Sat 20th Sep 2014 | Last updated: Fri 19th Sep 2014 at 16:41pm

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Patriarchs urge West to stop extinction of Middle East Christians

Chaldean Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim, Antiochian Orthodox Metropolitan Joseph and Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan at an ecumenical service in Washington (CNS)

Patriarchs speak out at the In Defence of Christians summit in Washington

Pope appoints two US priests to help tackle sexual abuse of minors

Pope Francis (AP)

More appointments to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors expected shortly

Pope invites 14 couples to attend Synod of Bishops on family

A newly married couple walk past Swiss Guards after meeting Pope Francis during a general audience last month (CNS)

Bishops’ conference presidents and leaders of Vatican congregations will also be at October meeting

Francis sends letter of condolence to family of Steven Sotloff

Steven Sotloff (CNS)

Francis ‘deeply saddened’ by murder of US journalist by Islamic State

Pope mourns three missionary sisters murdered in Burundi

An official of Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary holds a photo of the three Italian missionary nuns, from left, Bernardetta Boggian, Olga Raschietti and Lucia Pulici, found slain in their convent in Burundi (PA)

Sisters found dead in their mission residence in capital city Bujumbura

US diocese asks Supreme Court to reverse decision compelling priest to break confessional seal

Under canon law, the seal of confession is sacred under the penalty of excommunication (CNS)

Legal step is the latest in a case involving Father Jeffrey Bayhi

Ukrainian Church leader: West must help stop Putin

Pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a checkpoint near Donetsk, Ukraine (CNS)

‘People should realise what’s happening here has worldwide implications,’ says Bishop Dzyurakh

Shimon Peres: Francis is a more powerful peace advocate than UN

Pope Francis welcomes former Israeli President Shimon Peres during their meeting at the Vatican (CNS)

Former Israeli President asks Pope to head United Religions organisation

US cardinal backs St Patrick’s Day parade after lifting of gay ban

Members of the New York City Police Department march past protesters at the St Patrick's Day parade in March (AP)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan supports New York’s St Patrick’s Day committee ahead of next year’s parade

US cardinal urges solidarity with Iraqi Christians

A woman who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar sits with a child inside a tent at a camp in Syria's northern town of Qamishli (CNS)

‘We can’t ignore our solidarity with brothers and sisters of our faith,’ says Cardinal Wuerl