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After a deadly outbreak of violence around his parish in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, Moses Otii Alir, a Comboni priest, expressed the hope that Pope Francis’ planned visit would open people’s hearts to God’s love and “renew the face of this beautiful country drenched in blood.” • Meeting in Cairo on Nov. 5, the executive council of the Middle East Council of Churches urged “heads of state and religious and political decision-makers in the world, Arabs and Muslims” to work toward the preservation of religious pluralism, saying it is “the most precious treasure of the East.” • Speaking on Nov. 5 at the National Press Club in Washington, former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy argued for equal access to treatment for those needing addiction or mental health treatment, calling it a “moral imperative.” • Rescuers were still looking for at least 18 people who disappeared in the town of Bento Rodrigues, Brazil, on Nov. 6, the day after two dams from a nearby iron ore processing plant gave way. • René Girard, the influential literary critic and Catholic philosopher, died in Stanford, Calif., on Nov. 4 at the age of 91 after a long illness.

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Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 16, 2019
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