Washington

Winning altar design announced for papal Mass in Washington

The crowd of people who will gather at Pope Francis' open-air Mass in Washington in September won't be able to experience the interior beauty of the Basilica of the National Shine of the Immaculate Conception during the Mass.

So the winning students of an altar design contest decided to bring the architecture of the grand church out to the people.

CRS official resigns weeks after report he was in same-sex marriage

A veteran Catholic Relief Services financial official has resigned in the wake of report that he was in a same-sex marriage.

Rick Estridge, vice president for overseas finance, stepped down after 16 years with the U.S. bishops' overseas aid and development agency, saying "it was the right decision for me."

CRS announced Estridge's resignation in a statement emailed to Catholic News Service on Wednesday. The agency described Estridge as a "valued employee."

Supreme Court boosts workers who claim religious bias

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The Supreme Court ruled Monday that companies cannot discriminate against job applicants or employees for religious reasons, even if an accommodation is not requested.

The decision was a defeat for preppy clothier Abercrombie & Fitch, which refused to hire a Muslim girl in 2008 because she was wearing a black hijab, or head scarf. It could benefit job applicants and employees who need time off for religious observances as well as those who adhere to strict dress codes.

USCCB plans fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom with events nationwide

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Threats to religious freedom continue to emerge, making it more urgent for people of faith to take action to defend the full realm of religious practice, said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

Speaking during a webinar Thursday announcing the fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom, Lori called on Catholics to learn about the importance of religious liberty throughout the history of the United States and to actively promote free religious practice during the two-week period beginning June 21.

New pastoral looks at Catholics' identity, today's challenges to faith

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl has issued a new pastoral letter "about who we are as Catholics."

"We will reflect on our identity as disciples of Jesus -- followers of Christ -- adopted children of God," he notes in the introduction.

A key part of the pastoral looks at "our freedom to be who we are as followers of Christ, and some of the challenges of our age as we try to live and share our faith," he says.

Muslim leader praises 50-year-old church document on religious dialogue

Catholic church leaders and scholars are not the only ones praising the 50-year-old church document Nostra Aetate ("In Our Time"), the Second Vatican Council's declaration on relations with non-Christian religions.

During the first part of a May 19-21 symposium on the document at The Catholic University of America, it also got high marks from a U.S. Muslim leader who said Nostra Aetate helps different faiths "recognize common roots and build a new sense of direction."

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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