News Briefs

Charitable giving dropped about 5 percent in 2009, a decrease of $11.2 billion, reports the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. • Bishop Francisco Claver, S.J., a defender of civil rights, died on July 1 in Manila, Philippines. He was the author of a statement in 1986 by the Philippine bishops that helped the People Power Revolution that unseated President Ferdinand Marcos. • Italy defended the display of the crucifix in public schools before Europe’s human rights court on June 30, arguing that it is a symbol of the country’s cultural heritage, not an imposition of religious belief on students. • Great Britain’s coalition government has dropped plans to amend the laws of succession that might have allowed a Catholic to become king or queen. • The Rev. Joseph Zhang Shulai, the “underground” vicar general of the Diocese of Ningxi, China, and Sister Mary Wei Yanhui were found murdered in their rooms on July 6 at a church-run home for the aged in Wuhai city, Inner Mongolia. • Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Robert McElroy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco as an auxiliary bishop. A contributor to America, Monsignor McElroy is the author of “Why We Must Withdraw From Iraq” (4/30/07).

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At Rome's Basilica of St. Bartholomew, a shrine to modern martyrs, Pope Francis presided over an evening prayer service April 22, honoring Christians killed under Nazism, communism, dictatorships and terrorism.
The conference brought together six lay people from different countries “to reflect on the post-synod apostolic exhortation that has aroused grave perplexities and widespread unease in numerous components of the Catholic world.”
Gerard O'ConnellApril 22, 2017
These photos, patches of uniforms and drawings create a piecemeal account of life at Dachau during and after the war.
Teresa DonnellanApril 21, 2017
Demonstrators march during a Feb. 25 rally organized by Catholics Against the Death Penalty in Southern California (CNS photo/Andrew Cullen, Reuters).
Christianity is not a relic laid in a museum; it is not a book entombed in an archive. It lives in the living people of God.
John T. Noonan, Jr.April 21, 2017