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“A barbaric, inhuman and cowardly act” is how Cecil Chaudhry, executive director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, described the attack on an army school in Peshawar on Dec. 16 that left at least 126 children and others dead. • In a letter to his fellow bishops in November, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said he wants “nothing further to do” with the pro-life group Priests for Life, charging that its national director, the Rev. Frank A. Pavone, refused to cooperate with “several necessary reforms...to provide oversight and accountability.” • Ineffective budgetary oversight and “questionable” financial activities have plunged the Order of Friars Minor into significant debt, its minister general, the U.S. Franciscan Father Michael Perry, revealed on Dec. 17. • Marking a year since South Sudan’s latest war began, on Dec. 15 Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro of Juba said the conflict—which has claimed 50,000 lives and forced two million people to flee—has sharply divided the nation along ethnic lines. • Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco met with Francis DeBernardo and Sister Jeannine Gramick of New Ways Ministry on Dec. 15 to discuss approaches to dialogue over same-sex marriage and other issues of concern to gay and lesbian Catholics.

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