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Vatican official voices opposition to automated weapons systems

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No matter how sophisticated and how many algorithms are programmed to help a drone or other machine make calculations before firing on a target, autonomous weapons systems could never comply with international human rights law, a Vatican official said.

"Meaningful human involvement is absolutely essential in decisions affecting the life and death of human beings," Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva, told experts meeting May 13-16 to discuss lethal autonomous weapons systems.

Be meek, open to joy, newness offered by the Holy Spirit, pope says

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Christians who are too serious and gloomy have the Holy Spirit missing from their lives, Pope Francis said.

Be meek and open to the Spirit and don't fight the joy and unexpected newness he brings, the pope said Tuesday during his early morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

People who think they can and do know everything won't be able to understand God, he said in his homily, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

Pope tells priests, show mercy; tells faithful, pester your priests

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Always be merciful, just like Jesus, who came to forgive, not condemn, Pope Francis told new priests.

"Always have in front of your eyes the example of the Good Shepherd, who didn't come to be served, but to serve and to look for and save those who were lost," he said in his homily Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

The pope's remarks came during an ordination Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, where the pope ordained 13 new priests.

Christian unity is way to honor common witness of martyrdom, pope says

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To honor the sacrifice of those killed for their faith in the 20th century, Christians today must renew their commitment to reconciliation and full Christian unity, Pope Francis said.

"Just as in the ancient church the blood of the martyrs became the seed of new Christians, so in our day the blood of many Christians has become the seed of unity," the pope told Catholicos Karekin II of Etchmiadzin, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Hope and hard work: U.S. priest trusts Christian unity is possible

The issues dividing Christian communities have changed over the past 50 years, but a Philadelphia archdiocesan priest working in ecumenical dialogue at the Vatican is confident that Christian unity is possible.

"We are people of hope. We trust we have the same Scriptures, the same belief in Christ," said Msgr. Gregory Fairbanks, an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

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August 15-28, 2014

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