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Vatican City

Iraqi cardinal retires; pope calls Chaldean synod to elect successor

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Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of 85-year-old Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad and has called for a late January meeting of the Chaldean synod of bishops to elect a new patriarch for the Chaldean Catholic Church.

The cardinal was a retired auxiliary bishop of Baghdad when, in December 2003, he was elected patriarch just eight months after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He became one of the most notable voices of suffering Iraqi Christians and repeatedly pleaded with countries to take pity on Iraqi refugees and not send them back home.

European austerity measures reach the Vatican budget

The Vatican must adopt "effective" cost reduction measures in the wake of the global economic crisis, Pope Benedict XVI's No. 2 official warned Tuesday.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's Secretary of State, told employees of the Holy See's budget department that, in the face of "continuing inability to increase revenues," a "gradual, but effective, reduction of costs" was needed to reduce recent budget deficits.

Vatican newspaper: World will end, but not because of Mayan calendar

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A papal astronomer gave his reassurances that the world will not end Dec. 21.

While the universe eventually will come to a "cold and dark" demise billions of years from now, Christians know God is always with his creation and welcomes everyone to eternal life, said Jesuit Fr. Jose Funes, the head of the Vatican Observatory.

The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published the priest-astronomer's article Wednesday under the headline "The end that won't come -- at least for now."

Use 'weapons' of love, prayer in cultural war, participants say

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In the battle to defeat the culture of death and preserve Christian values throughout the Americas, Christians need to adopt the "unconventional weapons" of Our Lady of Guadalupe: love and prayer, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore told participants at a Vatican congress.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, who led a small group discussion Monday at the congress marking the 15th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops for America, told the same participants that an encounter with Christ, through Mary, is essential for ensuring a "transformation of culture."

Church must highlight women's vital role in ministry, says US speaker

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To counteract the widespread perception that women don't have a vital role in the church, Catholics need to learn more about the historical importance of women in ministry and retell those stories to younger generations, said a prominent U.S. Catholic speaker.

Catholics need "to take these young people, sometimes adults, under our wing and talk about these things and share our own life story of ministry," said Vicki Thorn.

Pope Benedict XVI promotes personal secretary to head of household

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday promoted his personal secretary to head of the papal household, giving Msgr. Georg Gaenswein even larger influence in organizing the aging pontiff's schedule and meetings.

Gaenswein has been Benedict's closest aide since his election in 2005, and also served as secretary when then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger headed the Vatican's doctrinal office.

The German-born Gaenswein was appointed prefect of the papal household, replacing American Archbishop James Harvey, who was recently made a cardinal.

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September 12-25, 2014

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