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Orthodox Catholic Church

Catholic, Orthodox bishops push for more married priests

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Top Catholic and Orthodox church officials in North America are calling on the Vatican to let married men become priests in Eastern rite Catholic churches, another sign that optional celibacy could become a front-burner issue under Pope Francis.

Eastern rite Catholic churches have a look and feel similar to Eastern Orthodox churches but are loyal to Rome and fall under the pope's jurisdiction.

Pope Francis will take rabbi and Muslim leader with him to Holy Land

Pope Francis will be accompanied on his first visit to the Middle East by Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Muslim leader Omar Abboud -- two friends from Buenos Aires.

It is the first time a pope has made an official visit accompanied by members of other faiths, and it underscores the interfaith focus of Francis' trip to the Holy Land, the Vatican said Thursday.

Ukrainian Catholics fear 'new oppression' after Russian takeover

A Ukrainian Catholic priest in Crimea said church members are alarmed and frightened by the Russian military occupation and fear their communities might be outlawed again if Russian rule becomes permanent.

Fr. Mykhailo Milchakovskyi, a pastor in Kerch, Ukraine, described the atmosphere as tense because many residents of the town located in the eastern part of Crimea were unsure of their future.

"No one knows what will happen. Many people are trying to sell their homes and move to other parts of Ukraine," Milchakovskyi told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.

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July 18-31, 2014

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