National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Returning to Rome, pope discusses plans for future trips

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At the end of his first foreign trip, Pope Francis told reporters it's good for a pope to travel, and there are plans in the works for visits in Italy, to Jerusalem, to Asia, but nothing planned soon for his Argentine homeland.

"I think papal trips are always good," he said July 28 during the flight back to Rome after a week in Brazil.

The July 22-29 papal trip was good for Brazil "not just because of the pope's presence, but because for World Youth Day they mobilized and did so well that it will help the whole church," he said.

At least 38 pilgrims killed in crash after visiting Padre Pio shrine

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At least 38 pilgrims were killed on their way home from the Padre Pio shrine when their bus plunged off an elevated highway.

Another 19 people were reported seriously injured, including passengers of nearby vehicles. Only 11 people were pulled alive from the wreckage, Vatican Radio and other news outlets reported.

The accident occurred Sunday along a major highway in Irpinia, a mountainous region in Campania, in southern Italy. A number of the victims were children.

Pope prays at Roman Marian icon for all world's youth

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Pope Francis traveled to Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray that Mary protect and care for everyone attending World Youth Day in Brazil and for all young people around the world.

The pope spent more than 30 minutes in silent prayer in a side chapel before the basilica's famous Marian icon "Salus Populi Romani" (health of the Roman people).

Mumbai's longtime church leader, Indian Cardinal Pimenta, dies at 93

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Indian Cardinal Simon Pimenta, who led the archdiocese of Bombay for more than 18 years, died Friday at the age of 93.

He was known for trying to keep his sprawling and diverse archdiocese united and active, establishing parishes in the city's slums and trying to counter widespread contraception campaigns by promoting natural family planning.

He served as a papally appointed synod president during the 1990 Synod of Bishops on priestly formation and led the Indian bishops' conference for six years.

Pope: Elderly, sick, unborn, poor are 'masterpieces of God's creation'

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As Great Britain and Ireland debate right-to-life issues in current health care policies and legislation, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics there to uphold "the inestimable value of all human life."

"Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor are masterpieces of God's creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect," the pope said.

Papal menu planners try to keep it simple yet sweet for World Youth Day

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Sweet and simple: that's the menu plan for Pope Francis when he stays at a church-run residence during his visit to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.

However, Good Counsel Sr. Terezinha Fernandes, who is in charge of the kitchen at the Sumare Residence, said when she was dreaming up the dishes, "I had to hold myself back" to not let the table fare get too fancy.

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September 26-October 9, 2014

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