News Briefs

As France continues its campaign to expel foreign-born Roma, Pope Benedict XVI called on Aug. 22 for greater acceptance of cultural differences and urged parents to teach their children “universal fraternity.” • Opposition to September’s papal visit to Scotland is dramatically smaller than some had predicted, with one survey reporting that as few as 2 percent of Scots are “strongly opposed” to the visit. • Catholic Charities USA, one of the nation’s largest social service networks, will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Sept. 25 to 28 in Washington, D.C. • The Rev. Raimon Panikkar, a great scholar of comparative religion, theology and interreligious dialogue, died at his home in Tavertet, near Barcelona, Spain, on Aug. 26. He was 91. • Citing the abundant blessings that have followed the suffering and deaths caused by Hurricane Katrina, Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans marked the fifth anniversary of the nation’s worst natural disaster on Aug. 29 with a Mass and an interfaith prayer service at St. Louis Cathedral. • The German Catholic Church will require all employees who work with young people to obtain police checks and undergo psychiatric tests when necessary, under new guidelines published Aug. 31.

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The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the measure would leave 22 million more people without insurance.
Pilgrims kneeling before shrine of our Lady of Lourdes. Wellcome Images
Carrie Gress is the author of "The Marian Option: God's Solution to a Civilization in Crisis."
Sean Salai, S.J.June 26, 2017
Pope Francis speaks on April 4 to participants at a Vatican conference marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI's encyclical on development, "Populorum Progressio." At left is Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout).
Cardinal Turkson insists that the ultimate causes of environmental degradation must be sought in the sinfulness of the human person.
John J. ConleyJune 26, 2017
Activists rally outside U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on 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 said a Lutheran preschool should not be excluded from a state grant program to refurbish its playground surface just because it is a religious entity.