Morning Briefing

Vatican City -- Pope lifts suspension of Sandinista official. Fr. Miguel D'Escoto was ordered 29 years ago to stop his priestly ministry because he refused to give up his political position in Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

Conflict with Vatican shadows upcoming LCWR assembly. U.S. women religious leaders face an uncertain future as they gather Aug. 12-16 in Nashville, Tenn., for their annual assembly.

Iraq -- The UN has warned that up to 200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes after militants took over more towns in northern Iraq. Iran's elite Guards are fighting in Iraq to push back the Islamic State. 

England -- The first priest to marry his same-sex partner is to issue a legal challenge to the Church of England after his offer of a job as an NHS chaplain was withdrawn when his bishop refused the necessary permission.

Russia -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for two monasteries and a church that were demolished during Soviet times to be rebuilt in the Kremlin, the largest overhaul of the site's architectural landscape in nearly a century.

Gaza -- Israel and Hamas began observing a temporary cease-fire that sets the stage for talks in Egypt on a broader deal on the Gaza Strip.

Opinion -- The rise of Europe's religious right: “For too long a time in Europe, pro-life people did not really say clearly and directly what they believe.” After years on the margins of European politics, social conservatives are learning to fight back.

Nigeria-- Sisters on bikes deliver healthcare where pavement ends​ by Melanie Lidman. Global Sisters ReportGlobal Sisters Report , devoted to covering the mission and ministry of Catholic women religious. It offers news, commentary and reflections on spirituality and theology.

Twin Cities -- Rubén Rosario: This young immigrant's tale a window on current crisis.

Lafayette, La. -- Accused priest uses pulpit to blame victim. The ugly specter of pedophilia has returned to haunt the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, yet on Sunday churchgoers seemed unfazed by allegations that a predator may still be lurking in its midst.

Norfolk, Va. -- A Catholic Mass unlike any you have ever seen. The Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk is the only African American Basilica in the country.

Hoboken, N.J. -- Catholic academy awarded over $1.2 million in Sandy relief funds for repairs. 

Martin Scorsese is making a film about Japan's first Jesuits. The film will star Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield.

More movie news -- Two Bible Belt filmmakers are expanding box office horizons. Filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick seem to have the formula down — grossing nearly $80 million on four films made for less than $4 million combined.

Looking 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:

PP-header_with-outline.jpgPencil Preaching is blog in which Celebration editor Pat Marrin combines Scripture and sketching to reflect on the Word.

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.

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