News Briefs

Bartholomew of Constantinople

When Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinoplemeets Pope Francis in Jerusalem on May 25, one of their main discussion topics will be the “diminishing Christian minorities in the Middle East,” the patriarch told Catholic News Service. • The Catholic bishops’ conference of Cameroon issued a statement on May 5 demanding the release of two Italian priests and a Canadian nun, a month after they were kidnapped by suspected Nigerian Islamists. • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-4 decision on May 5 that prayers said before town council meetings in Greece, N.Y., do not violate the U.S. Constitution. • Religious groups in Borno State, Nigeria, have organized prayer sessions and other activities to support the rescue of more than 250 kidnapped schoolgirls, who remained missing as of May 12.• Ukrainian Catholic bishops said on May 5 that their country’s presidential election on May 25 must proceed, despite any efforts to derail it, since postponement would threaten “the existence of an independent Ukrainian state.”• An estimated 15,000 pro-life campaigners in Ireland gathered in Dublin on May 3 to participate in the National Vigil for Life, and they vowed to work for the repeal of a controversial law introduced in 2013 that permits abortion in certain circumstances.

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