News Briefs

The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram killed 16 people in Nigeria on Dec. 25, continuing a gruesome tradition of village massacres on Christmas Day. • Delivering America Media’s John Courtney Murray lecture in New York on Jan. 12, Rabbi Dan Polish described 1965’s “Nostra Aetate” as the beginning of a process that has charted a new course for the relationship between Jews and Catholics. • The board of the United Methodist Church’s pension and health fund voted to divest from Israel’s five largest banks because of their involvement with settlements in the Occupied Territories. • On Jan. 11 Catholics and Lutherans made another step toward a joint commemoration in 2017 of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by issuing common liturgical guidelines for ecumenical services. • Two refugee families are being hosted by the two parishes of the Vatican, responding to an appeal by Pope Francis during an Angelus in September that every parish in Europe welcome a family of refugees. • Because of security concerns, on Jan. 13 the Diocese of El Paso scrapped plans for a Mass at the border at the same time as the closing Mass of Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico on Feb. 17.

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