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Vatican

Pope decides to hold 2014 Lenten retreat away from Vatican

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"As a good Jesuit," Pope Francis knows it is best not to try to make a retreat where one lives and works, so he has decided the annual papal Lenten retreat with Roman Curia officials will be held outside Rome, a Vatican spokesman said.

The annual retreat will take place March 9-14 at the Pauline Fathers' retreat and conference center in Ariccia, a town about 20 miles southeast of Rome, said Passionist Fr. Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office.

Vatican comes up to bat with own cricket team, may field female squad

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The Vatican is about to launch its own cricket club and will field a women's squad if it finds enough players.

"It may be that instead of watching players who go out to play with cricket caps on, we're going to have a series who play with veils on as they bat up," said John McCarthy, a former cricket player and Australia's ambassador to the Holy See.

Pope names Vatican City official a bishop for pastoral care of workers

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Saying he wanted to ensure the spiritual care and religious formation of employees, Pope Francis announced he was making the new secretary-general of Vatican City a bishop.

The Vatican announced the pope's decision to make Fr. Fernando Vergez a bishop Tuesday and published the pope's letter explaining the decision. The 68-year-old member of the Legionaries of Christ was named secretary-general in late August.

Pope declares medieval mystic a saint, advances seven other causes

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Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of seven men and women, including a Canadian and an English founder of two religious orders for women.

He also declared the Italian medieval mystic, Blessed Angela of Foligno, a saint, foregoing the usual process of canonization and without formally recognizing a second miracle.

Pope Francis accepted a proposal Wednesday by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, allowing Blessed Angela to become a saint immediately. The Vatican made the announcement Friday.

Archbishop says synod theme shows importance of family for pope

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Pope Francis' decision to call an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in 2014 demonstrates how important he believes the family is and the urgency he sees in responding to problems Christian families face, said the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, council president, said it is obvious that the pastoral challenge of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics will be part of the synod's discussions, just as it's obvious they were part of his private discussions with the pope in mid-September.

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