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ROME — Pope Francis, whose mobility has been limited of late by a nagging knee problem, is looking forward to visiting South Sudan in July, according to a joint message by the pontiff, the archbishop of Canterbury and a Scottish church official.

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ROME — Pope Francis on Saturday blasted Catholics who, hewing to old-school versions of liturgy like the Latin Mass, have made an ideological battleground of the issue, decrying what he described as devil-inspired divisiveness in the church.

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Genesis 26:18-19 And Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaac’s servants dug in the valle…

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CASA GRANDE — Outreach Church of God in Christ Inc., serving Maricopa and Pinal counties in the ministry for 63 years, celebrates its church anniversary at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 29, at 204 N. Trekell Road.

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis authorized spending up to 1 million euros to free a Colombian nun kidnapped by al-Qaida-linked militants in Mali, a cardinal testified Thursday, revealing previously secret papal approval to hire a British security firm to find the nun and secure her freedom.

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VATICAN CITY — His appeals for an Orthodox Easter truce in Ukraine went unheeded. His planned meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church was canceled. A proposed visit to Moscow? Nyet. Even his attempt to showcase Russian-Ukrainian friendship fell flat.

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis told an Italian newspaper he had offered to travel to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin to try to end Russia's war in Ukraine and suggested the invasion might have been provoked by NATO’s eastward expansion.

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The United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops, ending a five-day meeting Friday, acknowledged the inevitable breakup of their denomination – a schism that will widen this weekend with the launch of a global movement led by theologically conservative Methodists.

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis gave a new mandate to his sex abuse advisory commission Friday, telling its members to work with bishops around the world to establish special welcome centers for victims and to audit the church’s progress on fighting abuse from its new perch within the Vatican.

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CASA GRANDE — First Presbyterian Church of Casa Grande has donated several items to the PPEP Tec High School to stock its closet for students in need.

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CHICAGO — In America’s third largest city, it’s possible to get a crash course in the world’s religions in a journey of just a few miles — from the University of Chicago’s majestic, ecumenical Christian Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on Chicago’s South Side to the humble Masjid Al-Taqwa, which …

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VATICAN CITY — The former director of the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency testified Wednesday that Pope Francis asked him to help the Vatican secretariat of state get full control of a London property, once again putting the pope and his top deputies in the spotlight for their roles in t…

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SEATTLE — The clock ran down at the end of the homecoming game and spectators stormed the football field, knocking over members of the high school band — all to gather around an assistant coach as he took a knee in prayer, surrounded by uniformed players.

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ROME — A Vatican investigation into allegations that the former top aide to St. John Paul II was negligent in handling sex abuse claims in his native Poland has cleared him of wrongdoing, the Vatican’s embassy in Poland said Friday.

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CASA GRANDE — Pianist Jim Sorensen will perform in Casa Grande during the 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. worship services on Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Casa Grande.

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ELOY — With people battling addiction in mind, Pastor Ed Brown of First United Methodist Church took the initiative to create a program that will benefit both addicts and their families.

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Christian worshipers gathered in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepluchre, the traditional site of Jesus's crucifixion, burial and resurrection, on Sunday to observe the Easter holiday.

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VATICAN CITY — On what is supposed to be Christianity's most joyful day, Pope Francis made an anguished Easter Sunday plea for peace in the “senseless” war in Ukraine and in other armed conflicts raging in the world, and voiced worry about the risk of nuclear warfare.

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ZAMORA, Spain — Wailing bugles, rhythmic drumbeats and eerie religious chants can be heard once again across Spain this year as the country’s massively popular Easter religious processions return after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexico City borough held Latin America’s most famous re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ with spectators Friday for the first time in two years, after the coronavirus pandemic forced televised-only performances in 2020 and 2021.

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ROME — A close associate of Pope Francis on Wednesday defended the Vatican’s decision to have a Russian woman and a Ukrainian woman carry the cross together during a Good Friday procession that will be presided over by the pontiff.

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CASA GRANDE — International pianist and composer John Nilsen performs in concert at United Methodist Church of Casa Grande at 2 p.m. on May 8 at the church, 1515 N. Trekell Road.

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Retired pastors have filed at least three federal lawsuits in recent weeks against the African Methodist Episcopal Church along with several subsidiaries and financial firms the church used, alleging tens of millions of dollars from a pension fund were mismanaged and missing.

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis opened Holy Week Sunday with a call for an Easter truce in Ukraine to make room for a negotiated peace, highlighting the need for leaders to “make some sacrifices for the good of the people.”

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Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He’s given power to the weak, and to those who have no might. He increases strength. Even the youths sh…

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MARICOPA — When Ruben Fenn Fierros was a teenager, he survived a kidnapping that left him hospitalized in a coma. Years later, that experience is the inspiration for his new song, “I Am He,” in which the Maricopa resident, 34, aims to spread hope and inspire others to overcome trauma, stress…

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CASA GRANDE — April 8 will be the last chance to catch the seasonal fish fry meal prepared by St. Anthony of Padua Knights of Columbus Council 3136 and other volunteers.

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CASA GRANDE — There are two more chances this season to catch the Sunday morning breakfast served by St. Anthony of Padua’s Knights of Columbus Council 3136.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be resuming its annual Mesa Easter Pageant, “Jesus the Christ,” April 6-9 and April 12-16, presented nightly at 8 p.m. on the grounds of the Mesa Temple in downtown Mesa at 101 S. LeSueur.

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