National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican City

Malta Parliament passes same-sex marriage, adoption

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After a controversial vote in parliament Monday, Malta became the latest country to recognize same-sex unions as the legal equivalent of marriage, and to permit adoption by same-sex couples.

Shortly before the 37-0 vote, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the former sex abuse investigator for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told The Malta Independent newspaper that the civil unions bill had some good points but was not in the best interests of children.

Vatican DVDs let everyone see things even most serious tourists don't

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Some 5.5 million visitors toured the Vatican Museums last year, and the numbers continue to grow. "The popularity of Pope Francis has reverberated onto the museums," Antonio Paolucci, the museums' director, told journalists.

Now, for the first time, digital technology is taking visitors not only through the museums, but also further inside the Vatican than has ever before been possible.

Priests on front line in Italy's battle against Mafias

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Pope Francis' dramatic appearance at a March prayer vigil with the families of Mafia victims, where he said he would plead on bended knee with Mafia bosses to "stop doing evil," has highlighted the Catholic church's role in combatting Italian organized crime.

"Pope Francis awakens consciences. Many who were a long way from the church are now asking to be baptized," said Fr. Luigi Ciotti, founder of the Italian anti-Mafia association Libera, which organized the March 21 vigil in Rome. "The pope brings a moral renewal that touches everyone. Every day I see the results."

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