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Vandalism at Jewish cemeteries decried, called hateful actions

PHILADELPHIA—Responding to the destruction of some 100 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Feb. 27 deplored the “senseless acts of mass vandalism.” The gravestones were discovered toppled over from their bases the previous morning at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia. The archbishop issued a statement in which he called […]


Pope Francis furthers the sainthood causes of five men, two women

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis advanced the sainthood cause of two medical doctors and six religious — many of whom died just a generation ago. The pope approved the decrees during an audience Feb. 27 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The pope recognized the martyrdom of Salesian Father Titus Zeman, who […]


USCCB committee chairmen applaud decision on transgender directive

WASHINGTON—The chairmen of two U.S. bishops’ committees Feb. 24 praised President Donald Trump’s repeal of President Barack Obama’s administration’s directive on transgender access to bathrooms. The guidance, issued last May by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education, “indicated that public pre-K through 12 schools, as well as all colleges and universities, […]


U.S. Supreme Court weighs in on border shooting of Mexican teenager

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court took on a U.S-Mexico border issue Feb. 21 when it examined if the parents of a Mexican teenager can sue the U.S. border agent who shot and killed their son. During the oral arguments, the justices seemed divided over who was responsible for the action. Some of the justices stressed that it […]


South Sudan bishops condemn atrocities, appeal for help to prevent starvation of millions

MANCHESTER, England—South Sudan’s Catholic bishops asked for the world’s help to prevent mass starvation that threatens the lives of more than 5 million people. In a separate statement, they also said the looming famine was a man-made catastrophe. They denounced government and rebel troops for attacking the civilian population and at times operating “scorched-earth” policies […]


Discovery of Earth-sized planets boosts hope of finding alien life

VATICAN CITY—The quest to find life on other planets got a boost when astronomers confirmed the existence of at least seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a red dwarf star just 40 light years away. Three of the planets are located in the so-called “habitable” zone, a kind of “Goldilocks” sweet spot in that their distance from […]


Vatican invites experts to promote safe, accessible water for everyone

VATICAN CITY—A special gathering of policy experts, government officials, religious leaders, scholars, and development and social justice advocates explored ways to guarantee water that is safe and more accessible to the world’s people. More than 90 experts were invited from five continents to provide an interdisciplinary look at the role of public policies in water […]


USCCB: New memos on immigration policies will harm public safety

WASHINGTON—Donald Trump campaigned by saying he would aggressively go after the country’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants, promising deportation forces and a border wall with Mexico paid for by the United States’ neighbor to the south. Time will tell whether he’ll be able to deliver what he promised his supporters, but in two memos his administration […]


#Ashtags: When posting Ash Wednesday photos, use your head

WASHINGTON—Ash Wednesday seems to offer contradictory messages. The Gospel reading for the day is about not doing public acts of piety but the very act of getting ashes — and walking around with them — is pretty public. This becomes even less of a private moment when people post pictures of themselves online with their […]


Norma McCorvey, plaintiff in Roe v. Wade ruling who later became pro-life, dies

KATY, Texas—Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff “Jane Roe” in the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand, died Feb. 18 at an assisted-living facility in Katy. She was 69. The New York Times said a New York journalist named Joshua Prager, who interviewed her many times for a book he is […]


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