News Briefs

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended on May 1 that President Obama consider Venezuela and Cuba among the countries that should be monitored closely for violations of religious freedom. • Preparing to visit the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI on May 3 asked for prayers for his trip, for peace in the region and for the suffering Palestinian people. • The University of Notre Dame announced on April 30 that it will not award the Laetare Medal during its May 17 commencement ceremony. Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, was to receive the medal but declined the honor in the wake of controversy over the university’s decision to grant an honorary degree to President Barack Obama. The 1984 recipient of the medal, Judge John T. Noonan Jr., will speak at the commencement. • President Barack Obama said on April 29 that the Freedom of Choice Act is not an important legislative priority and that he is instead focusing on reducing unwanted pregnancies.

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An immigration rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington in April. The U.S. bishops' migration committee chair in a statement on July 18 urged President Donald Trump to "ensure permanent protection" for youth under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
U.S. bishops urge Trump administration "to continue administering the DACA program and to publicly ensure that DACA youth are not priorities for deportation."
In time, we respond or fail to respond to God’s dreams for us.
Terrance KleinJuly 19, 2017
Callista Gingrich at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing in Washington on July 18. Gingrich was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Her husband is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
On issues that have become hallmarks of the Francis papacy, notably care of creation and the global refugee crisis, Mrs. Gingrich had difficulty explaining how she might engage the Vatican, given Mr. Trump’s views.
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago at a press conference in Chicago on April 4. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic)
"I think that the terms gay and lesbian, L.G.BT. should be respected.... People should be called the way that they want to be called rather than us coming up with terms that maybe we’re more comfortable with.”