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Bishops in southern Africa take fight against corruption into the pews

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The bishops of southern Africa said corruption is rampant in the region and called on all Catholics to take a pledge not to pay or offer bribes.

"If you experience corruption, report it," the bishops of South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland urged in a pastoral letter, noting that "bribery, collusion and all other forms of corruption thrive in conditions of secrecy and concealment, and they persist because we allow them to continue."

Church leaders assess damage after strong quake in central Philippines

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Bishop Leonardo Medroso of Tagbilaran said the church in central Philippines was still assessing damage after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake left dozens dead.

The bishop, who said the Tuesday quake "was so strong," told the Asian church news portal ucanews.com that Spanish-era churches in the towns of Loon and Carmen collapsed. At least two people were reported trapped inside the Loon church, the bishop added.

Reports said the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon, considered one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, was also heavily damaged.

Malaysian court rules Catholic newspaper cannot use 'Allah'

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A Malaysian court said a Catholic newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God in its Malay-language edition.

A judge in the three-member appeals court said use of "the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity. ... The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community."

Jesuit Fr. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Herald, a Kuala Lumpur-based Catholic weekly, expressed disappointment in the ruling. Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, the paper's publisher, said the church would appeal the ruling.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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