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Benedict XVI

Feast days of Sts. John Paul II, John XXIII added to universal calendar

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In light of "countless requests from every part of the world," Pope Francis has approved putting Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII on the church's universal calendar of feast days.

Called the General Roman Calendar, it is the universal schedule of holy days and feast days for the Latin rite of the Catholic church.

The two saints' feast days, both of which have the ranking of an optional -- not obligatory -- memorial, are Oct. 11 for St. John XXIII and Oct. 22 for St. John Paul II.

Pope Francis to visit Turkey in November

Pope Francis will visit Turkey in November, eight years after his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, made a landmark visit to the predominantly Muslim country.

Turkey's newly elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, extended a formal invitation to Francis, and the Turkish Embassy to the Holy See confirmed Tuesday that the pope has accepted.

"The pope has been invited by both the Orthodox Church and the government and he is expected to meet the president during his visit," an embassy representative said.

Pope to UN: Act to end the tragedy in Iraq

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Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq.

In a letter signed Aug. 9 but released by the Vatican after it had been delivered, Pope Francis told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediate action was needed "to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities."

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September 12-25, 2014

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