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Syrian bishop says nuns' kidnapping shocks, frightens Christians

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The kidnapping of five Orthodox nuns from a Christian village near Damascus has shocked Syria's Christian community and filled many Christians with fear, said Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Syria.

Speaking Tuesday to Vatican Radio, Audo said the latest information is that the superior and four of the nuns belonging to the Orthodox Monastery of Santa Tecla in Maaloula were kidnapped during the night Sunday and taken to Yabrud, a city nearby.

"We have no more information," he said.

Al-Azhar officials hoping to restart stalled talks with Vatican

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Officials at Egypt's Al-Azhar University said they are eagerly awaiting a message from the Vatican that could jump-start their stalled talks.

Their dialogue faltered and was eventually suspended altogether by Al-Azhar in 2011 after a series of remarks made by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Mahmoud Azab, adviser on dialogue to Al-Azhar's grand imam, Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, told Catholic News Service that Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for Egypt's Catholic church, informed them a Vatican envoy would visit Dec. 3.

Archbishop urges steps to address 'ethical challenge' of climate change

Climate change represents an "ethical challenge to civilization," said the Vatican's lead representative to an international conference discussing the worldwide impact of climate change.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore told attendees at a church-run conference that the Vatican would help "form consciences and ethical perspectives" on climate change in line with Catholic social teaching and encourage "fairness, impartiality and mutual responsibility" when it came to action to address the environmental threat.

'Bishop Bling' pays fine in perjury case

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The so-called "luxury bishop" or "Bishop Bling" of Limburg agreed to pay a fine of 20,000 euros rather than contest charges that he perjured himself before the Hamburg District Court.

The court press office announced Monday that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had paid the fine, which is about $27,000. Hamburg prosecutors had charged him with lying to the court in a case involving the magazine Der Spiegel.

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In This Issue

February 27- March 12, 2015

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