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Caption: Palestinians in Gaza walk next to the ruins of houses destroyed prior to a truce between Israel and Hamas, which controls the coastal territory. The priest leading the Gaza Strip's only Catholic parish met with Pope Francis privately at the Vatican for 45 minutes Aug. 29. (CNS/Reuters)
Palestinians in Gaza walk next to the ruins of houses destroyed prior to a truce between Israel and Hamas, which controls the coastal territory. The priest leading the Gaza Strip's only Catholic parish met with Pope Francis privately at the Vatican for 45 minutes Aug. 29. (CNS/Reuters)
Wartime pontiff started tradition of papal peacemaking

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Among the various World War I-related anniversaries of this centennial year, the election of Pope Benedict XV, 100 years ago Sept. 3, is apt to be one of the less widely observed.

Pope Benedict XV is the most obscure of the nine men who have led the Catholic Church over the last century -- the title of his biography by historian John F. Pollard is "The Unknown Pope" -- and in some ways, this negative distinction seems justified. His seven-and-a-half-year pontificate was relatively short and, with respect to his most prominent undertaking, spectacularly unsuccessful.
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Caption: John Sweeney, former AFL-CIO president, gestures during an interview at his Washington office. Sweeney, 80, recently was honored by the AFL-CIO with the George Meany-Lane Kirkland Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Workers' Rights. (CNS/Bob Roller)
John Sweeney, former AFL-CIO president, gestures during an interview at his Washington office. Sweeney, 80, recently was honored by the AFL-CIO with the George Meany-Lane Kirkland Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Workers' Rights. (CNS/Bob Roller)
NEWS BRIEFS Aug-29-2014
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THIS WEEK IN ORIGINS

Editors: Contents of Origins CNS Documentary Service, Vol. 44, No. 14 (Sept. 4, 2014):

-- Pope Francis discusses U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, torture, possible visits to the U.S. and Mexico, and the sainthood cause of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero in an inflight news conference during his return from Korea.

-- Pope Francis asks the U.N. secretary-general for immediate action to prevent further violence against ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq.

-- The head of the U.S. bishops' conference, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, urges President Barack Obama, in concert with other nations' leaders, to the end the violence against ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq.

-- St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson says it is time to acknowledge the "decades of hurt and mistrust and suspicion and prejudices" that preceded the civil unrest that followed the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, and to work to dismantle systemic racism.

-- Miami's Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, in the annual Labor Day statement issued by the U.S. bishops, focuses on the plight of young adults who he says have borne the brunt of unemployment and underemployment at home and abroad during the international financial crisis.

-- Pope Francis visits a Pentecostal congregation in Caserta, Italy.

-- Pope Francis urges Catholics in Caserta, Italy, a town scarred by mafia crime, to reject evil, violence and oppression.


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Pope to Gaza's Catholics: Be Christ's witness in midst of conflict
The priest leading the Gaza Strip's only Catholic parish met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking him for his support of those suffering in the war-torn territory.
Pope Francis to preside over joint September wedding at Vatican
The papal Mass celebrating the couples' marriage will come just a few weeks before the start of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, Oct. 5-19.
Pope names new archbishops of Madrid, Valencia
Pope Francis reassigned two prominent Spanish bishops, giving a new leader to the country's largest diocese and leaving a vacancy at the head of the Vatican's liturgical office.


Zambian prelate: Church without women religious 'wouldn't be there'
Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu told Catholic nuns from eastern and central Africa they deserve a commendation for doing a difficult and challenging job for the marginalized.

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