National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican

Adult stem cells offer ethical, effective cures, speakers say

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Finding safe and effective cures to disease and illness does not have to go against moral and ethical principles; that was the message of a three-day conference at the Vatican on adult stem-cell therapies.

"To address global suffering, one does not have to choose between faith and science. ... These two ideas fit together symbiotically," said Dr. Robin Smith, chairman and CEO of the for-profit NeoStem biopharmaceutical company and president of its nonprofit Stem for Life Foundation.

Awaiting the surprises of a merciful God, like Francis asks

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My first take on Pope Francis was that he is masterful in the use of symbols. More recently, I'm asking myself if his core strength is a simplicity and transparency so attuned with the Gospels they shine through him, preached almost without words.

Most NCR readers I've spoken with seem to take one of two approaches to this young pontificate, both encouraging, one more guarded.

Vatican office looks at challenges facing couples from different faiths

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Catholics need to know that marrying someone from a different Christian community or, even more so, from a different religion will create extra challenges in their marriage, but church leaders also must learn how to help people in mixed marriages meet those challenges, a Vatican official said.

"We can express a positive judgment only when the conditions are met for a family life where the values and purposes of marriage are respected, and where a common faith in God helps the spouses to weave together an authentic communion of life and love," said Bishop Jean Laffitte.

Being Christian means acting, loving like Christ, pope says at audience

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A Christian isn't a person who simply follows some commandments, but is a person who tries to think like Christ, "act like him, love like him," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

More than 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the audience Wednesday; the crowd included a group whose presence Pope Francis described -- with a smile -- as "very important": directors of Argentina's San Lorenzo de Almagro soccer team, which has been his favorite team since he was a child.

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April 25-May 8, 2014

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