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Two Nigerian archbishops suspend sign of peace to help prevent Ebola

In an effort to curtail the spread of Ebola, the archdioceses of Lagos and Abuja instructed their priests to suspend all forms of physical contact during Mass, including the traditional sign of peace.

"Taking into consideration the fact that this rite is optional, we shall henceforth omit it, i.e., not invite people to offer the sign of peace. When you get to this rite, skip it," Lagos Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins said in a statement Sunday.

As Ebola deaths rise, Ghana's bishops urge screening at seaports

As the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency in West Africa, Ghana's bishops urged their government to be extra vigilant in screening people who enter the country by sea.

To avoid Ebola spreading from other West African countries to Ghana, officials at all entry points "should be alert and well-equipped to screen people" so they can "isolate and deal with possible cases," the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a statement Thursday signed by its president, Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong.

Pope sends envoy to Iraq to deliver message of support and aid embattled Christians

Pope Francis is dispatching Cardinal Fernando Filoni as his personal envoy to northern Iraq, where Islamist militias have sent thousands of Christians and other religious minorities fleeing for their lives, the Vatican said Friday.

The Vatican announced the appointment of Filoni, a former papal nuncio to Iraq and Jordan, only a day after the pope launched a fresh appeal for the welfare of Christians affected by the violence there.

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August 28-September 10, 2015

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