National Catholic Reporter

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Francis

Pope calls for global defense of Christians facing persecution

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Pope Francis condemned the "absurd violence" being used against Christians in several countries and called on people of good will everywhere to take up the cause of religious freedom.

At the end of his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis asked the estimated 15,000 people in St. Peter's Square to join him in reciting the Lord's Prayer for Christians facing persecution.

Pope Francis asked to avoid Turkey's lavish 1,000-room presidential palace

Pope Francis' penchant for austerity and humility will face a diplomatic challenge when he visits Turkey's new ostentatious presidential palace on his first visit to the country later this month.

Francis will be the first foreign dignitary to be welcomed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the new 1,000-room palace when he visits Ankara on Nov. 28.

Turkish architects have written to the pope urging him not to go to the palace built by Erdogan and known locally as the "White Palace."

Encourage more Latino students to attend Catholic schools, bishops told

The church needs to do a better job of encouraging Latino families and underserved populations to send their children to Catholic schools, the bishops were told Monday during their annual fall assembly in Baltimore.

"If efforts are not made to reach out to them, they won't think it's a viable option," said Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Pope urges G-20 focus on helping the poor, says 'lives are at stake'

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As world leaders prepared to meet in Australia to continue looking at ways to improve the global economy, Pope Francis asked them "not to forget that many lives are at stake" behind their discussions and decisions.

The measure of success of the Group of 20 heavily industrialized and emerging-market countries will not be found in statistics, but in "real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality," the pope said in a message.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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