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Vatican City

Pope sends $1 million in aid for Syria, cardinal delegate to Lebanon

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Instability and increasing violence in Syria have prompted Pope Benedict XVI to cancel the planned visit to the war-torn nation by a delegation of cardinals and bishops.

Instead, the pope announced Wednesday, he has sent a smaller group to Lebanon to deliver a $1 million donation and boost the church's humanitarian response to the crisis.

The pope also appealed for dialogue to end the Syrian conflict, saying: "We have to do everything possible because one day it could be too late."

'VatiLeaks' trial of Vatican computer tech begins

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A Vatican computer technician charged with aiding and abetting the papal butler in stealing confidential documents went on trial amid legal arguments over the definition of the charge and questions about the "anonymous source" who reported him to officials.

As the trail began Nov. 5, the lawyer for Claudio Sciarpelletti, 48, argued Nov. 5 that his client and the papal butler, Paolo Gabriele, were acquaintances, not friends, and that Sciarpelletti had no motive to set aside "20 years of service to the Holy See" to help someone he wasn't particularly close to.

Pope prays for Hurricane Sandy victims, encourages rebuilding efforts

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Pope Benedict XVI expressed his concern for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy and encouraged all those working to rebuild from the disaster.

"Conscious of the devastation caused by the hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States of America, I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity with all those engaged in the work of rebuilding," he said Wednesday at the end of his weekly general audience.

Wisconsin priest named auxiliary bishop in Bolivia

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Pope Benedict XVI has named a Wisconsin-born missionary, Fr. Robert H. Flock, to be an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Flock, who will celebrate his 56th birthday Nov. 4, has served at Santa Cruz Parish in the Archdiocese of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, since 1988. The parish was founded by priests from the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., in the 1950s.

The Vatican announced the new assignment for Flock, a La Crosse priest and native of Sparta, Wis., on Wednesday.

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July 18-31, 2014

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