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Francis

Cardinal O'Malley says Planned Parenthood videos illustrate 'throwaway culture'

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Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said that Planned Parenthood officials' videotaped descriptions of how fetal tissue and organs are procured for researchers during abortions illustrates what Pope Francis calls today's "throwaway culture."

The officials also discuss what the organization charges for the body parts, which opponents of Planned Parenthood said violates federal law and the organization said are customary handling fees paid by research labs.

The political implications of 'Laudato Si''

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Praise has been lavished internationally on Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change (Laudato Si'), both among Catholics and across interfaith lines.

However, strong conservatives and climate change deniers (they should actually be called "science deniers") have criticized either its content or the fact that the pope ventured into this realm in such a big way -- as if preserving the natural world were not a moral concern.

US bishops are not responding to Pope Francis' message

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There have been a number of recent firings of gay or lesbian employees within the Catholic church in the United States. Principals, teachers and a variety of parish ministers are among those who have been fired. Gay priests and women religious have been dismissed from significant positions of influence. Fr. Warren Hall, a gay priest and chaplain at Seton Hall University, was removed from his position by the archbishop of Newark, N.J.

Prisoners, volunteers, teens invited to celebrate Jubilee with pope

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More than a dozen individual celebrations will be scheduled for the Jubilee of Mercy in 2016, giving pilgrims the chance to celebrate their own holy year with Pope Francis in Rome.

The yearlong extraordinary jubilee will include a number of individual jubilee days, such as for consecrated men and women; deacons; priests; catechists; the sick and disabled; teenagers and prisoners. Young people will be able to celebrate their jubilee with the pope at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

Exhibit honors how St. John Paul changed Catholic-Jewish relations

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Helping to inaugurate an exhibit at the Vatican, the chief rabbi of Rome noted just how much "times have changed."

"Seeing in St. Peter's Square the banner announcing the exhibit with an image of a pope -- that's normal -- but a pope shaking hands with a rabbi? That's not normal. It's a sign of how times have changed," Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni said.

The banner shows the late St. John Paul II and the late Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff greeting each other in 1986 at Rome's main synagogue. John Paul was the first pope in modern history to enter a synagogue.

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