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Francis

Vatican denies Boston parishioners' final appeal to keep churches open

Parishioners who have occupied a closed Massachusetts Catholic church for nearly a decade said they plan one final petition to Pope Francis to prevent the building from being sold by the Boston archdiocese.

Jon Rogers, a member of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Scituate, said petitioning the pope was a last-resort measure. Despite the step, he said he was not sure it would succeed.

"We promised 10 years ago when we started this we would exhaust every avenue of appeal," Rogers told Catholic News Service on Tuesday.

Vatican declares Chilean bishop innocent of sexual abuse charges

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After almost a year of investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith concluded that Bishop Cristian Contreras Molina of San Felipe was innocent of the child abuse accusations made against him.

Through a statement, the diocese of San Felipe said that "the Vatican has concluded that those accusations were not true and has established the absence of incriminatory evidence."

The district attorney's office also closed its investigation regarding the case, the statement said, adding that the bishop had cooperated with both investigations.

Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated

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In the stronghold of an Italian crime syndicate believed to be richer and more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, Pope Francis said, "Those who follow the path of evil, like the mafiosi do, are not in communion with God; they are excommunicated!"

During a Mass Saturday in the southern region of Calabria, Pope Francis made clear that even if the mob families continue to go to Mass and decorate their homes and hideouts with religious pictures, they have cut themselves off from communion with the church and with God.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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