Cardinal Jaime Ortega, shown here at a May 20 news conference in Havana, was among clerics who recently met with Cuban President Raul Castro, who pledged to improve conditions for political prisoners.
A French newspaper displays an advertisement recruiting young men to be Catholic priests. The French church has launched a public relations campaign to try to update the image of the priest and reverse the decline in numbers of French men entering the vocation.
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Representatives of the U.S.-based Women's Ordination Conference protest in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The group's executive director said the Vatican has turned a blind eye to male priests who "destroy the lives of children and families, but jumps at the chance to excommunicate women."
Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens during the celebration of a Mass on May 31. A group of Italian women who have had relationships with priests wrote an open letter to the pope, criticizing clerical celibacy.
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