News Briefs

Christians conducted a vigil service in Bhopal, India, to remember victims and survivors of the world’s worst industrial accident when 3,000 people died on Dec. 3, 1984, after deadly gas escaped from a Union Carbide chemical plant. • Pope Benedict XVI met Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin on Dec. 11 to discuss “the painful situation of the church in Ireland” following a report detailing the church’s failures in addressing clerical sexual abuse. • European Union ministers have called for Jerusalem to serve as the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state as part of a negotiated peace. • The San Francisco Archdiocese said it was confident a civil court would rule in its favor over a unanimous determination by a city tax appeals board on Nov. 30 that the archdiocese owes $14.4 million in unpaid property transfer taxes. • Ireland’s Sisters of Mercy have joined other Irish religious orders in pledging compensation to victims of abuse, now totaling 417 million euros ($621 million). • U.S.-born Kristina Kerscher Keneally, a University of Dayton graduate, was elected premier of New South Wales, Australia, on Dec. 3.

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(Images: Gage Skidmore, Wikipedia Commons, Antonio De Loera-Brust, Sikelia Productions; Illustration by Antonio De Loera-Brust) 
“Gangs of New York” reminds us that for as long as the United States has been a nation of immigrants, it has been infected by xenophobia.
Antonio De Loera-BrustDecember 18, 2017
The pope spoke Dec. 16 with members of the Italian Periodical Press Union and members of the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies, which represents nearly 200 Catholic newspapers.
25,000 children and pilgrim sang the pope “Happy Birthday" today in St. Peter’s Square.
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 17, 2017
Homeless people are seen in Washington June 22. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla., chair of the U.S. bishops' domestic policy committee, released a statement Nov. 17 proclaiming that the House of Representatives "ignored impacts to the poor and families" in passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act the previous day. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
The United States is thwarting the advancement of millions of its citizens, a UN rapporteur says.
Kevin ClarkeDecember 16, 2017