News Briefs

The Catholic bishops of Florida unsuccessfully urged Gov. Charlie Crist to stay the execution of John Richard Marek on Aug. 19 and give him a life sentence instead, saying that “even those who have done great harm are human beings with dignity, created in the image and likeness of God.” • An education bill signed into law by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez will remove religious education from the nation’s schools, said Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas. Government critics called the law’s rapid approval process unconstitutional. • Three U.S. Catholic bishops are touring parts of Cuba that were ravaged by hurricanes last year. One participant, Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, O.F.M.Cap., said the goal of the visit is “to understand what we can do to further assist the church in Cuba.” • Although amendments to a House health care reform bill made some “helpful improvements” in protecting life and conscience, some “unacceptable features” remain that must be removed, said Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, who testified on Aug. 11. • The Catholic theologian Miguel Díaz was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 4 as the ninth U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. • Jim McGinnis, a nationally renowned advocate for peace and justice, died on Aug. 13. He was 66.

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The Affordable Care Act has changed our expectations for health care. It shifted the way we live, which may be shifting what we believe.
Michael RozierMay 25, 2017
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speak to the media about President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The U.S. bishops have raised some serious concerns about what this proposal says about our national values.
The EditorsMay 25, 2017
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, following after a Republican policy luncheon. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Congress is asking the nation to make “immoral choices,” said Sister Keehan, the president of the Catholic Health Association.
Kevin ClarkeMay 25, 2017
Philippine government soldiers walk past a mosque before their May 25 assault on Maute insurgents, who have taken over large parts of the town of Marawi. Residents started to evacuate Marawi after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)
Gunmen claiming to have links with the Islamic State group threatened to kill hostages, including a Catholic priest, who were taken from the southern Philippine city of Marawi on May 23.