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Antilles cardinal-designate wants to remain 'country parish priest'

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Even as he prepares to receive a red biretta from the hands of Pope Francis, Cardinal-designate Kelvin Felix hopes he can continue his ministry as a "country parish priest."

But he admitted he may have a few new assignments from Pope Francis.

The Dominica-born prelate, ordained in 1956, is the first cardinal to be named from the Antilles bishops' conference, based in Trinidad and Tobago.

Ireland plans to reopen Embassy to Holy See, but no date set

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Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin welcomed an Irish government decision to reopen a Vatican Embassy just over three years after closing it.

Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore announced Tuesday that Ireland was preparing to open a scaled-back embassy but gave no date for the reopening.

Gilmore came under sharp criticism in November 2011 when he announced that the embassy would close and a diplomat based in Dublin would represent Ireland at the Vatican.

Ukraine church urges return to peace amid spiraling street violence

The head of the Ukrainian Catholic church appealed for calm as violence worsened between police and pro-European Union demonstrators in Kiev, Ukraine.

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, said Tuesday that he was dismayed and saddened by as violence escalated for the third consecutive day in and around Kiev's Maidan -- or Independence -- Square.

Burkina Faso archbishop says appointment as cardinal was act of grace

When Archbishop Philippe Ouedraogo of Ouagadougou was told he had been named a cardinal Jan. 12, he thought it was someone playing a joke.

The telephone call from Rome was in Italian, a language the prelate hardly understood, and he had not been notified of the pope's decision in advance.

"I asked the caller what the pope wanted from the little bishop of the savannah," Ouedraogo told Burkina Faso's Aouaga.com news agency Jan. 13.

Bishops visiting Holy Land call for help for 'shocking scandal' in Gaza

Bishops from North America, Europe and Africa called on international leaders to act immediately so people living in the Gaza Strip can have access to basic necessities.

"Gaza is a man-made disaster, a shocking scandal, an injustice that cries out to the human community for a resolution. We call upon political leaders to improve the humanitarian situation of the people in Gaza, assuring access to the basic necessities for a dignified human life, the possibilities for economic development and freedom of movement," they said in their statement Thursday.

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May 22-June 4, 2015

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