Nation and World News

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago dies after long fight with cancer

Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago

CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis E. George, the retired archbishop of Chicago who was the first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, died April 17 at his residence after nearly 10 years battling cancer. He was 78.

His successor in Chicago, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, called Cardinal George "a man of peace, tenacity and courage" in a statement he read at a news conference held outside Holy Name Cathedral to announce the death.

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Bishop: Framework on Iran's nuclear program a step to peace

Pope Francis' use of term 'genocide' angers Turkey; pontiff says memory leads to healing

Pope Francis embraced Catholicos Karekin II of Etchmiadzin, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, during an April 12 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

VATICAN CITY -- Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Pope Francis said atrocities from the past have to be recognized -- not hidden or denied -- for true reconciliation and healing to come to the world.

However, Turkey's top government officials criticized the pope's use of the term "genocide" -- citing a 2001 joint statement by St. John Paul II and the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church -- in reference to the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians during their forced evacuation by Ottoman Turks in 1915-18.

Pittsburgh Diocese waives all annulment application fees

PITTSBURGH -- The Diocese of Pittsburgh has eliminated all fees for those seeking an annulment in the diocese.

The decision, announced April 1, took immediate effect.

"I know that the fee has stood in the way for many who are in need of an annulment," said a letter from Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh to Catholics in his diocese.

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Bishops object to death penalty as punishment in Boston bomber case

Bishops urge Kenya to beef up security, intelligence after attack

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Kenya's Catholic bishops, urging citizens to remain united, asked the government to beef up security, especially in all educational institutions, and to address the breakdown in its intelligence system.

Responding to an attack that killed at least 147 people, many of them Christians, at Garissa University College, the bishops also urged the government to "get to the bottom of this problem of terrorism and radicalization with a view to proactively stemming such incidences from recurring."

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