Morning Briefing

Get your tissues ready: The stories of children reunited with their parents — after the U.S. separated them — are heartbreaking. Even worse, about two thirds of the children under 5 who were court-ordered to be reunited by the end of yesterday had not been by the deadline.

Brett Kavanaugh, the Catholic judge nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, faced his first day of confirmation hearings yesterday. Catholic scholars and leaders have some questions for him too: specifically, is he "whole life" or just "pro-life"?   

Michael Sean Winters says the Kavanaugh nomination should prompt a reckoning on abortion: Pro-life conservatives need to stand up to this president, while Democrats need to become pro-choices, in the plural.

Speaking of abortion, did you see the editorial in America — posted immediately after Kavanaugh's nomination Monday night — seemingly endorsing him and the overturning of Roe v. Wade? Interesting.

What about Amy Coney Barrett, the judge passed over for the nomination — perhaps in part because of her membership in a Catholic charismatic group criticized for being authoritarian and secretive? Some think Trump picked the wrong judge, while others speculate she's being held to eventually replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

And who's behind that list of judges from which Trump picked Kavanaugh? A very conservative Catholic with connections to lots of dark money.


After four Montana priests, in clerical attire, attended and were seated prominently at a Trump rally (in which Trump mocked the #MeToo movement), the bishops have reiterated their policies of not endorsing candidates. That's not enough for critics.

In the wake of the appointment of the first lay man to head a Vatican office, Catholic women would like Pope Francis to do more to promote women's leadership. It makes sense, especially since early Christian art indicates that women exercised considerable influence, patronage and authority — according to a new book by NCR columnist Sr. Christine Schenk.

New Mexico is planning to execute a man tonight, despite Catholic appeals not to. Now, the drug company that makes part of the cocktail that would be used in the execution has sued, saying the state obtained the drug illegally.

ICYMI: Catholic sisters are helping asylum seekers with various ministries around the country. This story is part of our sister publication Global Sisters Report's excellent series "Seeking Refuge."


As we head into the last World Cup semi-final game today, an NCR sports columnist asks: "What is it like for Mexican-Americans to root for the Mexican men's national soccer team during this era of pervasive anti-immigrant sentiment here?"

Eco-Catholic columnist Donna Schaper is suffering from Post-Traumatic Tree Disorder after losing two ancient trees on her property.

Listen up!

A lot of podcasts take a production break during summer, which allows me to catch up on some great ones I've missed. In my queue for today: an interview with Dr. Shannen Dee Williams on the untold history of African American nuns, on the Jesuitical podcast.


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