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Pope Francis, Jordan king say dialogue is 'only option' in Syria conflict

Pope Francis and Jordan's King Abdullah II reaffirmed that dialogue is the "only option" to end the conflict in Syria, just as the United States and its European allies consider launching a military strike against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

The two leaders met for the first time Thursday at the Vatican. The pontiff and the king, accompanied by his wife, Queen Rania, talked in private for 20 minutes.

According to an official Vatican statement, during the meeting "special attention" was given to Syria's "tragic situation."

Lasting bonds: Vatican invites extended families to join pilgrimage

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As part of the Year of Faith, the Vatican wants to celebrate bonds that last a lifetime.

The international pilgrimage of families Oct. 26-27 is being planned as a celebration and not a protest against any policy or trend, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

"The time has come to set aside conflicts," he said, and "hit the streets" simply with the joy and happiness of being part of a loving family.

Vatican orders slight change in text for baptism

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To emphasize that the sacrament of baptism formally brings a person into the church of God and not just into a local Christian community, the Vatican has ordered a slight change of wording in the baptismal rite.

At the beginning of the rite, instead of saying, "the Christian community welcomes you with great joy," the officiating minister will say, "the church of God welcomes you with great joy."

Bishop in Peru, who had been ordained for Alabama diocese, dies at 83

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An Irish-born priest ordained in the U.S. who became a bishop in the Peruvian Andes died Monday at the age of 83.

Bishop William Molloy McDermott, who was ordained to the priesthood in 1955 and worked for several years in the diocese of Birmingham, Ala., moved to Peru in the early 1960s, serving at a rural parish in Huancarama.

In 1976, Pope Paul VI named him an auxiliary bishop of Huancavelica, in the Peruvian Andes. He became bishop of the diocese in 1982 and served there for 23 years until he suffered a stroke and retired in 2005.

Vatican's Year of Faith celebrations to resume in September

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Vatican activities for the Year of Faith begin again in late September with an international meeting of catechists, followed in October by a Marian pilgrimage in the presence of the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima and a celebration of faith and family life.

The International Conference on Catechesis will bring together leaders of national and diocesan offices Sept. 26-28 for religious education to discuss theory and practice before they begin a two-day Year of Faith pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter and celebrate Mass Sept. 29 with Pope Francis.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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