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Once Pope Francis knows US capitalism, he will love it, says Catholic theologian-economist

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Fr. Martin Schlag is a trained economist as well as a Catholic moral theologian, and when he first read some of Pope Francis’ powerful critiques of the current free market system, he had the same thought a lot of Americans did: “Just horrible.”

But at a meeting Monday at the Harvard Club, Schlag, an Austrian-born priest who teaches economics at an Opus Dei-run university in Rome, reassured a group of Catholics, many from the world of business and finance, that Francis’ views on capitalism aren’t actually as bad as he feared.

Nigeria, day one

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I landed  in Abuja, Nigeria, Sunday evening as part of a delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Liberty just as a thunder storm cleared the area. Perhaps this was symbolic because everyone I met today was rejoicing that the recent national elections took place without the violence that so many people had been predicting. (See my Friday column).

Christian leaders hope Palestinian saints can be intercessors for peace

Christian leaders in the Holy Land hope two new Palestinian saints will become intercessors for peace and a bridge among faiths.

"I am sure they follow our situation from heaven and will continue to intercede for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land," Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem said at a news conference May 6. "Their intercession is strong and efficacious."

French court orders removal of St. John Paul II statue from town square

A French court has told authorities in Ploermel, France, to remove the small town's statue of St. John Paul II on claims the statue's placement in a public square violated the separation of church and state.

While the court said the statue's location and size are "ostentatious" in nature, the main issue was not with the image of the pope, but rather, the public display of the statue under a cross, according to a Vatican Radio report Wednesday.

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