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The White House announced a presidential directive on Jan. 14 that will make travel and financial assistance to Cuba easier, especially for religious organizations. • The Catholic Climate Covenant welcomed the news of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, describing the late pope as “instrumental in renewing the church’s ancient teachings in light of modern environmental degradation.” • Retired Bishop Samuel Ruiz García, right, known as the champion of the poor and indigenous in southern Mexico, died on Jan. 24 of complications from long-standing illnesses. He was 86. • The Eternal Word Television Network has signed a letter of intent to acquire the National Catholic Register, operated by the Legionaries of Christ since 1995. • Top Muslim academics in Egypt are suspending all dialogue with the Vatican to protest Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks about anti-Christian violence in Egypt. • Looking forward to his retirement, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles said in a blog post that he intends to spend the coming months and years “walking in solidarity with the 11 million immigrants who have come to the United States to improve their own lives and the life of our country.”

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Screengrab from a viral video showcasing a confrontation between a Native American drummer and a group of Catholic high school students in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18, 2019. Screenshot via YouTube.
Several clips of the encounter circulating on social media show a small group of Native American drummers, who were in Washington for the Indigenous People’s March, being surrounded by a much larger band of teenagers.
Pope Francis has suppressed the Ecclesia Dei Commission, a significant decision with consequences for the Holy See’s relations with the priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 19, 2019
Photo: IMDB
A new Netflix miniseries brings out the story’s aspects of adventure and conflict, with occasionally pulse-pounding results.
Rob Weinert-KendtJanuary 19, 2019
Protestors march to support a U.N. anti-corruption commission in Guatemala City on Jan. 6. Photo by Jackie McVicar.
“What they are doing not only puts Guatemala at risk but the entire region. Bit by bit, for more than a year, they have been trying to divide us. The elections are at risk. We are six months away.”
Jackie McVicarJanuary 18, 2019