National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican

Israeli president invites pope to visit Israel, 'the sooner the better'

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Israeli President Shimon Peres officially invited Pope Francis to Israel, telling the pope "the sooner you visit the better, as in these days a new opportunity is being created for peace, and your arrival could contribute significantly to increasing the trust and belief in peace."

The Israeli president's remarks were reported in a statement released by the Israeli Embassy to the Vatican after Peres met Pope Francis on Tuesday.

Pope Francis calls for end to 'slave labor'

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Marking the feast of St Joseph the Worker and World Labor Day today, Pope Francis made an appeal worldwide to take decisive steps to end slave labor.

Speaking during his general audience in Italian he said: “I would like to add a word about another particular work situation that concerns me. I am referring to what we could define as ‘slave labor’, the work that enslaves. How many people worldwide are victims of this type of slavery, in which the person is at the service of his or her work, while work should offer a service to people so they may have dignity?

John Paul II, Oscar Romero and the politics of making saints

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Reports this week that the late Pope John Paul II may be on the verge of sainthood after a second miracle was credited to his intercession aren't a huge surprise: When he died eight years ago, crowds were already clamoring for his canonization, and Pope Benedict XVI quickly waived the usual five-year waiting period to get the process rolling.

Pope calls on Venezuelan leaders to resolve political crisis peacefully

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Pope Francis called on Venezuela's political leaders to resolve their differences through respectful dialogue and he urged the nation's people to reject all forms of violence as the country seeks to move ahead.

Venezuelans went to the polls April 14 to elect a successor to President Hugo Chavez, the socialist who died of complications from cancer March 5.

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