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Vatican

Cardinal Burke: Synod should take Communion proposal 'off the table'

The highest ranking U.S. bishop at the Vatican says this month's Synod of Bishops on the family should mark the end of a high-level debate over whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

"The matter really has to be clarified at this point so that this doesn't continue," Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, told Catholic News Service on Wednesday. "For this to go on for another year, it can only do harm."

Pope: Use gifts to benefit church, not create division, envy, annoyance

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Everyone has a special gift to offer the whole church, just make sure it is used to serve everyone and not to puff up one's own pride or to create division, Pope Francis said.

"It is a gift that God has given to someone not because he or she is a better person than someone else or because she or he deserves it," the pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Pope: Greed, throwaway culture fuel 'hidden euthanasia' of elderly

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Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.

In the presence of his predecessor, Pope Francis also thanked retired Pope Benedict XVI for staying to live at the Vatican and being like "a wise grandfather at home."

"A people who don't take care of their grandparents and don't treat them well is a people with no future. Why no future? Because they lose the memory [of the past] and they sever their own roots," he said.

Vatican warns against misinterpreting international law, human rights

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The Vatican formally criticized a U.N. committee's "grave misunderstanding" of state sovereignty and reiterated its concerns over "controversial new expressions" that threaten the unborn and religious freedom.

By insisting the Holy See should enforce the compliance of Catholics all over the world with international treaties signed by the Vatican, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child "offers a controversial new approach to 'jurisdiction,' which clearly contradicts the general understanding of this concept of international law."

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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