News Briefs

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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