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Hajj Stampede Toll Climbs to 1,453 in Saudi Arabia

Washington, D.C. An Associated Press count shows that at least 1,453 pilgrims were killed in a crush and stampede near the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca during this year’s annual hajj pilgrimage, far more than the kingdom’s official toll. The higher count comes from tolls offered by 18 countries through their officials or state […]

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More Than Two Million Muslims Start Hajj Pilgrimage

Mecca, Saudia Arabia. More than 2 million Muslims on Tuesday started the first rites of the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest pilgrimages that draws people from different countries to the holy city of Mecca to perform a series of rituals and prayers aimed at erasing past sins. Photo: Wikicommons. Newly-arrived pilgrims […]

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Planning Underway for Pope Francis Visit to U.S.

Washington, D.C.  The website of Our Lady Queen of Angels School says the population of its school is “one the pope has made a focus of his visit – the often voiceless in the immigrant community.” OLQA describes its students as “70 percent Hispanic and 22 percent African American” with 69 percent of the student […]

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Pope Francis to Allow Holy Year Pardon for Abortion

The Vatican, Rome.  Pope Francis will give all priests discretion to formally forgive women who have had abortions and seek absolution during the Roman Catholic Church’s upcoming Holy Year, in the Argentine pontiff’s latest move toward a more open and inclusive church. The Canonization of Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II by Pope […]

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Pope Francis Speaks Out Against Greed, Apologizes for Colonialism

La Paz, Bolivia. Pope Francis spoke out against corporate greed and apologized for colonialism in the Americas in a speech Thursday in a meeting of groups working for the unemployed, landless and impoverished. In a speech to the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Pope Francis asked, “Do we realize that something […]

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Tibetans, Friends Celebrate Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday Around World

Dharamsala, India.  The Dalai Lama turned 80 this week and Tibetans around the world celebrated the auspicious birthday. As the Tibetan spiritual leader visited New York to lecture on Buddhism,  Tibetans back in northern India where he lives in exile,  discussed what their spiritual leader means to them. Tibet House and the the Tibet Fund […]

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Episcopal Church Elects First Black Presiding Bishop

New York, N.Y.  The Episcopal Church General Convention Saturday elected Bishop Michael Curry to serve as the denomination’s new presiding bishop, making him the first African American to lead the 1.9-million-member church, the Associated Press reports. It was a landslide victory, according to AP. Curry earned 121 of 174 votes on the first ballot. None […]

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Obama Hosts Ramadan Iftar Dinner at White House

Washington, D.C.  Yesterday evening, President Obama hosted an Iftar dinner celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the White House. President Barack Obama hosts an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan in the East Room of the White House, June 22, 2015. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson. . The Iftar is the evening meal […]

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