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Church News

China priests' fears over Vatican's Beijing olive branch

Bejing - Secret talks between the Vatican and Beijing are raising hopes of a "historic" rapprochement after six decades of estrangement, but some Chinese clergy fear that Rome will accept a Communist stranglehold over the country's Catholics.

Argentine court fines Catholic church $50,000 for sex abuse

Buenos Aires - A court in Buenos Aires on Saturday ordered the Catholic Church to pay $50,000 to a former seminarian who alleged he was sexually abused some 25 years ago by an Argentine archbishop.

French church hit by jihadist murder reopens

Saint- - Some two months after jihadists murdered a French priest in cold blood while he was celebrating mass, the Normandy church he served for decades reopened its doors on Sunday.

Gay Catholics test Poland's conservative church

Varsovia - When gay and lesbian Catholics launched a campaign this month to ask for acceptance in the Polish church, the backlash was swift and uncompromising.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch signs petition to Putin urging abortion ban

Moscow - Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Tuesday signed a petition calling for a legal ban on abortion, the Church said in a statement.

China willing to reach 'understanding' with Vatican: cardinal

Hong Kong - The head of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong has said the Chinese government is willing to reach an "understanding" with the Vatican over the contentious issue of the appointment of bishops.

Pro-refugee activists cleared of disrupting Greek mass

Thessalon - A Greek court on Monday released 26 anarchists who had disrupted a Sunday Orthodox church service to protest against refugee evictions, a judicial source said.

Syrian asylum seeker held over French church attack: Source close to probe

Paris - A Syrian refugee staying at a French centre for asylum seekers has been taken in for questioning in connection with a deadly jihadist attack on a church, a source close to the probe said Friday.

Priest killed in France church hostage-taking

Saint- - A priest was killed on Tuesday when men armed with knives seized hostages at a church near the northern French city of Rouen, a police source said.

Refugees in Germany turn to church for sanctuary

Tutzing - Peshtiwan Nasser Abdal has been holed up in a church for the past four months, in a desperate bid to avoid deportation from Germany.

U.S. to seek death penalty for South Carolina church shooter

Washington - U.S. officials said Tuesday that they would seek the death penalty in the trial of a young white man who killed nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church last year.

Indian police, Hindu hardliners halt church wedding

New Delhi - A group of hardline Hindu activists and police stormed a church in central India and stopped a wedding midway after accusing the pastor of forcefully converting the bride to Christianity, an official said Thursday.

Polish Catholic Church calls for total abortion ban

Varsovia - Poland's Catholic Church on Wednesday called for a total abortion ban, as pro-life activists seek to tighten the law that is already one of the most restrictive in Europe.

French cardinal Barbarin 'apologises' to abuse victims

Lyon - A French cardinal accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests apologised to victims during a mass, according to the website of his diocese.

Gold dome lifted onto future Russian Orthodox cathedral in Paris

Paris - A huge golden dome was hoisted into place Saturday atop a Russian Orthodox cathedral being built in Paris, as Russian and French dignitaries looked on.

Indian activists criticise Vatican for revoking priest's ban

New Delhi - Children's activists in India on Wednesday criticised the Vatican for revoking the suspension of a Catholic priest who was convicted by a US court of sexually abusing a minor.

Fidel Castro hails Catholic-Orthodox talks in Cuba

Havana - Cuba's former revolutionary president Fidel Castro on Monday said the historic meeting in his country between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches raised worldwide hope for peace.

Cuba decorates Russia patriarch after pope visit

Havana - Cuba's president Raul Castro awarded the country's highest honor to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Saturday, hailing his role in the communist island's relations with Moscow.

Greek parliament approves civil union for same-sex couples

Atenas - Greece's parliament on Wednesday approved a bill granting same-sex couples the right to a civil union, becoming one of the last European countries to give them legal recognition after years of opposition from the influential Orthodox church.

Ontario priest guilty of stealing up to $234,000 from his church

Tecumseh - A clergyman who was found guilty Thursday of allegedly stealing up to $234,000 from his church will retain the title of priest. A jury only needed a few hours to deliberate before finding Rev. Robert Couture,52, guilty of theft over $5,000.

Salvadoran church apologizes for pedophilia cases

Sansalvador - The archbishop of El Salvador's capital apologized Sunday for pedophilia cases involving a bishop and a priest and pledged to clean house.The two clergymen will also face church justice, he said.

El Salvador condemns bishop accused of raping girl

Sansalvador - A "well-loved" senior bishop in El Salvador who is also a prominent Church historian was Friday condemned by government officials and a rights organization after being accused of repeatedly raping a girl in the 1980s.

Russia says new DNA tests confirm last tsar's remains

Moscow - New DNA tests on the remains of the last tsar Nicholas II confirm their authenticity, Russia said Wednesday, after exhuming them in a bid to end a dispute with the Orthodox Church.

Tens of thousands march in Moscow as Putin extols patriotism

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday extolled patriotism as tens of thousands marched through Moscow in the Kremlin-choreographed show of unity amid tensions with the West.

Russia readies to exhume Tsar Alexander III in Romanov probe

Sanktpeterburg - Russian investigators began examining the grave of Tsar Alexander III Tuesday ahead of his exhumation in a probe looking to finally identify the remains of the last tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Teen recounts deadly NY church beating

New Hartford - A 17-year-old boy testified Wednesday of being punched and whipped with a cord during a deadly assault in a US church carried out by his family and congregants.

U.S. church assault sees parents charged with killing son, 19

New York - A spiritual counseling session turned deadly at a church in New York state this week when a teenager was beaten to death and his brother left with serious injuries.

Church says Russia fighting 'holy battle' in Syria

Moscow - Russia's powerful Orthodox Church on Wednesday voiced support for Moscow's decision to carry out air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State group, calling it a "holy battle".

Russia digs up remains of last tsar for new probe

Sanktpeterburg - Russian investigators on Wednesday exhumed the remains of the country's last emperor Nicholas II and empress Alexandra as part of a new probe into the notorious 1918 slaying of the Romanov family.

Church incense could be banned as a ‘legal high’

London - Incense, used by some churches in services, could be banned as part of the U.K.’s crackdown on so-called "legal highs." These are psychoactive drug substances currently escaping drug enforcement measures.
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Pastor Sean Harris  Fred Phelps Protests  LGBT Protests
Pastor Sean Harris, Fred Phelps Protests, LGBT Protests
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Late evening image of church in the Roseland Peninsula
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Historic Church near Menzie Manitoba
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A composite image of the nave (central part) of the church as photographed using aerial photography.
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Church at Ball's Falls Conservation park.
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Pastor Sean Harris, Fred Phelps Protests, LGBT Protests
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Aerial view of Ulm Minster - Gothic church in Ulm, Germany
Karle3 / Wikimedia
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A burned church in Jos, Nigeria
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A 14th century church in Rochester, Kent
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