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Catholic gift stores see a (papal) bull market

(RNS) “If you are a Catholic gift and book store and you are not willing to reinvent yourself, you are going to be out of business,” said Alan Napleton, president of the Catholic Marketing Network. “God doesn’t seem to suspend the laws of economics just because we’re Catholic."

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Former charity head confirmed as U.S. ambassador to Vatican

(RNS) The Senate has confirmed former Catholic Relief Services head Ken Hackett to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Hackett replaces Miguel Diaz, a theologian, and he gives President Obama an experienced voice on social justice in Rome where a new pope, Francis, has made caring for the poor a priority.

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Pope pens personal message to Muslims at Ramadan's end

(RNS) While it is a long-established Vatican practice to send messages to the world's religious leaders on their major holy days, those greetings are usually signed by the Vatican's department for interfaith dialogue. This time, Pope Francis personally extended his greetings ahead of Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of Ramadan.