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DR Congo political standoff

DR Congo's President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections to be held before end of 2017 under deal struck by political parties, Catholic Church mediator says - Reuters

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Creve Coeur, MO, US

Creve Coeur, Mo., police confirm fire at St. Monica Catholic Church is being investigated as arson - @JeanieSmithKSDK

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Fight against Islamic State militants

Indian officials say Mohammad Musa, Islamic State suspect arrested in July, had plans to attack pilgrims at Mother Teresa site in Kolkata - ANI

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Catholic Church

Photo: Pope Francis offers prayers for peace as he delivers the annual Christmas message from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican - @CatholicNewsSvc

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Catholic Church

More: Pope offers prayers and wishes peace toward people of Colombia, Venezuela, Eastern Ukraine, families of terror victims, the economically downtrodden in annual Christmas message - @CatholicNewsSvc

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Francis I

Pope Francis addresses Syria conflict in Christmas message, says it is time for military action to stop, urges international community to negotiate solution - @CatholicNewsSvc

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Catholic Church

Pope Francis, in Christmas Eve Mass, urges faithful to humble themselves to 'celebrate Christmas authentically' - Catholic News Agency

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Christmas

Photo: Pope Francis prays before image of baby Jesus at start of Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica - @gerryorome

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Philippines

At least 13 injured apparent grenade attack near a church in Midsayap area of Cotabato, Philippines - GMA News

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Donald Trump inauguration

Sources: New York's Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan to participate in Trump inaugural - @KellyO

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Vatican City

Pope orders Vatican monsignor convicted of leaking confidential documents freed in Christmas clemency - AP

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Russian ambassador killed in Ankara, Dec. 19, 2016

Vatican says Pope Francis has sent his condolences to family of Russian ambassador fatally shot in Turkey - Vatican Radio

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religion & belief

Three El Salvadoran priests found guilty of sexual abuse against minors in a trial held by the Vatican; they are suspended from their duties - Reuters

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Catholic Church

Denver Catholic Archdiocese holds special ceremony mass in push to make former slave who came to Colorado in mid-1800s a saint - AP

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Barack Obama

JUST IN: Pres. Obama on Pope Francis' upcoming 80th birthday: "I join the American people in extending our best wis… https://t.co/0B7bN5IZlS - @ABC

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obituaries

Brazilian Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, known for human rights advocacy, dead at 95 after being hospitalized for pneumonia - Catholic News Service

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Dallas, TX, US

RT @liz_farmer: Pope names bishop of Juneau, Alaska as new bishop of Dallas Catholic Diocese #Breaking https://t.co/qzozvGIMdM https://t.co… - @dallasnews

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Syrian Civil War

Pope Francis sends letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad urging respect of international humanitarian law so that civilians are protected - Reuters

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Rome, Lazio, Italia

Photo: Pope Francis greets people at the Spanish Steps in Rome ahead of the feast of Immaculate Conception - @CatholicNewsSvc

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2016 US elections

Pope Francis warns media over 'sin' of spreading fake news, smearing politicians - Reuters

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