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VATICAN CITY (CNS) – As the death fluctuated from the massive tornado that struck near Oklahoma City May 20, Pope Francis offered a special prayer for the victims during his early morning Mass May 21, offered his condolences through his Twitter account and through a message to the city's archbishop.
"Let us pray for the victims ... and the missing, especially the children, struck by the violent tornado that hit Oklahoma City yesterday. Hear us, O Lord," the pope said during the prayers of the faithful at his morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.
PHILADELPHIA (CNS) – Dr. Kermit Gosnell may have been convicted May 13 of murder at his Philadelphia abortion clinic, but "nothing can bring back the innocent children he killed, or make up for the vulnerable women he exploited," said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.
And, he added, "the repugnance of his clinic conditions" must be remembered.
In a May 14 statement, the Philadelphia archbishop said, "Gosnell is not an exception. Others just like him run abortion mills throughout our country."
A Philadelphia jury May 13 found Gosnell guilty of murder in the deaths of three babies born alive during abortions and acquitted him of a fourth similar charge. He also was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death by a drug overdose of a patient who had an abortion.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – A little bit of spring cleaning or a much needed renovation can turn up the most unexpected things – especially if you're sprucing up or digging through the Vatican.
Home of hundreds of thousands of artifacts, archived documents, ornate frescoes, plaster niches and underground tombs, it can be heavenly for a treasure hunt.
The latest precious find came after restorers tackled the Borgia Apartments, which were decorated by the Renaissance master, Bernardino di Betto, better known as Pintoricchio.
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis told leaders of women’s religious orders today that their vocations can only be recognized within the fold of the Church.
“Your vocation is a fundamental charism for the Church's journey and it isn't possible that a consecrated woman or man might 'feel' themselves not to be with the Church,” he told around 800 female superiors general on May 8.
The International Union of Superiors General has been meeting for its general assembly in Rome since May 3.
BOSTON (CNS) – Even though "the culture of death looms large" today, the light of Christ the Good Shepherd "can expel the darkness and illuminate for us a path that leads to life, to a civilization of solidarity and love," said Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley.
"I hope that the events of this past week have taught us how high the stakes are," the cardinal told the congregation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross April 21, referring to the Boston Marathon bombings April 15 and the subsequent manhunt for the perpetrators.
"We must build a civilization of love, or there will be no civilization at all," Cardinal O'Malley said in his homily at the Mass of the Good Shepherd, which he offered for the repose of the souls of those killed in the bombings and the aftermath.
Prayers were also offered for those physically injured and "for the brave men and women who saved countless lives as first responders."
The attack left three people dead and more than 170 people seriously injured. By April 18, the FBI had identified two brothers who came to the United States years ago as from the Russian region of Chechnya -- Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19.