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In a recently released letter sent last Advent, Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, vice president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” advised members of the Society of St. Pius X “to abandon the harsh and counterproductive rhetoric that has emerged over the past years.” • The church has never encouraged the use of ivory for devotional objects, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, S.J., wrote on Jan. 22, responding to questions posed in an National Geographic editorial about the illicit ivory trade.
• Following the gang rape and death of a paramedical student, the Catholic bishops’ conference of India called for “comprehensive laws and effective measures to ensure the security and safety of women” in a statement released on Jan. 23. • A coalition of African civil societies appealed to the African Union to stop the war in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, noting in a statement on Jan. 25 the suffering of more than 700,000 displaced civilians. • With tensions rising on the Korean peninsula, the Catholic Church calls for a “change of course” and the start of a “new era of cooperation,” said the Rev. John Bosco Byeon, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in South Korea, on Jan. 25.

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