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Faith »

Pope Francis blasts supermax prisons as ‘torture’

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis said Thursday (Oct. 23) that keeping inmates isolated in maximum security prisons is “a form of torture,” and called life sentences “a hidden death penalty” that should be abolished along with capital punishment. “All Christians and people o…
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Faith »

Top Anglican calls for lifting seal of confessional in child abuse cases

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Anglican priests should no longer be bound by the centuries-old principle of confidentiality in confessions when they are told of sexual crimes committed against children, the Church of England’s No. 2 official said. Speaking at the end of an inte…
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Culture »

Puerto Rico gay marriage ruling sets up a potential federal conflict

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. (RNS) Gay marriage may be sweeping the nation, but in Puerto Rico it remains against the law. A federal district judge late Tuesday…
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Culture »

Italian priest, unfazed by death threats, goes after the Mafia

ROME (RNS) Half a dozen men stand nonchalantly in front of a grubby building on one of Rome’s busiest streets as cars whizz past. They stiffen whenever a stranger approaches. But few would guess they’re undercover cops protecting Italy’s most endangered man. Inside is th…
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Culture »

Evangelicals boost clinics to help immigrants navigate legal headaches

WASHINGTON (RNS) An alliance of evangelical organizations has pledged to dramatically increase the number of church-based legal clinics across the country to assist immigrants with the complicated processes of seeking green cards, visas and family unification. The Immigrat…
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