National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican City

Help Catholics understand, appreciate marriage, pope tells bishops

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When marriage is considered mainly as a way to satisfy one's need for affection, people feel free to define marriage however they want, Pope Francis said.

"Unfortunately, such a reductionist idea influences the mentality of Christians as well," leading some to see separation or divorce as a simple solution when problems arise, the pope told the bishops of Latvia and Estonia.

Pope Francis to open 30-bed homeless shelter a few steps from Vatican walls

Pope Francis will open a homeless shelter on the edge of Vatican City, the latest move by the pontiff to help poor people in Rome.

The shelter is under construction on Via Penitenzieri, just a few steps away from the Vatican walls, a Holy See spokeswoman said.

Once completed, the center will be run by volunteers, who will host 30 people at a time.

Setting up a shelter is just one of a few initiatives by Pope Francis to highlight the suffering of homeless people in the Italian capital.

Pope, Canadian prime minister discuss residential schools, Ukraine

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Religious freedom, the conflict in Ukraine and the environment were on the table as Pope Francis met briefly Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Vatican said.

The prime minister's office said their discussions also included reference to the findings, released June 2, of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which detailed the treatment of aboriginal children in residential schools supported by the Canadian government but administered by religious organizations, including the Catholic church.

Francis meets a tardy Putin, as U.S. official calls for tougher talk

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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, in a visit being scrutinized for meaning and significance as Russia continues taking unilateral military action in Ukraine.

The Vatican press office released an unusually lengthy description of the encounter, saying the discussions between the two leaders were “dedicated principally to the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.”

Pope: Playing nurse all night, working all day, families are heroic

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The hidden heroes of this world are those family members who still go to work and get the job done after staying up all night tending to a sick loved one, Pope Francis said.

In fact, the family "has always been the closest 'hospital.' And still today in many parts of the world, a (real) hospital is a privilege for a few, and it's often far away," he said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square June 10.

Vatican confirms title of environmental encyclical: Laudato Si'

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The Vatican on Wednesday quietly confirmed the title of Pope Francis’ hotly anticipated upcoming encyclical letter on environmental issues while releasing details of a press conference to be held before its release June 18.

The encyclical, as NCR first reported May 30, will be titled “Laudato Si’, on the care of our common home.”

South Korean SUV joins elite popemobile fleet

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A new, specially modified Hyundai SUV has joined the elite ranks of the popemobile fleet.

The open-roof, white Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi had its debut in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday during Pope Francis' weekly general audience.

The vehicle sits lower than the typical popemobiles, which had higher ground clearance or a raised bed to offer crowds maximum visibility of the pope, who stands or sits in the back.

Pope Francis rode in two types of South Korean-made open popemobiles during his visit to the South Korea last year: a Kia Carnival and a Hyundai Santa Fe.

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In This Issue

January 29-February 11, 2016

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