News Briefs

Rose Pacatte, of the Daughters of St. Paul, will receive the Daniel J. Kane Religious Communications Award, given by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton, on March 6. • A World Health Organization declaration that India was “polio-free” on Feb. 11 was cause for celebration among India’s Catholic health workers, who had reached about one million children annually with polio vaccinations.• Despite a slowly recovering economy, the proportion of Americans who identify themselves as middle class has never been lower, dropping from 53 percent in 1953 to 44 percent today, according to a Pew Research Center/USA TODAY survey in January. • Meeting with a delegation from the American Jewish Committee on Feb. 13, Pope Francis said that the two communities must find ways to work together to construct “a more just and fraternal world,” especially through service to the poor, the marginalized and the suffering. • Denying that he had fled Pakistan because of repeated death threats, the former Pakistani minister of minority affairs, Paul Bhatti, said on Feb. 11 that a visit to Italy had been prearranged and that he intended to return to Pakistan to continue his work on behalf of oppressed minorities.

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