News Briefs

House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, became the highest-ranking politician to speak at a pro-life rally when he joined protesters outside the Supreme Court on March 2 as the justices were hearing oral arguments on a Texas law that imposes new restrictions on abortion clinics. • A Navy SEAL with a strong devotion to St. Michael the Archangel, Edward C. Byers Jr., of Ohio, rescued a civilian hostage in eastern Afghanistan in December 2012 and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama for his heroic acts on Feb. 29. • Catholic leaders in Tennessee opposed a bill moving through the state legislature in late February that seeks to halt refugee resettlement by suing the federal government “for expenses the state makes in providing services to refugees.” • Archbishop William Lori and other religious leaders in Baltimore traveled to Rome on pilgrimage on March 3 to ask the pope to bless their work of reconciliation in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray. • Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Mich., appealed on Feb. 15 for local Catholics to “redouble both their prayers and their generosity” for the people of Flint, who are still struggling with unsafe drinking water.

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Indigenous people walk past Pope Francis after presenting offertory gifts during the pope's celebration of Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis appealed to the Mapuche, who have suffered “great injustices,” to totally reject violence “which can make a just cause turn into a lie.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 17, 2018
Dolores O'Riordan, former lead singer of The Cranberries, performs on stage during a concert in 2007 in Tirana, Albania (CNS photo/Arben Celi, Reuters).
She was Dickensian, if Dickens had written a Gaelic warrior-waif, a hero with a voice that could thrill and comfort.
Cameron Dezen HammonJanuary 17, 2018
Pope Francis dove head-first into Chile's sex abuse scandal on his first full day in Santiago.
Pope Francis meets with priests, religious and seminarians at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Santiago, Chile, Jan. 16. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Francis focused for the second time today during his visit to Chile on the abuse scandal that has rocked the Chilean church. “I know the pain resulting from cases of abuse of minors, and I am attentive to what you are doing to respond to this great and painful evil,” he said.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 16, 2018