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Pope makes major donation to struggling South Sudan

A mother and her children ate a meal at a camp for internally displaced people on the grounds of St. Mary Catholic Cathedral April 24 in Wau, South Sudan. Drought and armed conflict have pushed tens of thousands of Wau-area residents out of their homes, away from their farms and unable to adequately feed themselves.

VATICAN CITY — With a trip to South Sudan postponed indefinitely, Pope Francis is sending close to a half-million dollars to help two Church-run hospitals, a teacher training center and farming projects for families as a way to show the people there his solidarity and support.

Annual audit of Church abuse allegations shows work still needed

WASHINGTON — The 14th annual report on diocesan compliance with the U.S. Catholic Church's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" (sometimes referred to as the Dallas Charter) shows that Church leaders have taken steps to help many find healing as victims of clergy sexual abuse, but there is still work to be done.

Pentecost is celebration of unity in diversity

VATICAN CITY — The Holy Spirit continues to give Christians different gifts and to call them to share those gifts with each other in a community marked by forgiveness and "unity in diversity," Pope Francis said on Pentecost.

"In a way both creative and unexpected," the pope said, the Holy Spirit "generates diversity, for in every age He causes new and varied charisms to blossom. Then He brings about unity: He joins together, gathers and restores harmony."

Gunmen take Catholic hostages; Philippines’ Duterte imposes martial law

Philippine government troops stood guard May 24 at a checkpoint along a main highway in Lanao del Norte province. Residents started to evacuate the town of Marawi after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao.

MANILA, Philippines — Gunmen claiming to have links with the Islamic State group threatened to kill hostages, including a Catholic priest, who were taken from the southern Philippine city of Marawi May 23.

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao late May 23, but ucanews.com reported that many, including Church leaders, characterized the imposition of martial law as an overreaction.

An empty tomb and a bodily resurrection: why it matters

A life-size depiction of Jesus being laid in the tomb is seen April 9 in the Stations of the Cross on the grounds of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.

WASHINGTON — Catholics and other Christians have grown up believing in the Resurrection, but the apostles themselves were among the first who were skeptical that Jesus arose from the dead.

They didn't believe it at first when they were told by the women who had come to anoint the crucified Jesus' body but instead found an empty tomb.

U.S. bishops ask Catholics to accompany migrants and refugees

A woman in New York walked Sept. 16 past hundreds of refugee life jackets collected from the beaches of Greece. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Catholics to “not lose sight of the fact that behind every policy is the story of a person in search of a better life.”

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops in a pastoral reflection called all Catholics to do what each of them can "to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States."

Titled "Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times," the reflection was issued March 22 "in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands," according to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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