Philippine Catholics swarm Christ icon hoping for miracle | AFP

Swarms of barefoot believers throng a revered icon of Jesus Christ in Manila for a slow-moving and raucous procession considered one of the world’s largest shows of Catholic fervour.

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AP photographer captures abuse survivors using Polaroid

For her latest assignment, “Sundays After,” AP photographer Maye-E Wong describes her process covering Catholic clergy sexual abuse survivors and the Polaroid transfer technique she used to document them.

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Meditation, gratitude keep priest going

The Rev. Philip Schmitter, a Catholic priest, has served the beleaguered city of Flint, Michigan, for 50 years. He concedes that self-care often falls by the wayside, but he still loves what he does. (Dec. 9)

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Reckoning with clergy abuse: Is the Catholic Church falling short on its commitments?

“If it wasn’t for journalism, we would still be in the dark.” — Juan Carlos Cruz, clergy sex abuse survivor.

Watch a recording of a panel discussion examining the state of the clergy abuse crisis and the effectiveness of measures taken by the Catholic Church, hosted by AP and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

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Church boards examining sex abuse fail victims

U.S. Catholic leaders established mandatory review boards to ensure that no abusive priests stayed in ministry. But an Associated Press investigation of review boards across the country shows they have broadly failed to uphold these commitments. (Nov. 21)

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Thailand: Cheering faithful gather to glimpse Pope Francis | AFP

Pope Francis’ visit to Thailand has stirred excitement among the country’s Catholic community who gathered along Bangkok’s streets near the Vatican City embassy to catch a glimpse.

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Supporters of Evo Morales rally in Bolivia’s Plaza San Francisco | AFP

Supporters of ex-president Evo Morales rally in Plaza San Francisco after Bolivia’s influential Catholic Church called for “national dialogue” to end more than a month of violent protests in which 23 people have died. IMAGES

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First Hispanic elected to lead US Catholic bishops

Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles, an immigrant from Mexico, overwhelmingly won election Tuesday as the first Hispanic to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. (Nov. 12)

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Thousands of Catholic faithful in Brazil celebrate first female saint | AFP

Tens of thousands of Catholic faithful flock to a football stadium in Brazil to celebrate the Vatican’s canonization into sainthood of Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, dubbed the “mother of the poor.”

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Pope Francis creates five new saints in canonisation ceremony | AFP

Pope Francis creates five new saints, including Britain’s Cardinal John Henry Newman – one of the Catholic Church’s most renowned converts – and a nun dubbed the “Mother Teresa of Brazil”. Heads of state from across the world attended the canonisation ceremony, which also raised a Swiss laywoman as well as two other nuns – an Indian and an Italian – to the highest position within the Church. IMAGES

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Poland’s LGBT community under fire ahead of elections | AFP

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights have become a hot button issue in Poland ahead of the October 13 general election in the heavily Catholic country. The highly influential Catholic Church and the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, the odds-on favourite to win the election, have launched blistering attacks on the LGBT community in the campaign preceding it.

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Africa Weekly: Khat addiction in Ethiopia and Madagascar’s new churches | AFP

This week on Africa Weekly we head to Ethiopia where a detox centre has been set up to help addicts of khat – a plant whose leaves give users a stimulating effect when chewed. Then we visit Madagascar, where an increasing number of people are flocking to evangelical churches, much to the concern of Catholic leaders.

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Pope Francis receives rapturous welcome at the Akamasoa charity | AFP

Pope Francis is welcomed to the Akamasoa charity association by Father Pedro, an Argentinian priest who has lived in Madagascar for over 40 years and is a beloved Catholic figure in Antananarivo. IMAGES

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City of hope rises from Madagascar garbage site | AFP

Father Pedro, an Argentinian priest who has lived in Madagascar for over 40 years, is a beloved Catholic figure in Antananarivo. His association, Akamasoa, has constructed a town on a rubbish dump, making it a sanctuary, and built dozens of schools in neglected villages, providing education for children.

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Malagasy evangelicals siphon power away from traditional churches | AFP

Malagasies are flocking to evangelical churches that have been springing up over the past thirty years. A trend that concerns local Catholic leaders, who are losing some of their members to these new churches, as the country prepares to receive a visit from Pope Francis from 6-8 September.

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Students ‘humiliated’ after Catholic school in Dakar refuses to admit veiled students | AFP

Students and parents react after a renowned Catholic school in Dakar refused to admit Muslim students wearing a headscarf to class under a new controversial regulation in the overwhelmingly Muslim country renowned for its religious tolerance. The school management did not wish to speak in front of the cameras. from students and parents

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Preparations underway in Madagascar ahead of Pope Francis’ visit | AFP

Volunteers clean the streets and churches of Antananarivo ahead of the much-awaited visit of Pope Francis to the Malagasy capital. The head of the Catholic church will visit Madagascar as part of a week-long tour across three Indian Ocean African countries.

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Clergy sexual abuse survivor talks about his healing

Joshua Love was recently paid $15,000 by a Catholic religious order to keep quiet about his claim that two Franciscan Friars abused him as a child. Now he’s going public and talking about how he’s tried to heal. (AP Video/Wong Maye-E, Samantha Shotzbarger)

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Church offers lower payouts to black abuse victims

A Catholic religious order recently settled sex abuse cases by secretly paying two black Mississippi men $15,000 each—far less than other survivors of clergy abuse typically have received, The Associated Press found. (Aug. 27)

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Australia’s Cardinal Pell loses child sex abuse appeal | AFP

Disgraced Catholic Cardinal George Pell is sent back to jail after an Australian court rejected his landmark appeal against convictions for child sex abuse.

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Catholicism on Guam: A Brief History

A brief history of Catholicism on Guam, from its tumultuous arrival to its place today as the most powerful institution on the island to revelations that priests had sexually abused children for generations.

Read the AP’s report on the culture of abuse within Guam’s Catholic Church that went unchecked for decades – the latest installment in The Reckoning series:
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Argentina: Alleged paedophile priests who abused deaf arrive for trial | AFP

Alleged paedophile priests who ran the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, a Catholic school for deaf children, arrive for trial as part of a sweeping scandal that has shaken Argentina, Pope Francis’ home country. IMAGES

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Fly buzzes Duterte as he attacks Philippine priests | AFP

A fly that interrupted his speech was working under the orders of priests, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte joked Tuesday, as he launched a new verbal attack on the country’s influential Catholic church.

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How nonprofit raised money for priests accused of sexual abuse

Since its founding in 2002, Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a Michigan nonprofit with the goal of helping priests accused of sexual abuse, has solicited help and spread its message through direct mail, its website and social media. It was able to raise more than $8 million between 2002 and 2016.

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