National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Pope's Mideast ambassadors to summit at Vatican

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The Vatican's seven ambassadors throughout the Middle East will hold a summit at the Vatican this week that will be addressed by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Pope Francis.

Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi announced the convening of the Vatican officials, formally known as apostolic nuncios, in a short press briefing Tuesday.

While neither Lombardi nor a statement issued by the Vatican gives firm reasoning for the summit, it comes as focus around the world is centered on efforts to combat the Islamic State militant group.

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."

Priests' mistresses and wives remind the Vatican: Don't forget about us

For years, they have been invisible and often afraid to identify themselves. But the women sometimes dubbed "God's rivals" are no longer willing to remain silent.

Twenty-six Italian women who are married to or in relationships with Catholic priests want clerical celibacy to be overturned by the world's bishops when they meet in Rome for their global synod on the family in October.

In homily, pope compares vain Christians to soap bubbles, peacocks

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As fleeting as soap bubbles, showy as peacocks and shallow as an over-primped star, conceited Christians are building their lives on lies and their faith on shifting sands, Pope Francis said.

Everyone is vulnerable to vanity, even Christians, the pope said in a morning homily Thursday.

However, boastfulness "is a very serious spiritual disease" for Christians because it distances them from the truth. Christians are called to "be authentic with the truth of reality and of the Gospel," he said in remarks reported by Vatican Radio.

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