National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Terrorism in Middle East has reached 'unimaginable proportions,' pope says

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The Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, are experiencing "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions" in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life, Pope Francis said.

"It seems that the awareness of the value of human life has been lost; it seems that the person does not count and can be sacrificed to other interests. And all of this, unfortunately, with the indifference of many," he said during a special meeting at the Vatican on the Middle East.

Anglican, Lutheran delegates say synod's concerns are theirs, too

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Upholding the Christian ideal of marriage and family life while also reaching out to those whose lives do not reflect that ideal is a pastoral challenge faced by all Christian communities, said the Anglican representative to the Synod of Bishops.

Anglican Bishop Paul Butler of Durham, England, and "fraternal delegates" from seven other Christian communities addressed the synod Oct. 10. Butler also spoke to Vatican Radio on Wednesday as synod members worked in small groups to amend the assembly's midterm report.

Endangered Sistine Chapel to be opened for outside fundraiser

Despite worries about the impact of millions of tourists on Michelangelo's precious frescoes, the Sistine Chapel is opening its doors for the first time to a new kind of tourist to support Pope Francis' charities.

Porsche enthusiasts will pay 5,000 euros ($6,400) each for a tour in and around Rome that will include an exclusive after-hours concert inside the Sistine Chapel and a dinner in the Vatican Museums on Saturday.

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March 27-April 9, 2015

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