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Religious freedom ambassador settles into role, diplomacy

WASHINGTON (RNS) Almost a year into her stint as the State Department's point person on religious freedom, the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook has traveled to eight countries and seems to have moved beyond questions about her lack of diplomatic experience.  By Adelle M. Banks.

Pope meets with Fidel Castro, urges more freedom

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI called for more religious freedom for the Catholic Church on his last day in communist Cuba. Around 300,000 people turned up for a papal Mass in Revolution Square in Havana, just before an unscheduled but much-anticipated meeting with Fidel Castro. By Alessandro Speciale.

Pope arrives in Cuba, blasts economic 'selfishness'

VATICAN CITY (RNS) On his arrival in Cuba, Pope Benedict XVI renewed the Catholic church's pledge to work with the Communist government in order to help the island look at the future, and criticized the "ambition and selfishness" which engendered the global economic crisis. By Alessandro Speciale.

Pope tells Cubans to look beyond Marxism

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Friday (March 23) urged Cuba's communist government to look for ``new models'' beyond its ``Marxist ideology,'' since Marxism ``no longer responds to reality.'' By Alessandro Speciale.

Pope to find challenges, opportunities in Cuba

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The 13 Cubans who occupied a church in Central Havana left after being assured they wouldn't be detained by police, and the incident shows the challenges that Pope Benedict XVI will find in Cuba this weekend. By Alessandro Speciale.

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Attorney drops abuse suit against Vatican

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A prominent U.S. attorney has dropped his abuse lawsuit against the Vatican, the second time a high-stakes attempt to hold the pope personally responsible for abusive priests has failed. By Alessandro Speciale.