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Vatican

Survey claims 'Francis Effect' on Catholic wallets

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Pope Francis' enormous popularity may not have translated into more parishioners in the pews or penitents in the confessional, but a new survey indicates it may be persuading Catholics to dig deep and give more to the poor -- another priority for the pontiff, who was elected a year ago Thursday.

The survey shows that one in four U.S. Catholics say they have increased their charitable giving in the past year, and 77 percent of them say it's because of Francis.

Portuguese Cardinal Policarpo, 78, dies while on retreat

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Portuguese Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, the retired archbishop of Lisbon, died Wednesday at the age of 78, apparently of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. He had been on retreat in Fatima when he experienced chest pains and was taken to a hospital in Lisbon, where he died.

He led the church in Portugal from 1998 to 2013, serving as archbishop or, officially, as "patriarch of Lisbon." Made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2001, he participated in the 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI and in the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.

Cardinal calls to maintain, yet reinterpret, doctrine to help families

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In its approach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the Catholic church needs to find a middle ground that does not destroy or abandon doctrine, but offers a "renewed" interpretation of church teaching in order to help those whose marriages have failed, Cardinal Walter Kasper said.

"I propose a path that goes beyond strictness and leniency," the German cardinal and theologian told Vatican Radio on Monday.

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August 15-28, 2014

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