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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Follow AP’s series, The Reckoning, which explores the Catholic Church’s greatest credibility crisis since the Reformation: https://www.apnews.com/TheReckoning

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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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