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Catholic Relief Services

Special U.S. collection urged to help those suffering in Middle East

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The president of the U.S. bishops' conference on Tuesday asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.

Amid the ongoing crisis in what is "the cradle of Christianity," the Catholic church "mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children and live with dignity in dire conditions," said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.

Some good news: Catholic Relief Services serves poor in global hot spots

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently summed up the state of current events this way: "The world is a mess." And that blunt comment is an understatement. Perhaps adding the word "desperate" would make her statement more accurate.

What to do? Pope Francis' recommendation: Go out to the fringes of society, serve the poor, the sick, the hungry, the migrants, the refugees, the dying. Often, these locations are conflict-filled.

Caritas Philippines leader calls typhoon devastation 'unimaginable'

The devastation brought on by Super Typhoon Haiyan is on a scale so big it is "unimaginable," said Jesuit Fr. Edwin Gariguez, head of Caritas in the Philippines.

"This is beyond our capacity," Gariguez told Catholic News Service by phone from Cebu province Wednesday. "That's the reason why we have our Caritas network with us now."

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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