Morning Briefing

Yesterday was a big primary day in eight states. Among the results: a Democrat flipped a GOP-held state Senate seat in a Missouri special election.

Meanwhile, church leaders tried to address political and other polarization at a gathering at Georgetown University. Our reporter says if they didn’t find a solution, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Fashion designer Kate Spade, who reportedly died by suicide yesterday, was a graduate of St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City.

Prosecutions of members of church hierarchy may be evidence of a new phase of the sex abuse crisis, writes NCR’s Vatican correspondent Joshua McElwee.

In other Vatican news, Pope Francis and other officials will meet with some of the world's leading oil executives this week, in what appears as an effort to lobby the industry to take the dangers of climate change more seriously.

U.S. immigration agents arrested more than 100 people yesterday at an Ohio gardening and landscaping company, in one of the largest employer stings in recent years.

Catholics in the Democratic Republic of Congo will not be baptized, confirmed, ordained or anointed until a recent outbreak of Ebola is under control.

ICYMI: Catholic and other religious leaders in San Francisco are arguing that pregnant homeless women should be eligible for public housing in their first trimester rather than the third trimester, noting that hundreds of pregnant women are living on the streets.

Growing ordination numbers in two dioceses are reported in this week’s Field Hospital parish news round-up.

Justice protests in Minnesota, Massachusetts and Washington D.C., plus visits to asylum seekers in Arizona: all in this week’s Justice Action Bulletin.

Ireland’s president apologizes to women sent to church-managed “Magdalene laundries.”


The Catholic University of America’s board approved its “academic renewal” program yesterday, but columnist Michael Sean Winters has a better plan for the problems facing the bishops’ university: make it a center for Latino Catholics.

It’s time to get rid of the church’s secrecy laws that prevent mandated reporting to civil authorities, argues an Australian lawyer. Will Pope Francis do it?

Sociologist Pierre Hegy’s insights on lay spirituality should be required reading for priests and bishops, according to Peter Phan’s review of Lay Spirituality: From Traditional to Postmodern.

Listen up!

I was in Minnesota last week, attending two conferences: the Catholic Campus Ministry Association(CCMA)  and the College Theology Society (CTS). Look for reports from both in the coming days.  Meanwhile, check out the CCMA’s podcast with executive director Mike St. Pierre and this interview from last summer with CTS keynoter Christopher Pramuk on NCR in Conversation.

[Heidi Schlumpf is NCR national correspondent. Her email address is Follow her on Twitter @HeidiSchlumpf.]

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