News Briefs

Opponents of capital punishment praised the decision by Oregon’s Gov. John Kitzhaber, right, on Nov. 22 to maintain a moratorium on the death penalty for the rest of his term. • The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved $1.35 million in grants to aid pastoral work in 14 countries across Africa. • Indonesian police were able to head off an attempt by Islamic extremists in Bekasi, a suburb of Jakarta, to raze six Christian churches in the area. • Hundreds marched in Arakan Valley in Mindanao, Philippines, to demand an end to human rights abuses and call for justice for the Rev. Fausto Tentorio, whose murder in October may have been related to a struggle against powerful mining interests. • The New Jersey Catholic Conference plans four anti-poverty task forces that will “identify pragmatic recommendations to help strengthen families, improve schools, reduce unemployment, assure living wages and increase affordable housing.” • Church leaders in Kerala State, India, have expressed shock and outrage over the killing of Sister Valsa John of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, a campaigner for tribal rights in eastern India who was hacked to death in her home.

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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