St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York holds first public Mass since March | AFP

Returning to the pews: Catholics in New York attend public Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral for the first time since March. The United States has surpassed 2.5 million coronavirus cases, as efforts to reopen the world’s economic powerhouse were dramatically set back by a surge of new infections in states such as Florida. IMAGES

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Catholics mourn first U.S. priest dead of COVID-19

The Rev. Jorge Ortiz-Garay, 49, was the first Catholic cleric in the U.S. to die from the coronavirus. His New York parishioners remembered his devotion to the community and how he gave them hope through his favorite word: “Animo! (Courage!) (April 8)

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Pope prays for coronavirus victims as Italy toll mounts | AFP

Pope Francis prays in a Rome cathedral for coronavirus victims on Sunday as Italy’s death toll hit a one-day high of 368. The pontiff has been suffering from a cold for more than two weeks and communicating with the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics via livestream.

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Pilgrims staying away as Lourdes prays for Coronavirus respite | AFP

An annual Easter pilgrimage to Lourdes by millions of Catholics has already been hit by fears over the Coronavirus epidemic: up to 15 % have already cancelled scheduled trips. No cases have been confirmed in the small town at the foot of the French Pyrenees mountains, but local authorities are preparing as best they can: ‘healing’ pools where hospital staff used to bathe sick pilgrims are closed, hand sanitisers have been posted at many sites and warnings of how to maintain good hygiene have been put up around the town.

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Pope Francis kicks off Christmas celebrations with midnight Mass | AFP

Pope Francis ushered in Christmas celebrations for the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics on Tuesday, saying the celebration of Jesus’s birth reminded humanity how “God continues to love us all, even the worst of us”. +REFILES WITH AFP TEXT STORY+ The pontiff told crowds gathered at the Vatican for his Christmas Eve Mass: “You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you.”

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AP Top Stories November 22 P

Here are the top stories for Friday, Nov. 22nd: Trump says he’d welcome a Senate trial; Suspect in texting suicide case pleads not guilty; Anti-government protesters killed in Baghdad; Pope brings hope to young Catholics in Thailand.

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Pope Francis holds a mass at Assumption Cathedral | AFP

Pope Francis leads a mass for young Catholics at Bangkok’s 109-year-old Cathedral of the Assumption on the last day of his visit to Thailand. He heads to Japan on Saturday for the second and final leg of his Asia tour, which will include visits to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, both devastated by atomic bombs by the US during World War II.

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Pope kicks off final day of Thailand visit | AFP

Pope Francis meets with Catholics at St Peter’s Church in Bangkok on the final full day of his visit to Thailand. IMAGES

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Guam’s Catholics reckon with decades of sex abuse

A review of court papers and extensive interviews by The Associated Press show systematic sexual abuse was allowed by the Catholic Church in Guam going back to the 1950’s to as recently as 2015. (Aug. 8)

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Prayers mark one month since Sri Lanka bombings

Hundreds of Catholics pray outside the bombed St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, marking one month since the Easter Sunday suicide attacks that killed 258 people in Sri Lanka. The Catholic schools in the country have also reopened, as the country tightened security with soldiers placed in front of the school entrances.

The Vatican responds to the devastating Notre-Dame fire

Pope Francis “is praying for the French people, for Parisians and for Catholics” after the devastating fire that raged through the iconic Notre-Dame cathedral in the heart of the city, according to a spokesman for the Holy See.

Expert: Cathedral fire a loss for Catholics, Paris

Architectural expert says the catastrophic fire that engulfed the upper reaches of Paris’ soaring Notre Dame Cathedral as it was undergoing renovations, is a lost not only for the city, but for Catholics who came on pilgrimages there. (April 15)

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Pope Francis visits Dublin’s Catholic cathedral

Pope Francis is welcomed by cheering fans as he arrives by ‘Popemobile’ at Dublin’s Catholic cathedral. The centre of worship is known as St Mary’s ‘Pro Cathedral’, a term used because Catholics consider Dublin’s original cathedral, now controlled by the Church of Ireland, to still be rightfully theirs.

Pope shares outrage at “repugnant crimes”

(25 Aug 2018) Pope Francis said at the start of a visit to Ireland on Saturday that he shares the outrage of rank-and-file Catholics over the failure of church authorities to punish the “repugnant crimes” of priests who raped and molested children. (Aug. 25)

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Victims, Catholics React to Pope Abuse Statement

(20 Aug 2018) Currently practicing Catholics, and those who were sexually abused by clergy as youths, are responding to the Pope’s condemnation of child sex abuse and its cover up within the Catholic church. (Aug. 20)

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AP Explains: Pope’s Letter on Sexual Abuse

(20 Aug 2018) Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics condemning the crime of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability, in response to new revelations in the United States of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church. (Aug. 20)

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On Sunday, Catholics React to Abuse Report

(19 Aug 2018) Some Catholics across the U.S. shaken by the latest revelations of priests sexually abusing children say they will stand behind the church while encouraging efforts to hold leaders accountable. (Aug. 19)

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‘Arrest a nun, not a Dreamer’: Dozens of Catholics detained in Capitol over pro-immigrant demo

Police disrupted a peaceful demonstration held by Catholic groups and nuns in support of the ‘Dream Act’ inside the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

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