Vatican

Continuing 'Mercy Friday' practice, pope visits center for the blind

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Pope Francis returned to a practice he developed during the Year of Mercy: making a Friday-afternoon visit to people in need of or deserving special care.

For the visit March 31, he chose the Sant' Alessio-Margherita di Savoia Regional Center for the Blind in Rome. The center is home to 37 adults and senior citizens who are blind or severely visually impaired, but the structure also offers specialized classes for 50 children with the same challenges.

Francis encourages UN talks to ban nukes: time to 'go beyond' deterrence

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Pope Francis has written to the United Nations to encourage this week’s talks at the global organization on crafting a new worldwide treaty to ban nuclear weapons, saying in a letter it is time for the international community to “go beyond” nuclear deterrence.

Writing to the president of the conference -- which has been boycotted by many nuclear powers, including the United States -- the pontiff says he wants to encourage the some 120 countries taking part in the talks to “work with determination” to eliminate the need for atomic weapons.

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May 19-June 1, 2017

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