National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated

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In the stronghold of an Italian crime syndicate believed to be richer and more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, Pope Francis said, "Those who follow the path of evil, like the mafiosi do, are not in communion with God; they are excommunicated!"

During a Mass Saturday in the southern region of Calabria, Pope Francis made clear that even if the mob families continue to go to Mass and decorate their homes and hideouts with religious pictures, they have cut themselves off from communion with the church and with God.

Support missions, enter 'flood of joy' of sharing God's love, pope says

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Engaging in or supporting missionary activity allows Christians to enter the "flood of joy" that comes from experiencing God's love and sharing it with others, Pope Francis said.

"The Lord's disciples persevere in joy when they sense his presence, do his will and share with others their faith, hope and evangelical charity," the pope said in his message for World Mission Sunday, which will be celebrated Oct. 19.

Pope appeals for peace in Iraq, announces plans to visit Albania

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Pope Francis expressed his fears over increasing violence in Iraq and prayed for peace, security and reconciliation in the country.

He also announced he would be visiting Albania Sept. 21 to encourage the Catholic minority there and the people "who long suffered as a result of the ideologies of the past."

Pope: Corruption is easiest 'sin at fingertips' of anyone with power

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For everyone who has any kind of authority over others, the one sin "at your fingertips" is the sin of corruption, Pope Francis said.

And "the martyrs of corruption" -- those who end up paying the price for the politicians, financiers and church officials who abuse their power -- are the poor and the marginalized, he said during his early morning Mass Monday in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

Pope announces canonizations, advances sainthood causes

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Pope Francis formally announced six men and women would be made saints Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King. He made the announcement Friday during a morning "ordinary public consistory," a meeting of cardinals and promoters of the sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.

The same day, he advanced the sainthood causes of eight men and women, including Mother Magdalen Taylor -- an Anglican convert and British foundress of a religious order.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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