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Caption: Pope Francis blesses a family Sept. 19 during a special audience with participants at a meeting for the new evangelization. He told the group there are
Pope Francis blesses a family Sept. 19 during a special audience with participants at a meeting for the new evangelization. He told the group there are "so many people who are hurt and they are asking us to be close." (CNS/Reuters)
Vatican astronomer: Just a matter of time until life found in universe

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, the new president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, has no doubt that life exists elsewhere in the universe and that when humanity discovers it, the news will come as no big surprise.

He suggested that the likely discovery -- whether next month or a millennium from now -- will be received much the way that news of planets orbiting far off stars has filtered in since the 1990s.
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Caption: Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., prays after Mass in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher. He was one of 18 bishops on a nine-day prayer pilgrimage for peace to the Holy Land in September. (CNS/Jen Hardy, CRS)
Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., prays after Mass in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher. He was one of 18 bishops on a nine-day prayer pilgrimage for peace to the Holy Land in September. (CNS/Jen Hardy, CRS)
NEWS BRIEFS Sep-19-2014
By Catholic News Service nbsp;
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THIS WEEK IN ORIGINS

Editors: Contents of Origins CNS Documentary Service, Vol. 44, No. 17 (Sept. 25, 2014):

-- Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches, tells the inaugural In Defense of Christians summit in Washington why the conflict in which Islamic State fighters are driving Christians and other minorities from their homelands in Iraq and Syria should not be seen as a war between Islam and Christianity.

-- Pope Francis presides at a wedding of 20 Roman couples in St. Peter's Basilica.

-- Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, Washington, outlines a pastoral plan for evangelizing in a diocese still experiencing fallout from clerical sexual abuse cases that led to a declaration of bankruptcy a decade ago.


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Pope: No 'magic wand'; evangelizing takes hard work, trust in God
Bring the Gospel to those who need it most: the poor, the frazzled and the lost, who wander the world without any guidance or protection, Pope Francis told pastoral workers.
Pope to bishops: Guard the faith, build hope, love sinners as they are
Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.
Pope's advisers start first draft toward document overhauling Vatican
Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals has begun creating the first draft of a new apostolic constitution that would implement a major reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.


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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