News Briefs

Palestinian civil defense volunteers paddle boat to evacuate people after flooding in Gaza Strip. (CNS photo/Mohammed Salem, Reuters)

On Dec. 13 a federal judge granted Catholic organizations in the Archdiocese of New York and the neighboring Diocese of Rockville Centre a permanent injunction against the federal contraceptive mandate in the health care law. • In an escalating standoff, Catholic clergymen were taken away for questioning on Dec. 18 by Chinese authorities after China’s Tangshan Diocese announced it would not bury the deceased Bishop Paul Liu Jinghe until the government returns a former church cemetery. • Matthew McGarry of Catholic Relief Services described the situation as “quite bad” as thousands were evacuated after snowstorms and torrential rain in mid-December led to flooding throughout the northern Gaza Strip. • Pope Francis issued a decree declaring one of his favorite Jesuits, Blessed Peter Faber, a founding member of the Society of Jesus, a saint on Dec. 17. • National Migration Week will be observed in dioceses around the country from Jan. 5 to 11. • Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, joined Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, president of the Islamic Central African community, in a call on Dec. 11 for interreligious dialogue following several days of fighting between Christians and Muslims in the Central African Republic.

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