News Briefs

Marcello Di Finizio, a 49-year-old Italian, scaled the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica to protest Italian and European economic policy on Oct. 2 and remained there unobserved until the next day, when thousands assembled for Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience. • The Vatican on Sept. 29 appointed Roza Pati, a professor of law at Miami’s St. Thomas University School of Law, to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and named Msgr. Martin Schlag, a professor at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, as a consultant to the council. • On Oct. 20 the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Vatican Foundation will honor the American Jesuit Brian E. Daley, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. • Coptic families are fleeing the city of Rafah in northern Egypt after Islamist militants distributed leaflets warning Christians to leave and then opened fire on a Coptic-owned shop on Sept. 26. • The appeal of blasphemy charges against Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, has been postponed, alarming supporters already worried after three of four witnesses who accused an imam of planting evidence against her retracted their testimonies.

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Death-row inmate Ledell Lee. A ruling from the state Supreme Court allowing officials to use a lethal injection drug that a supplier says was misleadingly obtained cleared the way for Arkansas to execute Ledell Lee on Thursday, April 20, 2017, although he still had pending requests for reprieve. (Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)
To take Holy Communion in the face of death is to say that it is fellowship, and not food, that matters most.
Terrance KleinApril 26, 2017
A man rides a bicycle past a billboard with an image of Pope Francis April 26 ahead of the pontiff's April 28-29 visit to Cairo. (CNS photo/Amr Abdallah Dalsh, Reuters)
“Peace be with you” was the message of the Risen Jesus to his disciples on the first Easter, and it is the message Francis will bring to the Muslim and Christian communities in this land.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 26, 2017
Pope Francis is presented with a football helmet by Michigan football team coach Jim Harbaugh during the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
Coach Jim Harbaugh presented a custom Wolverines helmet and a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers to Pope Francis.
Michael J. O'LoughlinApril 26, 2017
The 'Hamlet'-inspired play made the playwright Tom Stoppard an overnight sensation.
David StewartApril 26, 2017