Morning Briefing

Wheaton College got a pass from the Supreme Court on the contraception mandate, with the three female justices once again raising objections. Fr. Tom Reese asks if this is a victory for the U.S. bishops. Depends. If the goal of the bishops is to put as much distance as possible between religious nonprofits and contraceptives, then the answer is yes.

What's next on the docket for the U.S. Supreme Court? More than four dozen lawsuits from non-profit, faith-affiliated charities, colleges, and hospitals

Manila, Philippines -- A priest humiliated an unwed teenage mother during her baby's baptism. A video uploaded to Facebook went viral and now the priest has apologized

Also in the Philippines -- The bishops have signed off on medical marijuana, saying, "We can't issue a blanket rejection of the use of marijuana for medical purposes." Plus, an archbishop has urged a crackdown of "secret societies" in Catholic schools after an initiation rite left one student dead.

One priest has continued to give communion to mafia bosses at a prison in Italy, even after Pope Francis said members of organized crime groups are "excommunicated." But other clergy in Italy are irked by a religious procession that made a detour past a mafia boss' house.

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Des Moines, Iowa --  A preacher has sued for the rights to preach outside the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Last year, he was detained and photographed. 

Rejecting the war paradigm by Dawn Cherie Araujo. Check out the Global Sisters ReportGlobal Sisters Report, which is devoted to covering the mission and ministry of Catholic women religious. It offers news, commentary and reflections on spirituality and theology.


New York -- Dozens of panhandlers dressed as Buddhist monks have confounded New Yorkers. Various Buddhists have confronted the men, asking about their affiliation or quizzing them about the religion’s precepts. The men remain silent or simply walk away.

#BringBackOurGirls -- More than 60 women and girls have reportedly escaped from Boko HaramThe Nigerian Islamist group is still holding more than 200 schoolgirls hostage.

China's Christians fear new persecution after the latest wave of church demolitions. Worshippers fear that they face the biggest threat of their faith since the Cultural Revolution. 

Some Czech Jewish groups are protesting against a film festival award to Mel Gibson. One screenwriter says that Gibson "hates Jews."

Six Jews have been arrested in an Arab teen's killing. The teenager was burned to death in revenge of the killing of three Israeli teens.


PP-header_with-outline.jpgLooking for a little inspiration to begin your day? NCR's sister publication, Celebration, gives you two options, both based on the Scripture readings of the day:

DailyBreadBanner.jpgDaily Bread is a series of short reflections written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings. Daily Bread is intended to help daily preachers and others who pray from the assigned Scriptures each day to orient themselves to the Living Word addressed to the church in the world. It's a great way to begin the day.

Pencil Preaching is a blog in which Celebration editor Pat Marrin combines Scripture and sketching to reflect on the Word.

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