National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican City

Teaching morality contributes to better family, civic life, pope says

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Catholic bishops and priests, "always with great compassion," must continue to teach men and women how to live moral lives according to the Gospel, Pope Francis told bishops from southern Africa.

Declining birth rates, abortion, leaving the Catholic church for "other groups who seem to promise something better," divorce and "violence against women and children" all "threaten the sanctity of marriage, the stability of life in the home and consequently the life of society as a whole," the pope said in a message to the bishops.

Rome official: Retired pope to attend canonizations; spokesman cautious

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Retired Pope Benedict XVI is expected to attend the canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II on Sunday, said Msgr. Liberio Andreatta, head of the Vatican-related pilgrim agency, Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi.

"Never before have there been two popes canonized and two popes living," he said at a news conference Wednesday in Rome to discuss final plans and preparations for pilgrims. "You can imagine their emotions."

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.

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July 4-17, 2014

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