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Pope to canonize John Paul II and John XXIII in April

ROME (RNS) Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be formally declared saints on April 27, 2014 -- a bit of ticket-balancing by Pope Francis, who may be hoping to heal splits in the church by pairing the canonization of a pope who is a hero to the left and one who is a hero to the right.

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Catholic chaplains given marching orders barring service to gay couples

(RNS) Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Participation in funerals of gay service members is also off-limits. But Catholic commanders may be able to facilitate same-sex benefits if they publicly register their objections.