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ROME — Pope Francis is hoping that a charity soccer match that includes Swiss Guards, Vatican employees, priests, a player with Down syndrome, migrants and members of the Roma community will deal a significant “kick” to discrimination.

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It was after a pair of Catholic churches caught ablaze last summer, one in Southern California and another in Florida, that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops decided to start documenting and tracking vandalism at Catholic sites across the country.

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PHILADELPHIA — On an otherwise quiet morning at Har Nebo, the venerable Jewish cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia, the clinking of Joe Ferrannini’s hammer and chisel was the sound of history being made to last.

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This week we will celebrate Veterans Day. Although originally known as Armistice Day, which commemorated the end of World War I and those who gave their lives in that war, it was later expanded after World War II to celebrate the lives of all who have served in the armed forces of the United…

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ROME — President Joe Biden received Communion at St. Patrick’s Church during Saturday Vigil Mass on Oct. 30, a day after saying Pope Francis told him he should continue to partake in the sacrament, despite the opposition of some conservatives in the U.S. upset with his position on abortion.

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Late last week, I read with interest the concerns of Detroit News columnist Ingrid Jacques, who warned that “‘Fair and Equal’ could unfairly harm faith-based work.” As a priest who has worked and served on the board of a variety of nonprofits, both those that are and are not faith-based, I w…

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When Amish gather for worship each week, they regularly sing the solemn, German-dialect hymns that their spiritual forebears composed nearly five centuries ago in a condition akin to that of 17 missionaries recently kidnapped in Haiti – captivity.

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I heard a news report the other day that went something like this: “Backed-up ports and the corresponding lack of goods going through the supply chain could become a real-life ‘Grinch,’ making for a disappointing Christmas holiday for millions.”

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MIAMI — When Roman Catholics toss money into the collection plate, few probably expect their charitable giving to underwrite an Elton John biopic, help build a North Carolina highway, pad the pockets of the cardinal’s relatives — or wind up linked to a shell company used by a financial advis…

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We have heard a lot about science in the last two years. “We follow the science” has been a common refrain during the pandemic recited by civic leaders and politicians. And that phrase has led to social distancing, lockdowns and mask mandates. And now, since COVID-19 vaccines have been devel…

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LOS ANGELES — Beneath the glinting green dome of a mosque off Malcolm X Way in South Los Angeles, a spiritual leader in his late 80s is hammering home a vital message: African-American Muslims must be engaged in their community and not let others make decisions for them.

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BALTIMORE — A conservative Roman Catholic media outlet seeking to stage a rally during a U.S. bishops’ meeting in Baltimore claims city officials canceled the event because they disapprove of its religious message. The city says the gathering poses a threat to public safety, claiming the fri…

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington National Cathedral announced Thursday it has chosen contemporary artist Kerry James Marshall, renowned for his wide-ranging works depicting African-American life, to design new stained-glass windows with themes of racial justice that will replace a set with Conf…

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SALT LAKE CITY — The top leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday ordered mandatory use of face masks in its temples around the globe to fight COVID-19 and again called for members to get vaccinated, citing church history in prior pandemics.

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The other day, my teenage grandson was asked to help with a project of a friend of mine. It was a big job and would involve some heavy lifting. So my friend was looking for some strong, husky boys to help her. Fortunately, my grandson fits that bill very well – tall, strong and hard-working.…

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NEW YORK — The domed sanctuary rising in Lower Manhattan, where workers are busy installing translucent Greek marble in time for a ceremonial lighting on Sept. 10, bears little resemblance to the modest parish church that John Katsimatides had discovered years ago.

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NEW YORK — Among the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 9/11 terror attacks, Mychal Judge, a Catholic chaplain with New York’s fire department, left a uniquely complex legacy that continues to evolve 20 years after his death.

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Some of you know that I love music. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t enjoy singing. From an early age my mother played great music on the stereo, or tuned in to WFMT Classical Radio in Chicago.

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SALT LAKE CITY — After more than a year of attending church virtually, Monique Allen has struggled to explain to her asthmatic daughter why people from their congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don't wear masks. Allen said she has taught her daughter that wearing …

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Over the next few weeks, members of the Jewish faith will observe the High Holy Days in the month of Tishrei in the Jewish calendar, usually in September and October. These holidays commemorate concepts such as renewal, forgiveness, freedom and joy.

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The withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan, along with the collapse of the Afghanistan government and the resumption of control by the Taliban, has been a painful episode to watch play out over the past couple of weeks. So, I’d like to reflect on this experience a bit, and also …

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St. John’s Lutheran Church in Grand Haven will be a host site for the RightNow Media Men’s Conference and invites the community for this free event on Saturday, Sept. 18.

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TUCSON, Ariz. — A blast of festive trumpet flourishes and guitarrón bass breaks the solemn hush of Mass on a torrid August desert morning. Decked out in gold-embroidered suits, nine musicians pick, strum and trumpet the entrance hymn under tall stained-glass windows.

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The other day, a friend of mine reminded me of a movie I had watched a long time ago – “Sister Act,” starring Whoopi Goldberg back in 1992. It was a very popular movie as I recall. Even church growth gurus at the time praised it for showing how religion can be revitalized when the church get…

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The Public Religion Research Institute has released its latest snapshot of the American religious landscape with data from 2020. It shows that America is still majority Christian, and that, despite shrill voices of the most aggrieved, Americans broadly enjoy healthy religious liberty.

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“Don’t come knocking on my door with your Fauci ouchi!” Rep. Lauren Boebert yelled at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference. “You leave us the hell alone!” Boebert, R-Colo., has described her election to Congress as “a sign and a wonder, just like God promised.”