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Church workers fight fear, myths as Ebola worsens in Sierra Leone

It is hard for people in Sierra Leone not to lose hope as the death toll rises and worldwide fear grows over the worst Ebola outbreak on record, said the head of Caritas in the archdiocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

"Our situation is desperate," said Fr. Peter Konteh, executive director of Caritas.

In a telephone interview Wednesday from Freetown, Konteh said the mood of the West African country was bleak following the death Tuesday of the doctor who had been leading the country's fight against the highly contagious disease.

Poll: More Italians support abortion rights than cosmetic surgery

As the Catholic church wrestles with changing community attitudes on key social issues, a new Italian survey finds more support for abortion, gay rights and euthanasia than for cosmetic surgery.

According to the survey published in the daily La Stampa this week, 61 percent of Italians support abortion and 76 percent believe they should be able to request the right to die.

Holy Land still safe for pilgrimages, says head of U.S. tour group

The head of a Michigan-based tour company that leads trips to the Holy Land said the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas so far has not had an impact on pilgrimages he and his associates lead.

"Everything is still functioning like in any other normal business day. The sector of tourism industry to the Holy Land is not affected," said Steve Ray, a tour guide and CEO of Footprints of God in Ann Arbor.

AIDS activists praise progress, warn about lingering danger of HIV

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Catholic AIDS activists said they are encouraged by the steady progress being made against HIV, but warned against complacency.

As an estimated 18,000 delegates and visitors to yet another international AIDS conference made their way home from Australia in late July, there were no headlines about how the end of AIDS is just around the corner. There is no cure yet, conference participants heard, and there's unlikely to be one in the near future.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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