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Vatican City

Vatican to send $3.5 million to help church response to Ebola

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The Vatican is helping Catholic dioceses and agencies step up the fight against Ebola and is urging other donors to help.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace announced Wednesday that the Holy See would be making a "financial contribution" to support church-sponsored assistance to those affected by the Ebola outbreak. Vatican Radio reported the sum would be $3.5 million.

Pope Francis: A world without mothers would be inhumane, lacking tenderness

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Mothers are indispensable to society and the church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to some 4,000 people gathered indoors for his general audience Wednesday, the pope continued his series of talks about the family, but also gave a second talk about beauty and harmony when he thanked a group of circus performers at the end of the audience.

God created all people, desires to save them, pope says on Epiphany

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In every age and in every culture, people seek God just as the Three Kings did and, in every age, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they find him in the surprising humility of a baby born in a manger, Pope Francis said.

"Led by the Spirit, they come to realize that God's criteria are quite different from those of men, that God does not manifest himself in the power of this world, but speaks to us in the humbleness of his love," the pope said Tuesday, the feast of the Epiphany.

Pray for peace, sow harmony, look to Mary as model disciple, pope says

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Peace is a gift that comes through prayer and through small daily efforts to sow harmony in one's family, parish and community, Pope Francis said.

"At the beginning of this new year, we are all called to reignite in our hearts a spark of hope, which must be translated into concrete works of peace: You don't get along with that person? Make peace. In your home? Make peace. In the community? Make peace. At work? Make peace," he said Sunday during his midday recitation of the Angelus.

Pope: Don't miss Christ this Christmas; take time, be ready, let him in

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God is knocking to come into people's lives, so be attentive, humble and courageous to let him in, Pope Francis said.

"When we feel in our heart: 'I want to be good, to be better ... I feel sorry for what I've done ...' This is Christ who is knocking," he said before praying the Angelus with those gathered Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis talked about Mary showing the way to be ready, humble, generous and courageous when God calls people in their lives.

First showers, now sleeping bags: Pope Francis' birthday gift to the homeless

Pope Francis marked his 78th birthday by giving hundreds of sleeping bags to the homeless in Rome, Vatican officials said Thursday.

Just one month after announcing plans to build showers for the homeless in St. Peter's Square, the pope called for 400 sleeping bags with the papal ensign to be distributed to people living on the streets.

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