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Roman Catholicism

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In another victory for religious groups at the Supreme Court, the justices on Thursday unanimously sided with a Catholic foster care agency that says its religious views prevent it from working with same-sex couples. The court said the city of Philadelphia wrongly limited its relationship with the group as a result of the agency's policy.

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Justice Samuel Alito called it a “wisp” of a decision — a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that favored Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia but was far from the constitutional gale wind that would have reshaped how courts interpret religious liberty under the First Amendment.

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LONDON (AP) — The leader of the senior party in Northern Ireland's government resigned late Thursday after colleagues revolted over a deal to appoint new leaders to the Protestant-Catholic power-sharing administration.

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Divisions flared quickly on Wednesday as U.S. Catholic bishops opened a national meeting highlighted by a sensitive agenda item — whether to take initial steps toward a possible rebuke of politicians, including President Joe Biden, who receive Communion while supporting abortion rights.

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When U.S. Catholic bishops convene virtually for a national meeting Wednesday, they will be divided ideologically as well as physically. They’re split over whether to press ahead with an initiative that could — at least implicitly — rebuke President Joe Biden for receiving Communion while supporting abortion rights.

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ROME (AP) — European evaluators warned Wednesday that the Vatican’s efforts to investigate and prosecute financial crimes were suffering from understaffing and inexperience, as well as the mistaken belief that its own cardinals and bishops were immune to criminal conduct.

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CHICAGO (AP) — An activist Roman Catholic priest cleared by an Archdiocese of Chicago investigation into claims that he sexually abused several boys decades ago returned to the pulpit of his longtime church on Sunday for the first time in five months.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his pain over the discovery in Canada of the remains of 215 Indigenous students of church-run residential schools and pressed religious and political authorities to shed light on “this sad affair.” But he didn’t offer the apology sought by the Canadian prime minister.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Rev. James Altman calls himself “a lowly priest” serving a blue-collar city in western Wisconsin. But when his bishop demanded his resignation – after a series of divisive remarks about politics and the pandemic – Altman refused to oblige and has since raised more than $640,000 from his conservative supporters to defend himself.

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) — As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in Italy, thousands of people are heading to see the extensive gardens and apartments at the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo in the Alban Hills near Rome.

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered a dozen Australian media companies to pay fines from 1,000 Australian dollars ($766) to AU$450,000 ($345,000) for breaching a gag order by publishing references to Cardinal George Pell’s since-overturned convictions in 2018 for child sexual abuse.

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Nobel laureate, a Netflix star and a fashion model are among the board members who helped launch an initiative Tuesday to raise money for LGBT rights groups in Poland, where gay men, lesbians, and bisexual and transgender people face a backlash from the country's conservative government and Catholic Church.

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly criminalize the sexual abuse of adults by priests who abuse their authority and to say that laypeople who hold church office can be sanctioned for similar sex crimes.

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — An increasingly influential Polish Catholic legal institute on Friday inaugurated a university in Warsaw that aims to educate a new generation of conservative lawyers in central Europe who it hopes will also shape wider European culture.

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ROME (AP) — One night in early 2019, Rome street artist Alessia Babrow glued a stylized image of Christ she had made onto a bridge near the Vatican. A year later, she was shocked to learn that the Vatican had apparently used a reproduction of the image, which featured Babrow's hallmark heart emblazoned across Christ’s chest, as its 2020 Easter postage stamp.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Nationally known activist Chicago priest the Rev. Michael Pfleger will be reinstated as the leader of his parish after an investigation found “insufficient reason to suspect” he sexually abused children, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced Monday.

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ROME (AP) — Pope Francis challenged the Vatican’s own media employees Monday to essentially justify their continued work, asking them how many people actually consume their news as he visited the office that costs the Holy See more than all its embassies around the world combined.

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