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Pope battered by abuse scandal gets warm welcome in Baltics

Nicole Winfield and Pietro De Cristofaro, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 22nd - 10:27am

Tens of thousands of Lithuanians lined the narrow streets of the Old Town of Vilnius and cheered Saturday as Pope Francis' popemobile passed by, an exuberant greeting that must have been welcome to a pope battered by new revelations in the Catholic Church's long-running sex abuse scandal.

Vatican announces deal with China on bishop appointments

Frances D'Emilio, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 22nd - 7:05am

The Vatican on Saturday announced it had signed a "provisional agreement" with China aimed at defusing tensions over the appointment of bishops, a breakthrough on an issue that stymied diplomatic relations for decades.

Vatican announces deal with China on bishop appointments, says it hopes for greater bilateral collaboration

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 22nd - 4:16am

Vatican announces deal with China on bishop appointments, says it hopes for greater bilateral collaboration.

Fugitive New Mexico priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse

Mary Hudetz and Russell Contreras, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 5:38pm

A fugitive priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse has been returned to New Mexico to face charges after being arrested in Morocco last year, federal officials said Friday.

China treats Uighur kids as 'orphans' after parents seized

Yanan Wang and Dake Kang, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 4:59pm

Every morning, Meripet wakes up to her nightmare: The Chinese government has turned four of her children into orphans, even though she and their father are alive.

Rural Texas town council approves Muslim cemetery plan

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 4:17pm

Leaders of a rural Texas town have approved design plans for a Muslim cemetery three years after the project was met with derision and claims that it was a precursor to a mosque or an extremist training center.

The Latest: Fugitive priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 4:03pm

The Latest on the arrest of a fugitive priest from New Mexico on child sexual abuse charges (all times local):

Pennsylvania dioceses consider victims' compensation fund

Marc Levy, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 4:01pm

Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses said late Friday they are willing to set up a victims' compensation fund as they face the prospect that state lawmakers will give victims of decades-old child sexual abuse another chance to sue the church.

Evangelicals push Senate Republicans to confirm Kavanaugh

Ken Thomas, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 3:21pm

Evangelical activists want Republican leaders to act more forcefully to send Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, expressing skepticism about the decades-old allegations of sexual assault levied against the federal judge. The political flashpoint is playing out only weeks before midterm elections in which conservative voters will be critical to the GOP drive to maintain control of Congress.

Rivals for Georgia governor clash on 'religious freedom' law

Russ Bynum, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 11:19am

The candidates running to become Georgia's next governor are clashing over whether the state should pass a law offering protection for citizens acting on religious belief.

Russia looms in background as pope travels to Baltics

Nicole Winfield and Liudas Dapkus, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 8:45am

Pope Francis is heading to the Baltic countries this weekend amid renewed alarm about Russia's intentions in the region it twice occupied for decades.

Pakistan urges China to ease pressure on Muslims minority

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 7:41am

Pakistan is urging China to ease pressures on the country's Muslim minority amid warnings by rights groups that the Uighurs in China face restrictions on religious activities and mass detentions in so-called "re-education camps."

Pope lets more bishops go as part of Chile sex abuse fallout

Frances D'Emilio, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 6:55am

Pope Francis on Friday accepted the resignations of two more bishops in Chile, as fallout mounted from widespread sex abuse scandals there.

Report: Benedict defends 'emeritus pope' title to critic

The Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 4:01am

A German newspaper that quoted letters by Benedict XVI hitting back at criticism of his 2013 resignation said Friday that he was responding to a conservative German cardinal who took issue with his decision to take the title "emeritus pope."

5 years after mall Kenya attack, al-Shabab's threat grows

Tom Odula, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 1:57am

Five years after al-Shabab fighters burst into a luxury shopping mall in Kenya's capital, hurling grenades and starting a days-long siege that left 67 people dead, analysts say the Somalia-based extremist group has been pushed down Africa's east coast as far as Mozambique as its regional threat expands.

Catholic priest in Slovakia challenges celibacy rules

Karel Janicek, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 21st - 1:21am

A priest in the conservative Roman Catholic stronghold of Slovakia has challenged the church's celibacy rules, voicing his dissent at a time when clerical celibacy is once again a topic of debate amid ongoing sex abuse scandals.

Empty places at the table: Uighur children missing in China

Yanan Wang and Dake Kang, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 20th - 10:43pm

Chinese authorities are placing the children of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities into dozens of state-run orphanages across the far western Xinjiang region, as around 1 million adults in their families are sent to internment camps.

China distances children from families to subdue Muslim west

Yanan Wang and Dake Kang, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 20th - 8:23pm

The Chinese government has turned four of Meripet's children into orphans, even though she and her husband are alive.

Cardinal hires judge to review church sex abuse policies

Karen Matthews, Associated Press  |  Posted Sep 20th - 4:39pm

Hoping to restore the faith of those disillusioned by how the church has handled sexual abuse allegations, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York appointed a former federal judge Thursday to review its procedures and protocols.