News Briefs

Potential economic gains are no reason for California voters to approve a ballot measure that would legalize limited amounts of marijuana for recreational use, said Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland. • The Diocese of Rome formally opened the sainthood process for Cardinal Francois Nguyen Van Thuan, a Vietnamese who spent 13 years in prison in Communist Vietnam—nine of them in solitary confinement. • Poland’s Catholic bishops have warned government leaders and legislators not to back a law allowing in vitro fertilization, adding that the practice resembled Nazi-era eugenics. • Calling poverty “an insult to our common humanity,” the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, speaking at U.N. headquarters in New York, said, “We have the means to bring an end to poverty. Do we have the will?” • The Vatican has urged Iraq not to carry out the death sentence meted out on Oct. 26 to Iraq’s former foreign minister Tariq Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic. • More than 30 Bolivian journalists, protesting a new anti-discrimination law that they believe could limit press freedom, gave up a hunger strike after 14 days at the urging of church officials.

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The U.N. report documents cases of extrajudicial murders committed by police, illegal house raids and threats and harassment against journalists and social and political activists in Honduras.
Jackie McVicarMarch 20, 2018
An employee wrapped in a blanket talks to a police officer after she was evacuated at a FedEx distribution center where a package exploded on March 20, 2018, in Schertz, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
In their joint statement, the Texas bishops echoed Chief Manley’s appeal to the community. “We ask all people in our dioceses to remain vigilant, and to pray and work for peace,” the bishops said.
Paul StinsonMarch 20, 2018
The challenge of finding families for homeless youth and for those in group shelters is creating the latest flashpoint over competing civil rights claims. (iStock/bodnarchuk)
Catholic Social Services refuses to place foster children in homes headed by same-sex couples; the city of Philadelphia says this policy violates a nondiscrimination law.
My approach to the mystery of A.L.S. is a bit different than that of the famed physicist.
Elise ItalianoMarch 20, 2018