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Cardinal Parolin to UN: International community must stop terrorist aggression

Cardinal Pietro Parolin echoed the Pope's call to "take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway” in the Middle East. 
 
The Vatican Secretary of State, addressed the 69th UN General Assembly in New York, where he warned of the growing threat of the terrorist group ISIS. 
 
The Cardinal also said that the "transnational” form of terrorism used by ISISrequires the combined forces of many nations to stop their violence and aggression. 
 
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Pope to Albanian religious leaders: "Killing in God's name is a grave sacrilege"

Pope Francis met with the six spiritual leaders of the main religious confessions of Albania: Muslims,  Bektashis, Catholics, Orthodox, Evangelicals and Jews.

The Pope explained that this meeting proved that peaceful religious coexistence is possible. He also recalled the consequences of excluding God from society.

POPE FRANCIS
"When, in the name of an ideology, there is an attempt to remove God from society, it ends up adoring idols, and very soon men and women lose their way, their dignity is trampled and their rights violated."

For the Pope, true religious freedom must promote respect and dialogue, and has nothing to do with sectarianism.

POPE FRANCIS
"We cannot deny that intolerance towards those with different religious convictions is a particularly insidious enemy, one which today is being witnessed in various areas around the world."

Pope Francis asked all believers to stand up against any distortion of religion, especially using faith as a pretext for violence.

POPE FRANCIS
"No one must use the name of God to commit violence. To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman."

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Pope: Albania proves to world that diverse religions can live in peace

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People of different religious beliefs can and must live together in peace, Pope Francis said.

The Muslim majority and Christian minorities in Albania cooperate beautifully for the common good and prove to the world that it can be done, he said.


Pope Francis passes a man holding Argentina's flag and a sign with the word "Amigo" as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 24. (CNS/Paul Haring)

"I could see, with great satisfaction, that the peaceful and fruitful coexistence between people and communities belonging to different religions is not only beneficial, but is concretely possible and practical. They put it into practice" in Albania, he said.

During his general audience in St. Peter's Square Sept. 24, Pope Francis reviewed his one-day trip to Albania Sept. 21.

He told the more than 30,000 people in the square that he wanted to visit a country where people of different religious traditions were peacefully living and working together, despite suffering decades of violent oppression "by an atheist and heartless regime."

"I thought it seemed important to encourage them on this path" of religious respect and to urge them to never give up looking for ways to benefit the common good, he said.

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Nuncio: World won’t be more ‘genuinely’ human unless all work for peace

NEW YORK — Peace is never achieved once and for all, but is the fruit of a daily quest for greater justice and respect for one another, the new papal nuncio to the United Nations said Sept. 15.

For believers, it is not merely a result of human efforts, but also a gift from the Almighty, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said.

He spoke at a prayer service on the eve of the opening of the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly. It was his first official function since arriving in New York Sept. 8. He was the nuncio to Haiti from 2008 until July 1.

The interreligious service is an annual event sponsored by theArchdiocese of New York, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations and the Church of the Holy Family, where it was held.

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Church serves 'women the rest of the world has left behind'

Recent claims that the Catholic Church disregards women fail to acknowledge the Church’s critical work to support women and families around the world, say leaders in medicine, academia and global relief work.

“Anyone who thinks that the Catholic Church doesn’t support women doesn’t know much about the Church, its mission and its presence around the world,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President of US Operations for Catholic Relief Services.

“Every day, the Catholic community supports women with opportunities to strengthen their families, become better educated, and build their economic and food security. Our presence across the globe, including in some of the most remote places on earth, allows us to help many women the rest of the world has left behind,” she told CNA Aug. 27.

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