BREAKING NEWS: Benedict Becomes First Pope To Retire In 600 Years (Update)

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By BosNewsLife News Center with additional reports from Rome, Vatican City and reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos popeROME/VATICAN CITY/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- As the doors closed and the Swiss Guards left his summer residence, Benedict XVI became the first pontiff to retire in some 600 years, following a moving farewell address to thousands in which he urged the Catholic Church to remain united in one of the most challenging times in its history.

BREAKING NEWS: Scores Killed, Thousands Homeless In Italy Earthquake (News Watch)

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By BosNewsLife News Center _45640424_007139969-1ROME, ITALY (BosNewsLife)-- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi canceled a trip to Russia and declared a state of emergency after a powerful early morning earthquake in central Italy killed scores of people and left many people injured and tens of thousands of people homeless.

Pope Says Syrian Christian Woman Killed For Faith In Christ

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By BosNewsLife News Center refugeespopeVATICAN CITY/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- Pope Francis has called a Christian Syrian woman "a martyr" after hearing she was killed by Islamic militants for refusing to deny her faith in Jesus Christ. The leader of the world's one billion Catholics told the faithful in St. Peter's Square that he spoke with the young woman's widow during his visit Saturday, April 16, to the Greek island of Lesbos where he also visited refugees held in an overcrowded detention center.

NEWS ALERT: Italy Police Say 12 Migrants Drowned For Faith In Christ

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By BosNewsLife News Center REUTERS753883_ThumbnailTRIPOLI/ROME/WASHINGTON (BosNewsLife)-- Italian police say they have detained 15 Muslims who allegedly threw 12 Christians from an overcrowded migrant boat after they expressed faith in Jesus Christ. Vatican Radio, citing survivors, reported that the Christians had been praying for their lives during during a recent crossing from Libya.