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Scotland passes same-sex marriage law, with opt-in for religious groups

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The Scottish Parliament has passed a bill that will allow same-sex marriages to be performed later this year, but religious organizations have the right not to perform them.

Members of the Scottish Parliament supported the legislation, 105-18, at the end of a debate Tuesday and applauded when the result was announced.

Lawmakers had rejected pleas from the Catholic church to oppose the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill and also resisted attempts to amend it.

Queen Elizabeth to visit Pope Francis at Vatican on April 3

The Queen of England will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican in April, Buckingham Palace announced.

A Feb. 4 statement said Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will meet the pope on April 3.

The queen and prince will visit Rome at the invitation of Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the statement said.

It said the royal couple would attend a private lunch hosted by the president at the presidential palace, then would have an audience with the pope at the Vatican.

St. Louis Ukrainian Catholics pray, worry as unrest unfolds in homeland

Olga Shulga said her father has never lived in fear. So when she learned he had joined the protesters in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, she wasn't all that surprised.

Shulga and her husband, Alex, members of St. Mary's Assumption Ukrainian Catholic Parish in St. Louis, are among those prayerfully watching as the unrest continues to unfold in Ukraine.

Scottish Catholic agency will not have to consider same-sex adopters

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A Catholic adoption agency in Scotland has won an appeal that allows it to remain functioning without assessing gay couples as possible adopters and foster parents.

The ruling Friday by the Scottish Charity Appeals Panel means that Glasgow-based St. Margaret's Children and Family Care Society has become the only Catholic adoption agency in Britain to stay open as an agency operating in accordance with the teachings of the church on marriage and human sexuality.

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December 5-18, 2014

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