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Pope Francis exchanges greetings with Ken Hackett, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, and his wife, Joan, during a meeting with ambassadors to the Holy See at the Vatican Jan. 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (Jan. 13, 2014) See POPE-DIPLOMATS Jan. 13, 2014.

Ambassador expects pope to challenge Americans to live nation’s ideals

August 4, 2015 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The U.S. ambassador to the Holy See believes Pope Francis is not traveling to the United States in September to scold anyone, but to challenge the country’s people to live up to their ideals. “I don’t think he’s coming to the United States to antagonize, to criticize, to…

Pope Francis hears confession during a penitential liturgy in early March in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. During his Aug. 2 Angelus, Pope Francis told people not to be afraid or ashamed to go to confession. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi pool via EPA) See POPE-CONFESS Aug. 3, 2015.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to go to confession, pope says

August 3, 2015 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Trusting in God’s infinite mercy, people should not be afraid or embarrassed to go to confession, Pope Francis said. “There are people who are afraid to go to confession, forgetting that they will not encounter a severe judge there, but the immensely merciful Father,” Pope Francis told thousands…

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St. Cloud-area Catholic schools initiative