News Briefs

Aid to the Church in Need reports 75 percent of global religious persecution is being carried out against Christians. • With the world’s attention fixed elsewhere, local church officials in Africa warn: “Côte d’Ivoire is sliding into civil war.” • The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change has trained a new group of Catholic climate ambassadors ready to give presentations about the church’s teaching on climate change to schools, parishes and dioceses. • Ireland’s bishops pledged an additional 10 million euros ($14.2 million) to provide support services for victims of clerical abuse and announced plans for spiritual support to people whose faith has been damaged, acknowledging that “the inadequate response” by some church leaders “has left a deep wound that may never be fully healed.” • Pakistani Christians allege that Qamar David, a Catholic businessman imprisoned for life for blasphemy, was tortured and murdered and did not die of a heart attack on March 15 as stated in a medical report. • The Vatican has welcomed the European Court of Human Rights’ decision on March 18 to overturn a ruling that would have banned the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools.

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In a video, His Holiness Pope Francis speaks at TED2017, April 25, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Pope Francis asked all people to work toward a future that lifts up society’s most marginalized, including migrants, the sick, the unemployed and prisoners.
Michael J. O'LoughlinApril 26, 2017
Edward Lally (center) is joined by his schola, Sarah Coffman, Katherine Keberlein, Ngaire Bull and Sarah Beatty, at St. Edward's Catholic Church in Chicago on April 8, 2017. Photo courtesy of Sarah Beatty.
With chant “you’re expressing something in pure melody."
Judith ValenteApril 25, 2017
Vivian Tuttle holds a photo of her daughter Yvonne, who was murdered during a 2002 bank robbery in Norfolk, Neb., as she testifies in favor of the death penalty at a public hearing in Omaha, Neb. in October 2016 (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file).
The fight against the death penalty lays bare the strengths and weaknesses of the Catholic approach to pro-life issues.
Joseph P. HooverApril 25, 2017
Bill Nye's gags are every bit as goofy as they were in the ’90s. But his new show on Netflix is weighed down by a condescending attitude.
Eric Sundrup, S.J.April 25, 2017