National Catholic Reporter

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Rome

Children need heterosexual parents, Pope Francis says after gay pride march

Pope Francis on Sunday stressed the importance of children having heterosexual parents, just a day after Rome's gay pride march demonstrated the changing attitudes about same-sex couples outside the Vatican walls.

Addressing around 25,000 followers from the diocese of Rome, the pope said the differences between men and women are fundamental and "an integral part of being human."

The pope likened a long-lasting marriage to a good wine, in which a husband and wife make the most of their gender differences.

Celebrating Corpus Christi feast, Pope Francis honors persecuted Christians

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The Eucharist is the seal of God's covenant, uniting Christians and giving them the strength to bring God's love to others, even when faith carries a high price, Pope Francis said.

Celebrating the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ with an evening Mass outside Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran on Thursday, Pope Francis said the church and its members will never cease being in awe of the Eucharist.

As the sun began to set, the Mass was followed by a traditional Corpus Christi procession from St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one mile away.

Pope Francis to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at prison, wash feet of detainees

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Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at a Rome prison and wash the feet of male and female inmates.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that the pope will visit the Rebibbia detention facility on the outskirts of the capital April 2, then celebrate Mass in Our Father Church on the grounds of the complex. During the Mass, the pope will wash the feet of male inmates from Rebibbia and female inmates from a nearby women's prison.

Carmelite draws from life of Elijah for pope, Curia's Lenten retreat

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The Lenten journey of conversion requires Christians to rediscover the "deepest truth" about themselves, cast off their masks and take on the courage to live truth, a prominent Carmelite priest told the pope and Vatican officials.

In the first days of Lenten spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia, the church's central administration, Carmelite Fr. Bruno Secondin drew from the life of the prophet Elijah to invite Vatican officials to reflect on whether their hearts "really belong to the Lord" or whether they rely on external gestures.

Italy and Vatican on guard after threat from Islamic State

The Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy "the nation signed with the blood of the cross."

Italy is one of a handful of major Western counties that has not been victim of a large-scale terror assault since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.

Italian officials fear extremists could enter the country amid the growing tide of refugees arriving by boat from North Africa. About 500 extra troops have been stationed to guard symbolic targets in Rome and monitor the streets of the capital for suspicious activity.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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