Washington

Pay close attention to pope's words and actions, papal nuncio says

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio to the United States, gets plenty of questions about Pope Francis.

A March 27 discussion at Georgetown University, sponsored by the university's Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, was no exception. The nuncio, who sat onstage with John Carr, the initiative's director, was asked about the pope's key issues and his impact in the four years since his election.

Religiously affiliated hospital pensions at the center of Supreme Court case

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A “sleeper” of a case before the Supreme Court pits three hospitals against employees who object to the institutions’ religious exemption from a federal law that protects pensions.

Religiously affiliated hospitals would have to shoulder an enormous financial burden should they have to comply with ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, said Eric Baxter, a senior counsel at Becket, the nonprofit legal institute that argued before the justices March 27 on behalf of the hospitals.

Democrats in Senate plan to filibuster Gorsuch's nomination

As the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, moved into the March 23 testimony phase with those for and against his nomination taking the floor, the Democrats announced plans to filibuster his nomination.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, announced on the Senate floor he would oppose Gorsuch's nomination by joining other Democrats in a filibuster. This means Gorsuch will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate, and with only 52 Republicans, this would be unlikely.

Catholic, indigenous ask Inter-American commission to protect land rights

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Catholic leaders are calling for governments to protect the territorial rights of indigenous people suffering eviction from their lands and pollution of their water because of mining and oil operations in the Amazon basin.

Testifying before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights here March 17, indigenous and church representatives from Ecuador, Peru and Brazil told of people being forced to leave their homes and communities pitted against each other because some support a mining company while others oppose it.

Trump vows to keep fighting for travel ban blocked again by courts

President Donald Trump, during a campaign rally in Nashville, vowed to fight the latest court ruling blocking his executive order temporarily suspending immigration from six Muslim-majority countries and refugee resettlement all the way to the Supreme Court.

"We're going to fight this terrible ruling," the president told a crowd of cheering supporters in Nashville's Municipal Auditorium March 15. "The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear."

Bishops say U.S. must address needs of immigrants, show compassion

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While one Catholic archbishop was urging a fix to the country's immigration laws before a Catholic crowd, another was pleading with the government not to separate mothers from their children while in immigration detention, and yet another, a cardinal, was accompanying a grandfather to an appointment that could have resulted in his deportation.

Catholic Church leaders in the U.S. spent the week of March 6-10 trying to allay fears, urging compassion, not just from the government from those who are not seeing "God's creation" when they malign unauthorized immigrants.

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In This Issue

March 24-April 6, 2017

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