and direct assaults on their human dignity," Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.

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