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France

French Catholics want countries to quit buying oil from Islamic State

French Catholics have urged church support for a campaign to stop Western companies from buying oil from the Islamic State group, in effect funding the mass killing of Christians.

"Our brothers and sisters are being massacred, women and children taken into slavery -- and while Christians are suffering most, so are Muslims and other minorities," said Joseph Thouvenel, vice president of the French Confederation of Christian Workers.

Study day on synod did not aim to change doctrine, spokesman says

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The presidents of the bishops' conferences of Germany, France and Switzerland decided their preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family could benefit from listening to theologians, biblical scholars and canon lawyers from all three countries, said the spokesman for the German bishops.

"It was a real fruitful discussion and very broad and that was important; it was not just about the hot topics" of divorce and homosexuality, Matthias Kopp, the spokesman, told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.

French court orders removal of St. John Paul II statue from town square

A French court has told authorities in Ploermel, France, to remove the small town's statue of St. John Paul II on claims the statue's placement in a public square violated the separation of church and state.

While the court said the statue's location and size are "ostentatious" in nature, the main issue was not with the image of the pope, but rather, the public display of the statue under a cross, according to a Vatican Radio report Wednesday.

France says Vatican has not issued response for proposed ambassador

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Despite media reports that Pope Francis refused the candidate that France proposed as its next ambassador to the Holy See, the French government has yet to receive an official response from the Vatican, said a spokesperson for the French government.

"For the moment, we wait," said Stephane Le Foll.

During a press briefing Wednesday in Paris, Le Foll confirmed that Pope Francis met with the proposed candidate, Laurent Stefanini. However, Le Foll discounted reports claiming the pope did not approve the nomination.

A national campaign for 'Islam a la Francaise' takes root amid growing radicalization

Sunlight slants across a classroom at the Catholic University of Lyon, where the Bible dominates an evening lecture.

The subject may not seem surprising in this ancient city that was once a bastion of French Catholicism and a hub for Christian missionaries. But the dozen or so people jotting notes are not theology students.

One young woman wears a headscarf. A man sports the beard of a devout Muslim. Still others are non-Muslim civil servants working for the local government.

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July 17-30, 2015

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