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Vatican

Ignore 'prophets of doom' predicting end of religious life, pope says

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Pope Benedict XVI asked nuns, brothers and priests not to listen to the "prophets of doom" who say consecrated life has no future or that it has no meaning in today's world.

"Do not join the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the lack of meaning of consecrated life in today's church; rather clothe yourselves with Jesus Christ and put on the armor of light ... remaining awake and vigilant," Pope Benedict told consecrated virgins and men and women who belong to religious orders.

New cardinals get their assignments to Roman Curia

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Two months after receiving their red hats, the six newest members of the College of Cardinals have received their assignments as members of Vatican congregations, councils and offices -- one of the clearest ways they help Pope Benedict XVI govern the universal church.

While keeping their main jobs, the new assignments allow the cardinals to bring their experience and perspective to bear on the discussions and decisions of the central church offices that assist the pope.

Pope meets Vietnam's Communist Party head

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Diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Vietnam were strengthened in January, officials said, when Pope Benedict XVI met Nguyen Phu Trong, marking the first time a pope had met with the general secretary of the nation's Communist Party.

Trong, who has been general secretary of the party since 2011, was accompanied by an 11-person delegation of other high-level party and government officials. The Vatican was one of a number of stops the delegation had planned in Europe.

Vatican defends pope's Twitter account despite attacks

The Vatican on Thursday defended the pope's choice to open a Twitter account, even if it exposes him to insults and online abuse.

"Twitter is a secular reality ... but we prefer to be present rather than stay away from something just to avoid a risk," said Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the Vatican's department for social communications, during the launch of the annual papal message for World Communications Day.

Pope Benedict XVI opened his Twitter handle @Pontifex on Dec. 3. It has since gathered more than 2.5 million followers in nine languages, including Latin.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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