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Pope Francis: 'Many Tears This Christmas'

In his annual Christmas Day blessing, the pontiff condemned killing in Iraq, Syria and Pakistan and the "brutal persecution" of religious and ethnic minorities.
NPR

Pope Francis And His Gift For Blending The Spiritual And The Political

Despite detractors within the church, Pope Francis' emphasis on humility and mercy has won him strong support worldwide. He has addressed thorny issues such as Vatican finances and clerical sex abuse.
NPR

Mother, Empress, Virgin, Faith: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

This Christmas, images of Mary created over five centuries glow on the walls of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Curator Kathryn Wat says that, to her, Mary represents bravery and strength.
NPR

Satanic Temple's Holiday Display Vandalized In Florida Capitol

A woman is in custody and the atheist group behind the display said it plans to press charges. The diorama of Lucifer falling into the flames of hell was part of the rotunda's free speech zone.
NPR

Pope To Vatican Leaders: In-Fighting Must Stop

Pope Francis gave a harsh Christmas speech this week, diagnosing the Vatican leadership with "spiritual Alzheimers." Vatican watcher Rocco Palmo tells NPR's Audie Cornish about the pope's message.
NPR

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican's Bureaucrats

He accused the Curia, which oversees the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, of "spiritual Alzheimer's" and careerism. Francis has made reforming the Vatican a major part of his agenda.
NPR

Cuba's Jews, Catholics Have Very Different Takes On The U.S. Thaw

The country's tiny Jewish community is embracing the breakthrough. But some Catholics feel betrayed by President Obama's overtures to Cuba's communist government.
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U.S. Catholics To Feel Pope's Impact With Archbishop Appointments

Since his election less than 2 years ago, Pope Francis has appointed or promoted some 40 American bishops, elevating new leaders in many cities. The most prominent is the new archbishop of Chicago.
NPR

Nuns On The Ranch Give A Heavenly Twist To Beef

At a Colorado ranch run by Benedictine nuns, prayer and farming go hand in hand. "We have kind of a corner on the market" for grass-fed beef, says one sister. "People just kind of believe in it."
NPR

Staff Picks: An Evangelical Christian Believer In Climate Change

Weekend Edition staff have been picking their favorite interviews from 2014. Editor Natalie Winston talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about an interview with an evangelical Christian climate scientist.

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