NATION/WORLD

NATION/WORLD

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To end the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, the United States must address the flow of illegal drugs and arms and the harmful economic policies forcing children and families to leave Central America for the U.S., said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace.

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After praying the noon Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter's Square July 27, Pope Francis pleaded to stop all war. The pope's plea came as he recalled the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which, with more than 37 million causalities, was one of the deadliest conflicts in history. He said July 28 would be "a day of mourning" and a chance for people to remember the lessons of history.

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On the 75th anniversary of the Tekakwitha Conference, Native American Catholics came together again to review the past, plan for the future and recharge their faith. More than 750 people from 35 states and representing 135 tribes gathered under the theme "To walk humbly," a nod to namesake St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the gentle Mohawk-Algonquin woman canonized two years ago.

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People don't seem to count gains and setbacks on the death penalty issue with quite the same intensity as they do with other issues. Even so, slowly but surely, gains are being made -- and more gains than setbacks.

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Taking the chef completely by surprise, Pope Francis unexpectedly showed up to eat with the Vatican's blue collar workers at their cafeteria in the tiny city-state's "industrial park." The pope sat down to eat at a table with workers from the Vatican pharmacy's warehouse.

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Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Pope Francis has accepted his invitation to attend the World Meeting of Families in the U.S. next year, even though the Philadelphia Archdiocese still has not received official confirmation from the Vatican.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be an "extraordinary moment for our city and an extraordinary honor" if Pope Francis visited the Big Apple in September 2015, when the World Meeting of Families takes place in Philadelphia.

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Pope Francis spent 30 minutes with Ibrahim, her husband and two small children July 24, just hours after she had arrived safely in Italy following a brutal ordeal of imprisonment and a death sentence for apostasy in Sudan. The pontiff thanked Ibrahim for "her steadfast witness of faith," a Vatican spokesman said.

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Fr. John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, is urging local Catholics to gather for a 7 p.m. holy hour July 25 in order to pray that a black mass scheduled to take place Sept. 21 in Oklahoma City will be canceled.

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A former teacher is now among the 4,100 agents in the Tucson sector of U.S. Border Patrol charged with security along 262 miles of linear border extending from Arizona's Yuma County to the New Mexico state line. He gave Catholic News Service a tour of Border Patrol operations in southern Arizona.

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