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Vatican

Pope Francis to head to Latin America for 'homecoming' trip

Pope Francis will depart Sunday on a much-anticipated trip to Latin America, seen as a homecoming for the Argentine pope and likely to draw attention to key challenges in the region.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio shocked the world in 2013 when he became the first Latin American to be elected pope. More than two years later, the former archbishop of Buenos Aires continues to surprise Vatican watchers with his ambitious reform agenda and lively personality.

Catholic economist: Pope Francis has 'measured' critique of US economy

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Harsh criticisms meted out by Pope Francis on free-market capitalism have sparked backlash from some fiscal conservatives and have led some people to call him "anti-capitalist" or even Marxist.

Ahead of his apostolic visit to the United States in September, some are bracing themselves for more criticisms from the pope, this time directed specifically at the U.S. culture and economy.

St. Therese's parents to be first married couple canonized together

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The parents of St. Therese of Lisieux will be canonized Oct. 18 at the Vatican during the Synod of Bishops on the family.

Louis Martin (1823-1894) and Marie Zelie Guerin Martin (1831-1877) will be the first married couple with children to be canonized in the same ceremony. Other married couples are among the blesseds of the church.

Pope Francis issued the decree approving their canonization Saturday during the public consistory on canonizations at the Vatican; more than 40 cardinals attended.

Francis creates secretariat to elevate, consolidate Vatican communications

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Pope Francis has consolidated and elevated the level of importance of the Vatican's different communications enterprises, creating a new high-level Secretariat for Communications tasked with carrying out work before undertaken by nine separate offices.

The new secretariat becomes only the third of its type at the highest levels of the Vatican bureaucracy, joining church departments that oversee foreign and internal relations and economic matters in importance.

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