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All of the pews in Saint Ursula's Parish outside of Pittsburgh were full for Saturday evening mass.

This would mark the first Saturday since the state attorney general released its grand jury report alleging the sexual abuse of minors by hundreds of priests in six Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

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Sixteen years after an investigation in Boston highlighted the dimensions of the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic priesthood, the financial and reputational cost to the Catholic church continues to grow.

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Morning News Brief

Aug 17, 2018

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Well, after two days of silence and a barrage of criticism for failing to address the latest clergy sex abuse scandal in the United States, the Vatican has now responded.

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Pop quiz: What's a word you use a hundred times a day — that doesn't show up in the dictionary?

Give up? Mmhmm.

You got it! Mmhmm is a small word that's often used unconsciously. But it can actually tell us a lot about language, bias and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Once upon a time, English speakers didn't say "mmhmm." But Africans did, according to Robert Thompson, an art history professor at Yale University who studies Africa's influence on the Americas.

After two days of silence and a barrage of criticism for failing to address the latest clergy sex abuse scandal in the United States, Pope Francis has spoken.

"The Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors," said a statement issued by the Vatican on Thursday.

"Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame and sorrow," Vatican spokesman Greg Burke wrote.

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It was Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro who announced the sweeping grand jury report on child abuse by priests in that state. We want to get his reaction to all of this now. Welcome to the program.

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Catholic bishops in Pennsylvania played a significant role in hiding the widespread sexual abuse of minors by more than 300 Catholic priests across the state, according to the results of a grand jury investigation released this week.

The Colorado baker who won a Supreme Court case over his refusal to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is suing state officials, alleging religious discrimination over his refusal to make a cake celebrating a gender transition.

Attorneys for Jack Phillips, who owns Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., said Wednesday that the state is "continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs."

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A top Buddhist monk in China has resigned from his post after accusations of sexual misconduct by multiple nuns.

Xuecheng was the president of the Buddhist Association of China. A statement on the organization's website posted Wednesday said that Xuecheng's resignation had been accepted at a council meeting.

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has released a new report revealing shocking levels of sex abuse in the Catholic Church across six dioceses.

The report lists over 300 clergy members accused of abusing more than 1,000 children.

Read the report in full here

Tuesday's elections in four states — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont — produced some noteworthy results.

Here are four takeaways:

1. It was a big night for Democratic diversity

Christine Hallquist, a former energy company executive, became the first openly transgender person to win a major party's nomination for governor. And the Democrat's candidacy may not be one just for the trivia books — she has a chance at winning this fall.

A two-year grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania resulted in what the state's attorney general, Josh Shapiro, called "the largest, most comprehensive report into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States."

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Crazy Rich Asians is a love story on multiple levels. On its surface, it's about the love between Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and Nick Young (Henry Golding), two very attractive thirty-something NYU professors. But it's also a story about love of family: Nick's mother's love for him, and for the family she married into and for which she is prepared to sacrifice everything (perhaps even her personal happiness.) And it's about a love of Asian culture, which, like all cultures, can be an embrace or a prison, depending.

Australia's prime minister has condemned a fringe party lawmaker who called for a return to racially based immigration policies and invoked the term "final solution" in a speech before Parliament.

Malcolm Turnbull, who faces voters next year, joined all of Australia's major parties in rejecting the remarks by Queensland Sen. Fraser Anning, who is the only member of the federal Senate from the far-right Katter's Australian Party.

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Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET

A long-awaited grand jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania was released Tuesday in an interim redacted form. The report detailed decades of alleged misconduct and cover-ups in six of the state's eight Roman Catholic dioceses.

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