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Francis

Cubans await Pope Francis with 'open arms,' Cardinal Ortega says

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Cubans are waiting for Pope Francis "with open arms," said Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana.

The cardinal met briefly with the pope at the end of the papal general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square. The cardinal was in Rome fine-tuning the program for the papal visit to Cuba this September, according to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

War, greed, consumerism, 'cult of appearance' harm families, pope says

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Families are weakened and destroyed by war, "the mother of all forms of poverty," as well as by economies and policies that worship money and power, Pope Francis said.

"It's almost a miracle" that, even in poverty and crisis, the family can keep on going, safeguarding its bonds and staying intact, he said at his weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.

Failures are par for the course toward salvation, says Pope Francis

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The road to salvation may be pitted with failures, but God uses them and overturns them to manifest his love for his people, said Pope Francis.

Reflecting on the parable of the wicked tenants in the Gospel of Mark during morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Monday, the pope said the parable may be understood to represent the "failure of God's dream."

What are Pope Francis' intentions in the Middle East?

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America magazine explores in some detail the controversial remarks made by Pope Francis to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine in a recent audience. Did Francis say that Abbas was an angel of peace, or did he say "may you be an angel of peace"?

Gerard O'Connell makes the case that he actually said, "You are a bit of an angel of peace."

Pope Francis heads to Bosnia as 'brother messenger of peace'

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Pope Francis said he will dedicate his one-day visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina to encouraging a minority Catholic community in the faith, fostering ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and calling for peace and harmony after the devastations of war.

He said he would be coming "as a brother messenger of peace to express to everyone -- everyone -- my esteem and friendship. I would like to proclaim to each person, each family, each community, God's mercy, tenderness and love."

Pope Francis meets sick children and children of Italian inmates

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Sometimes, Pope Francis said, the most important thing parents of a seriously ill child can do is to keep asking God, "Why?"

A child of 2 or 3 years will torment his or her parents with a continual series of "whys," the pope said. The little ones are not looking for answers as much as they are seeking the attention of Mom or Dad.

"We can ask the Lord, 'Why, Lord? Why do children suffer? Why this child?' The Lord will not respond with words, but we will feel his gaze upon us and this will give us strength," Pope Francis told the parents of 20 seriously ill children.

Polish leaders hope Pope Francis visits Auschwitz when he comes in 2016

Although no date has been set, church leaders in Poland hope Pope Francis will visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz during a July 2016 visit to Poland for World Youth Day.

"We hope Pope Francis will come to Auschwitz and deliver a warning to the world by again demonstrating the horrors of war and the camps, so they'll never recur," Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow told the Polish Catholic news agency KAI.

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