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Married or not, straight or gay, you and your sweetheart will be welcome in Lourdes, the town in southwestern France that has attracted "miracle" seekers for a century and a half, officials said Friday. "Come to Lourdes to say I love you," beckons a flyer put out by the Lourdes diocese, touting a "couples weekend" as part of efforts to boost dwindling visitor numbers. "The miracle of Lourdes is that of the encounter," said the rector, Reverend Andre Cabes, recalling the town's founding "meeting" -- the moment 158 years ago when peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous experienced an encounter with the Virgin Mary, according to Church doctrine.
HAVANA (AP) — With a hug and an exclamation of "Finally!" Pope Francis met Friday with Patriarch Kirill in the first ever meeting between a pontiff and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, a historic development in the 1,000-year schism that has divided Christianity.