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Vatican

Francis issues cry for peace, starting in Syria

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Christians regard Jesus as the Prince of Peace, and popes generally use their Christmas day Urbi et Orbi address, “to the city and the world,” to express hopes for peace in various global hot spots.

Francis continued that tradition today, beginning with the conflict in Syria and then going on to mention the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Nigeria, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Francis accents 'vulnerability' of God

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In his first Christmas homily as pope, Francis tonight underlined the “vulnerability” embraced by God in choosing to become a poor human being in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Pope Francis celebrated the Vatican’s traditional Christmas vigil Mass this evening in St. Peter’s Basilica, with the Vatican reporting that it had received a record number of requests from people seeking to take part in the Mass.

Man dies after setting himself on fire in St. Peter's Square

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An unidentified 51-year-old man died Sunday, three days after setting himself on fire in St. Peter's Square.

Italian news reports said the man, who had third-degree burns on almost 50 percent of his body, died at Rome's Sant'Eugenio Hospital.

At about 8:30 a.m. Dec. 19, the man entered St. Peter's Square carrying a bottle of gasoline. At the end of the colonnade near Piazza Pio XII, he doused himself with the fuel and lit himself aflame.

Hospital visit shows for Francis, 'It's the attitudes, stupid!'

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Every so often a day rolls around that seems to perfectly sum up the arc of a story, and Saturday, Dec. 21, felt like one of those days vis-à-vis the priority of attitudes over structures in Pope Francis’ ongoing reform campaign.

Indeed, if the Vatican under Francis were the 1992 Clinton campaign, there might well be a sign in room 201 of the Casa Santa Marta reading: “It’s the attitudes, stupid!”

Pope says Vatican shouldn't be 'bureaucratic customs house'

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In what amounts to his first “State of the Union” speech, Pope Francis warned Dec. 21 that without a spirit of service the Vatican risks becoming no more than a “heavy bureaucratic customs house,” and insisted that its personnel shouldn’t constantly be “inspecting and questioning.”

The pope did not roll out a specific reform plan, but laid out the basic values he believes curial personnel must have: professionalism and a dedication to service.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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