ICYMI from NCR over the weekend:
President Barack Obama followed his visit to a mosque early last week with an op-ed for Religion News Service: Religious freedom keeps us strong. "I want every Muslim American who may be wondering where they fit in to know that you’re right where you belong -- because you’re part of America, too."
A member of Pope Francis' clergy sex abuse commission, Peter Saunders, is taking a leave of absence, the Vatican announced Saturday. But the member, Peter Saunders, one of two abuse survivors on the commission, disputed his departure and has requested a meeting with the pope.
During his Angelus Sunday, Francis made an urgent plea for Syrian peace talks and a political solution.
Francis' February prayer intention is that "we take good care of creation -- a gift freely given -- cultivating and protecting it for future generations. Caring for our Common Home." (Video in link)
In other news:
Monday marks International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. It's also the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, and as Dan Stockman of Global Sisters Report says, that's no coincidence.
A must-read from GSR: Albinism in Africa: Sisters, activists counter violence with education, protection
Taiwan continues search-and-rescue operations following a magnitude 6.4 earthquake on Saturday.
The eighth Republican debate took place Saturday night, the last before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. Later that night, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders made a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live.
Speaking of the presidential election, Colman McCarthy weighs in on pandering and preaching on the campaign trail.
The Philadelphia archdiocese extended a deal for an independent foundation to manage its high schools.
The Mexican Catholic church has been accused of bending its marriage rules for the country's president, Enrique Peña Nieto
And with the Super Bowl concluded (Broncos beat Panthers 24-10; Peyton Manning may retire on top), this week is the final one before baseball is back.