News Briefs

The Rwandan genocide survivor and peace advocate Immaculée Ilibagiza became an American citizen on April 17 in New York City. • In a message sent from his Twitter account, @Pontifex, on April 18, Pope Francis asked 2.3 million followers to “join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families.” • In an statement on April 18, the Secular Coalition for America said Boston’s nontheist community was “disappointed and saddened” to be excluded from the city’s “Healing Our City” interfaith service held in the aftermath of the marathon bombing. • Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi, S.J., was named communicator of the year on April 18 by Germany’s Allianz Group. • In an unprecedented visit to the Pentagon on April 18, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with U.S. military leaders to discuss the Korean crisis and U.N. peacekeeping missions. • Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, on April 18 expressed “deep disappointment in the Senate’s failure to support reasonable regulations to reduce gun violence in our nation,” in a letter to the Senate’s majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell.

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