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Francis

Religious leaders urge action to combat climate change

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Religious leaders from across the faith spectrum gathered Friday at the Capitol to seek action to combat climate change and to mitigate its effects, whether it be at the federal level or in local communities.

The ongoing buzz about the forthcoming encyclical from Pope Francis on the environment was addressed by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Ukrainian Catholic leader invites pope, says visit could bring peace

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The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church invited Pope Francis to visit the war-torn nation, saying it would help bring peace.

"It would be a prophetic gesture that would show the power of prayer and Christian solidarity, give us courage and hope and build a better future for everyone," said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kiev-Halych.

Italy and Vatican on guard after threat from Islamic State

The Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy "the nation signed with the blood of the cross."

Italy is one of a handful of major Western counties that has not been victim of a large-scale terror assault since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.

Italian officials fear extremists could enter the country amid the growing tide of refugees arriving by boat from North Africa. About 500 extra troops have been stationed to guard symbolic targets in Rome and monitor the streets of the capital for suspicious activity.

Funds raised for World Meeting of Families stand at $30 million so far

Officials for the World Meeting of Families this year in Philadelphia announced Friday that $30 million in cash and in-kind donations has been raised to support the four-day event Sept. 22-25, capped by the visit of Pope Francis.

The congress will welcome top speakers and participants, Catholic and non-Catholic, from across the United States and the world to discuss ways of strengthening and supporting families and the challenges they face.

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