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Why is Pope Francis spending so much time going after the Mafia?

It began with the death of an innocent 3-year-old boy who burned to death in his grandfather's car in a Mafia ambush in January. Pope Francis was so shaken by the death of Nicola "Coco" Campolongo that he spoke out against the ferocity of the crime and those behind it.

But he didn't stop there. In June, the outspoken pontiff traveled to the southern Italian town where the murder took place and accused Mafia members of pursuing the "adoration of evil." Then he went one step further.

Pope Francis appeals for peace with Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas

As Israel continued its ground offensive into the Gaza Strip, Pope Francis urged Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to end the spiraling conflict.

The pontiff telephoned the two leaders Friday to express "his very serious concerns" only six weeks after both joined him at the Vatican for a historic prayer meeting.

Francis said he was concerned about the "climate of growing hostility, hatred and suffering" that was claiming many victims, resulting in "a serious humanitarian emergency," the Vatican said in a statement.

Vatican editor says England's female bishops vote 'complicates' relations

The Church of England's vote to allow female bishops threatens unity with the Catholic church, according to the editor of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Giovanni Maria Vian, who is also a Rome historian, on Tuesday said the decision would have "an extremely negative impact" on steps to bring the churches closer together despite a positive meeting between Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis a month ago.

Vatican bank issues detailed report, including where it stores its gold

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One week after publishing highlights of its 2013 financial statement, the Institute for the Works of Religion -- commonly called the Vatican bank -- released a 107-page, detailed financial report for the year.

The first statement, released July 8, said the institute's net profit for 2013 was only 2.9 million euros ($3.9 million) compared to 2012 net profits of 86.6 million euros ($117.7 million).

Pope tells patients headache, nausea forced him to cancel visit

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Apologizing for missing his late June visit to the patients and staff at Rome's Gemelli Hospital, Pope Francis explained that a headache he'd had since morning suddenly worsened and he became nauseated, forcing him to cancel the visit at the last minute.

"I hoped it would pass," he said in a video message the Vatican released Sunday. "I really wanted my meeting with you, but as you well know, we are not the masters of our lives and cannot do everything we want."

"We must accept fragility," the 77-year-old pope said.

Pope Francis meets US televangelists, and the first-ever 'papal high-five' follows

 What does it take to produce the first-ever papal high-five? A meeting with American televangelists, apparently.

The gesture came during a three-hour meeting of Pope Francis and Texas televangelists Kenneth Copeland and James Robison, just weeks after the pontiff met with televangelist Joel Osteen and other religious leaders. At the June 24 meeting, Robison said he was so moved by Pope Francis' message of the Gospel that he asked the translator to ask Francis for a high-five. The pope obliged, raised his arm and the two men smacked hands.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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