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In a letter on Feb. 19 to state legislators, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco wrote that he respects the legislators’ right “to employ or not employ whomever you wish to advance your mission” and expects the same courtesy after several had urged him to remove sexual morality clauses from handbooks for archdiocesan teachers. • Muslims on Twitter have been tweeting photos of themselves using #Muslims4Lent, declaring what they will be giving up for Lent as an expression of solidarity and mutual respect for Christians. • Appointed on Feb. 17, Colleen N. Hanycz became the first lay and first female president in the 152-year history of La Salle University in Philadelphia. • As New York State lawmakers began in February to consider a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide, the New York State Catholic Conference launched a new website “to offer Catholics moral clarity and guidance on the church’s teachings regarding end-of-life decision-making.” • The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions, in a report on Feb. 18, condemned “racism and xenophobia” in Europe and urged religious communities to speak out against a growing “nationalism of exclusion” of the type that preceded both world wars.

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Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash
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Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability.
Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.