National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican

Vatican raffles pope gifts to raise money for poor

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Like many Catholic parishes, the Vatican has turned to a raffle to raise money; the difference is, though, the prizes are items originally given as gifts to Pope Francis.

For 10 euros -- about $12.50 -- anyone can go to the Vatican post office or pharmacy and buy a chance to win a Fiat Panda 4x4, a small SUV "fully loaded" with every option available, the Vatican said. Tickets are not for sale on the Internet or anywhere outside Vatican City.

Italy promises to return 23 million euros to Vatican bank

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In what the Vatican bank described as recognition that it has established serious measures to prevent money laundering, it announced the Italian government has promised to return 23 million euros (U.S. $29 million) that had been blocked for more than three years.

Even though the Italian government in 2011 said it was releasing the funds, the Italians believed "issues regarding customer due diligence remained unsolved" and so held on to the funds, said a statement Tuesday from the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal name of what is commonly called the Vatican bank.

Little acts of love, kindness and faith add up to holiness, pope says

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All Christians are called to holiness and to take even little steps each day to be more loving and more Christ-like, Pope Francis said.

"Some think that holiness is closing your eyes and making the face of a plastic statue, but that's not holiness," the pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience.

Holiness is something much greater, much more profound than looking like an image on a holy card, he said. "It is living with love and offering your own Christian witness in your daily tasks."

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