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Pope Francis (CNS) Below: Video of Pope Francis on John the Baptist (RomeReports)

John the Baptist knew his role was ‘to prepare people for an encounter with the Lord,” says Francis

Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia Below: The bishop's diocesan compound has provided shelter to more than 45,000 people (CNS)

Bishop Nestor-Désiré Nongo-Aziagbia had been kidnapped by Seleka Islamists

ISIS militants standing by a captured Iraqi Army vehicle last week (PA)

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Sirop says Christians are ‘afraid of what is going to happen’

Meriam Ibrahim pictured on her wedding day

Meriam Ibrahim re-arrested in Sudan

Ibrahim was accused of apostasy and was forced to give birth in prison

'There is an urgent need for a full and confident articulation of the whole of the Church’s social teaching' (AP)

International Theological Commission says Church leaders must pay heed to ‘sense of the faithful’

The Vatican has now closed the investigation (PA)

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith concluded that Bishop Cristian Contreras Molina was innocent

Pope Francis says he is pained that Christians suffer so much discrimination (CNS)

Pope Francis says there are more martyrs today than in pre-Constantine days

Eastern Cape, where the murder took place, is one of the poorest regions in the country (CNS)

Missionary Sister of the Precious Blood had worked in South Africa for decades

Pope Francis (AP)

Francis says members of criminal organisation are excommunicated during trip to Calabria

Pope Francis, pictured this week, condemned the 'scourge' of drugs  (PA)

Francis criticises attempts to legalise drugs as he addresses enforcement agencies