National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican

The pope's 'staycation': Correspondence, trip preparation fill his days

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Returning to the Vatican in the midst of a heat wave after an eight-day, three-country trip to South America, Pope Francis took the kind of vacation he said he prefers: what has become known as a "staycation."

With the exception of a meeting Tuesday with a group of mayors from around the world and the Sunday recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis' schedule was cleared of meetings, audiences and public appearances July 13-Aug. 4.

Pope Francis' US approval rates slump sharply, led by conservative dismay

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Growing conservative disaffection with Pope Francis appears to be taking a toll on his once Teflon-grade popularity in the U.S., with a new Gallup poll showing the pope's favorability rating among all Americans dropping to 59 percent from a 76 percent peak early last year.

Among conservatives, the drop-off has been especially sharp: Just 45 percent view Francis favorably today, as opposed to 72 percent a year ago.

Bishop: Vatican is free to work with everyone, UN is not the 'devil'

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The United Nations is not "the devil," so a papal think tank is free to collaborate with the international body as well as people of any political persuasion, said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

The church will continue to collaborate with the United Nations on any joint project that "does not go against the doctrine of the church," he said at a news conference July 15.

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