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Syrian priest killed during rebel attack on Franciscan convent

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A 49-year-old Syrian priest and hermit was killed Sunday, apparently when a group of rebels attacked the Franciscan Convent of St. Anthony in Ghassanieh, a village in the north near the Turkish border.

Franciscan Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, told Vatican Radio on Monday that Fr. Francois Murad was not a Franciscan, but had taken refuge in the convent when it became clear he was not safe at the Syriac Catholic hermitage he was building nearby.

Pope calls hunger, malnutrition 'truly scandalous'

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It is "truly scandalous" that the global level of food production is enough to feed the planet's people, yet millions of people are malnourished and millions more "must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table," Pope Francis said.

Addressing the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization conference Thursday, Pope Francis said the global financial crisis obviously has made the situation worse, but it cannot continue "to be used as an alibi."

Food is not simply a commodity but is a human necessity and right, he told 400 delegates from about 200 countries.

Adding St. Joseph's name to Mass texts, popes share their devotion

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Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI have a special devotion to St. Joseph and have assured that devotion regularly will be shared at Mass by Catholics around the world.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said Pope Francis confirmed a decision originally made by Pope Benedict to include St. Joseph permanently in the eucharistic prayers used at most Masses in the Latin rite.

Catholics, Lutherans look to commemoration of Reformation anniversary

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Joint Catholic-Lutheran commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation must recognize the harm caused by the split in Western Christianity, the polemics that exacerbated differences and the progress made through 50 years of ecumenical dialogue, a new document said.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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