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Francis

Pope met Franciscan seminarians after order's seminary closed

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Pope Francis met privately in early June with seminarians belonging to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception, a religious order placed under the direction of an apostolic commissioner a year earlier.

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, confirmed Wednesday that Pope Francis met with the youngest members of the order June 10. "All the seminarians" of the order were invited, he said.

Church is essential for faith; there are no 'free agents,' pope says

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Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis said.

At his weekly general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his series of audience talks about the church, telling an estimated 33,000 people that there is no such thing as "do-it-yourself" Christians or "free agents" when it comes to faith.

Every Christian, he said, can trace his or her faith back to parents, grandparents, teachers or friends. "I always remember the nun who taught me catechism. I know she's in heaven because she was a holy woman," he said.

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.

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July 18-31, 2014

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