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Pope Benedict XVI has donated $50,000 to help the victims of the worst floods the state of Queensland, Australia, has suffered in 50 years. • A federal court ruled on Jan. 4 that a cross on a San Diego hillside conveys a message of government endorsement of religion, sending the case back to lower courts to decide whether it may remain on federal land. • The Rev. Larry Snyder, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Charities USA, commented on the failure of the Dream Act in the Senate on Dec. 20 and the fate of the students it was intended to help: “They will continue to be cast into the shadows until, as a nation, we can find a way to address our broken immigration system.” • The British branch of the Y.W.C.A. has dropped “Christian” from its official name because, they said, it “no longer stood for what we are or what we do.” • Rosemary Lynch, the Franciscan sister who founded Pace e Bene, an organization to promote nonviolence and for more than 33 years protested nuclear weapons testing, died at age 93 on Jan. 9 after being hit by a car during an early morning walk. • Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., has been appointed chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage.

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