News Briefs

Archbishop Murilo Krieger of Salvador, Brazil, is mediating a military police officer strike that has caused havoc and left at least 95 people dead in Bahia State. • The Irish government has decided to cut special grants to Irish families meant to cover the cost of first Communion and confirmation expenses, which “could include a white dress, veil, shoes and bag,” from 242 euros to 110 euros. • In a debate on assisted dying at the Church of England Synod on Feb. 6, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, warned that legal moves to allow assisted suicide would be a “disaster” and reduce English society’s attitude toward the sanctity of life. • The government does not have the competence or authority to “‘redefine’ marriage or ‘expand’ its definition,” said Archbishop José H. Gómez of Los Angeles on Feb. 7, criticizing a court decision that overturned California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 initiative forbidding same-sex marriage. • Students from groups affiliated with religious denominations at Vanderbilt University protested the school’s new nondiscrimination policy, which requires that membership and leadership positions in any registered student organization be open to any applicant.

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I’ve only been a priest for 13 years. How could I possibly be at the point that I am just recycling ideas?
Jim McDermottJune 27, 2017
People gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 in Washington. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA) 
The high court, in a 7-2 ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, sided with the religious school.
Activists rally outside U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 26 after the court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., which sued after being denied a state grant for creating a safer playground (CNS photo/Yuri Gripas, Reuters). 
The Supreme Court court ruled on June 26 that the government may not exclude religious groups from grant programs simply because they are religious.
Ellen K. BoegelJune 27, 2017
Pope Francis laughs as he greets a woman during an audience with people from Lyon, France, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican July 6. The audience was with 200 people living in difficult or precarious situations. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The pope's words can be read as an answer to those who hope his pontificate may end soon.
Gerard O'ConnellJune 27, 2017