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Pope Francis is urging the people and leaders of Congo and South Sudan to “turn a page” and forge new paths of reconciliation, peace and development. Francis issued a video message on the day he had planned to begin a weeklong pilgrimage to the two African countries. He canceled the trip last month because of knee pain that makes walking and standing difficult. In the message delivered Saturday, Francis said he was “greatly disappointed” by the turn of events and promised to reschedule “as soon as possible.” He sent his No. 2, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to visit both Congo and South Sudan on the days the pope was supposed to have been there.

AP

FILE - Secretary General of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil Leonardo Steiner, speaks in Brasilia, Brazil, March 13, 2013. When Steiner kneels before Pope Francis on Aug. 27, the Brazilian clergyman will make history as the first cardinal to come from the Amazon. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

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FILE - U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett speaks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation in Simi Valley, Calif., April 4, 2022. Barrett has long been affiliated with People of Praise, an ecumenical Christian group with a significant Catholic membership. It combines a doctrinal and moral conservatism, including opposition to abortion. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

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The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade at a time when it has an unprecedented Catholic supermajority. That’s not a coincidence. Nor is it the whole story. U.S. Catholics are more ambivalent on abortion than their church leaders. More than half say it should be legal in all or most circumstances. Catholics such as President Joe Biden and Justice Sonia Sotomayor wanted Roe upheld. But the justices who voted to overturn Roe have been shaped by intellectual, spiritual and social currents within Catholicism that are strongly conservative and anti-abortion. “They are particular kinds of Catholics, traveling in particular Catholic circles,” one scholar says.

AP
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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, despite her position in support of abortion rights. Pelosi attended the morning Mass on Wednesday marking the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul. Two people who witnessed the moment said she received Communion along with the rest of the congregants. Pelosi also met with Pope Francis before Mass and received his blessing, according to one of the people. Pelosi’s home archbishop has said he will no longer allow her to receive the sacrament in his archdiocese because of her support for abortion rights.

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The FBI has opened a widening investigation into sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans, looking specifically at whether priests took children across state lines to molest them. That's according to law enforcement officials and others familiar with the inquiry who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.  More than a dozen alleged abuse victims have so far been interviewed as part of the probe that comes as the Archdiocese of New Orleans reels from a bankruptcy brought on by a flood of sex abuse lawsuits and allegations church leaders turned a blind eye to generations of predator priests.

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FILE - Archbishop Gregory Aymond conducts the procession to lead a live streamed Easter Mass in St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Sunday, April 12, 2020. The FBI has opened a widening investigation into Roman Catholic sex abuse in New Orleans, looking specifically at whether priests took children across state lines to molest them. The FBI declined to comment, as did the Louisiana State Police, which is assisting in the inquiry. The Archdiocese of New Orleans declined to discuss the federal investigation. “I’d prefer not to pursue this conversation,” Aymond told AP. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

AP
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Pope Francis, greets Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her husband, Paul Pelosi before celebrating a Mass on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Pelosi met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, witnesses said, despite her position in support of abortion rights. (Vatican Media via AP)

Pope Francis waves during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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Pope Francis holds the crucifix as he celebrates a Mass on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)