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Religion

ON RELIGION

It’s getting harder to hide religious voices in NFL culture Super Bowls create media storms, but many journalists and sports executives thought what happened in 1988 was totally out of bounds. The establishment was shocked when players and coaches from Denver and Washington, D.C., held a prayer meeting on the eve of this NFL rite. The powers…

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The haunting final sermon of Cardinal Pell

Terry Mattingly Cardinal George Pell had no way to know, as he rose to preach during a spiritual retreat in southern Italy, that this was his last sermon — opening with the biblical cry, “Repent, because the Kingdom of God is near.” Catholics should stay focused on truths proclaimed during the reigns of St. John…

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The AP Interview: Pope on health, critics and future

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he hasn’t even considered issuing norms to regulate future papal resignations and plans to continue for as long as he can as bishop of Rome, despite a wave of attacks by some top-ranking cardinals and bishops. In his first interview since the Dec.…

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ON RELIGION By Terry Mattingly

Holy water and orthodox memories of a vase of fresh flowers After the Christmas season and before Lent, Orthodox priests have — for centuries — rushed to visit church-members’ homes to bless them with prayers and splashes of holy water flung about with a foot-long brush or handfuls of basil. Droplets of blessed water end up on…

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Pope Benedict lived his life with Europe in the rearview

Terry Mattingly In a rite before the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Vatican officials placed unique symbols of his pontificate inside his cypress casket, along with a scroll in Latin describing his ascent to the Chair of St. Peter. “His faith and family upbringing prepared him for the harsh experience of the problems connected…

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Faith

James C. Jones Lead Minister Taylorville Christian Church My family recently made a trip to see family in Georgia for the holidays. When we’re on the road like that, one of us usually keeps an eye on Google maps to watch for alerts about traffic, accidents, construction, and detours. As is often the case when…

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Vatican to hear from PR expert with grudge against cardinal

NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s big financial fraud and corruption trial took a soap opera turn Friday with court-ordered testimony from a public relations specialist who has long harbored a grudge against one of the prime defendants, Cardinal Angelo Becciu. Francesca Chaouqui was called to answer questions after text messages…

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In polar night, Norway-Russia kids event lights up Christmas

GIOVANNA DELL’ORTO Associated Press BARENTSBURG, Norway (AP) — A 15-year-old boy in a polar bear hoodie took turns reading the Gospel passage about Jesus’s birth in Russian with three girls in dresses and bows who proclaimed it in Norwegian, in a shared celebration of Orthodox Christmas deep in the Arctic undimmed by war and the…

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Pope meets with Benedict’s aide amid funeral, book fallout

NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press ROME (AP) — Pope Francis met on Monday with Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, the longtime secretary of Pope Benedict XVI who was a key figure in his recent funeral but who has raised eyebrows with an extraordinary memoir in which he settles old scores with the reigning pontiff and reveals palace intrigue.…

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Border bishop takes lead role in Catholic migrant ministry

ON RELIGION By Terry Mattingly EL PASO, Texas (AP) — With a cheerful “soy Marcos” – “I’m Mark,” in Spanish – Bishop Mark Seitz introduced himself to migrants eating soup in the shelter on the grounds of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, less than two miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. The migration crisis roiling the borderlands is literally…

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