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Research finds 'secular bias' in Western diplomacy

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The authors of a new paper issued by the Brookings Institute stress the importance of religious literacy in diplomatic dialogue.

Titled "Integrating Religious Engagement Into Diplomacy: Challenges and Opportunities," the paper was written by Peter Mandaville, a professor at George Mason University in Virginia, and Sara Silvestri, a senior lecturer at City University London.

England mulls legalization of in vitro technique giving baby DNA of three parents

Members of Parliament voted Tuesday to allow the creation of human embryos from the DNA of three people to try to eradicate a type of genetic disease that has caused the deaths of thousands of babies.

If the measure also passes Britain's upper chamber, the House of Lords, England would become the first country to legalize the procedure.

"This is world-leading science within a highly respected regulatory regime and for the many families affected, this is light at the end of a very dark tunnel," said Health Minister Jane Ellison.

Chinese Bishop Shi, held in secret for years, dies at 94

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Bishop Cosmas Shi Enxiang of Yixian, 94, a member of the so-called underground Catholic church who has not been seen since his arrest in 2001, has died, a relative said.

Born in Hebei province, Shi was arrested April 13, 2001, Good Friday, at his niece's home in Beijing. He was held without charge in a secret location.

"We were informed by Baoding city government officials on Friday morning, but they did not say when he died exactly or the cause of his death," Shi Chunyan, the bishop's great-niece, told the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com on Saturday.

Preview: From a Memphis monastery to war-torn Guatemala

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An unholy reaction crossed the mind of Sr. Mary Peter Rowland on a day 33 years ago when she first hit the streets of Guatemala, which was supposed to be her new home. Goats and cows still grazed on lots in the capital, Guatemala City, and the unmistakable smell of animal manure wafted through the air.

"Oh, my God, I don't think I can do this," Rowland recalls thinking. "I'm from Brooklyn."

US bishops' group travels to Iraq, meets with those who fled Islamic State

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One of Iraq's Christians chased out of her historic homeland quietly prayed the rosary as a bishop who traveled halfway around the world to meet her and others displaced celebrated Mass for them.

"It's a journey of encountering God, the poor and the dispossessed," Bishop Oscar Cantu, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the gathering in this predominantly Christian enclave in Irbil, capital of the northern Kurdistan region.

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In This Issue

March 27-April 9, 2015

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