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Church renovation lifts Christmas spirit in Bethlehem

Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 12:22am

A historic renovation of the Church of the Nativity is lifting spirits in the biblical town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas, offering visitors a look at ancient mosaics and columns that have been restored to their original glory for the first time in 600 years.

Poland's president, Jewish leaders light Hanukkah candles

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 9th - 1:23pm

Polish President Andrzej Duda and Jewish community members have lit a menorah at the Presidential Palace to jointly mark Hanukkah.

Pope to Romans in holidays speech: Make city more livable

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 12:05pm

Pope Francis has given Romans a holiday pep talk, encouraging them to do their share to make the trash-plagued, traffic-clogged city more livable.

Tunisian protesters criticize Israel, support Palestinians

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 11:56am

Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators have staged a protest in Tunisia's capital against Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians.

Battle of wills: Tiny order of French nuns takes on Vatican

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 7:24am

The Vatican has an unusual dilemma on its hands after nearly all the nuns in a tiny French religious order threatened to renounce their vows rather than accept the Holy See's decision to remove their superior.

Catholic monks killed in Algeria's civil war are beatified

Aomar Ouali, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 5:03am

A cardinal dispatched by the Vatican to Algeria held an unusual beatification ceremony on Saturday for 19 monks, nuns and other Catholics who were killed during Algeria's civil war in the 1990s.

Big rally by Malaysia Muslims calls for upholding privileges

Eileen Ng, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 1:55am

Tens of thousands of Malaysian Muslims rallied Saturday in Kuala Lumpur against any attempt to strip the ethnic Malay majority of its privileges, in the first massive street gathering since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's alliance won a historic vote in May.

Air Force failed 6 times to report Texas church gunman

Nomaan Merchant, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 7th - 10:49am

The Air Force failed six times to report information that could have prevented the ex-airman who killed more than two dozen people in a Texas church from purchasing a gun, according to a government report released Friday.

Vatican investigates after nuns report sex abuse by priests

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 7th - 6:49am

The Vatican has launched an investigation into a small Chilean religious order of nuns after some sisters denounced sexual abuse at the hands of priests and mistreatment by their superiors, a turning point that shows the Holy See is now willing to investigate allegations of sexual violence against nuns.

Polish Church urged to check sex abuse claims against priest

Monika Scislowska, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 7th - 6:01am

The mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk has asked the local Roman Catholic archbishop to investigate allegations that a now-deceased priest who rose to prominence in the Solidarity pro-democracy movement sexually abused minors.

Brazil future unclear amid opposing ideologies of ministers

Diane Jeantet, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 6th - 10:03pm

With his inauguration just weeks away, Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro is assembling a Cabinet of ministers with starkly different views on key issues like climate change, the economy and China that is raising questions about the direction the far-right leader will take Latin America's largest nation.

Turkey seeks 15-year prison terms for prominent journalists

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 6:27am

Turkey's state-run news agency says prosecutors are seeking maximum 15-year prison terms for five journalists of an opposition newspaper, intensifying concerns over authorities' crackdown on news coverage critical of the government.

Indian bishop accused of misusing funds for family resigns

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 5:07am

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of an Indian bishop who, according to news reports, was accused of misappropriating church funds to support a secret family.

Group says dozens detained in raid on Chinese church

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 10th - 4:35am

Dozens of Christians have been detained in a raid on a prominent Chinese church that operates outside the government's official Protestant organization, a U.S.-based advocacy group said Monday.

French minister: Violence in Paris 'under control' despite scattered tensions but is 'totally unacceptable'

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 8th - 11:33am

French minister: Violence in Paris 'under control' despite scattered tensions but is 'totally unacceptable'

Sex abuse claims against 2 former Catholic priests in Utah

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 7th - 1:24pm

The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City is says two former priests who were removed from their posts years ago after credible reports of sexual abuse.

The Latest: Jesuits list 153 with credible abuse claims

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 7th - 11:54am

The Latest on the release of names of accused Jesuits by two provinces (all times local):

Church's Nativity scene underscores immigration divide

The Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 7th - 10:11am

The baby Jesus confined to a black metal cage. The three wise men fenced off in a corner of the manger.

2 Jesuit provinces releases 153 names of accused abusers

Jim Salter, Associated Press  |  Posted Dec 7th - 9:29am

Two Roman Catholic Jesuit provinces that cover nearly half the U.S. released the names Friday of more than 150 priests and other ministry leaders who were found to have "credible allegations" of sexual abuse made against them dating to the 1950s.