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Relic of Blessed John Paul II reported stolen

Thieves reportedly stole a relic of Blessed John Paul II from a country chapel 85 miles east of Rome.

Italian media reported Monday that the relic, a piece of fabric soaked in Blessed John Paul's blood, had disappeared over the preceding weekend from the church of San Pietro della Ienca. The church is located near the city of L'Aquila, in the mountainous Abruzzo region where the late pope frequently went on brief vacations.

Pope advances sainthood cause of Sisters of Charity of Quebec founder

Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of eight candidates, including the founder of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec.

During a meeting Monday with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the pope signed a decree recognizing that Mother Marie-Anne-Marcelle Mallet lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way and is venerable.

Pope prays for peace, dialogue in Ukraine; bishops offer to mediate

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As protests against the Ukrainian president spread to cities across the country, Pope Francis offered his prayers for the nation's people, "particularly for those who lost their lives in the last few days and for their families."

At least three protesters died Jan. 22 in Kiev, Ukraine's capital and the site of anti-government protests since late November.

Pope Francis meets scandal-scarred French President Francois Hollande

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French President Francois Hollande, embroiled in a controversy surrounding an alleged affair with an actress, met Friday with Pope Francis, who was unusually somber in his public appearance with the scandal-scarred French leader.

There was no official comment about what the two men discussed in their private 35-minute meeting, but the pontiff -- known for his friendly and informal style -- appeared more stern and serious than usual as he sat across an ornate desk from Hollande.

Vatican bank investigated cleric arrested again by Italian authorities

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Summarizing efforts made in 2013 to improve transparency and compliance with international standards for financial operations, the Vatican bank confirmed that it conducted a "detailed investigation" of the accounts held by a monsignor arrested by Italian police for the second time Tuesday.

Msgr. Nunzio Scarano was suspended in late May from his job as an accountant in the Vatican office overseeing property and investments. The Vatican suspended him when it learned that he was under criminal investigation in Italy.

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September 12-25, 2014

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