Morning Briefing

Part 2 of NCR's three-part series on the Catholic campus outreach group FOCUS looks at the group's substantial resources and connections to conservative groups and funders. ICYMI: Part 1 was an overview of the organization and its emphasis on the new evangelization. (And Part 3 on its move into parishes will run tomorrow.)

On the topic of young people, the pope is talking to them — not about them, during the pre-meeting to October's synod on young people.

New York Times columnist Russ Douthat's new book on the pope should be shelved in the fiction section, says Distinctly Catholic columnist Michael Sean Winters in his review of "To  Change the Church." And that's the nice thing he has to say about it.

In the wake of the "lettergate scandal," in which the Vatican doctored portions of a letter from Pope Benedict that expressed concerns about the current papal administration, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of his communications czar.

In other Vatican news, the pope will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at a prison, where he will wash the feet of sick prisoners. (And it's official: the pope is going to Ireland in August.)

Another great series in NCR's sister publication, Global Sisters Report, is on black spiritual traditions in the church.

In a last-minute decision, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of a Missouri man. Four justices — including Catholics Roberts, Alito and Thomas, plus Gorsuch, who was raised Catholic — voted against the stay of execution.


The pastor of a Chicago parish well-known for offering Mass in Latin has been removed after allegations of sexual misconduct with an adult male. Fr. C. Frank Phillips founded the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, under the Resurrectionists, who will investigate the allegation.

A high-ranking Mormon leader has admitted that he molested at least one young woman and said he had a "sexual addiction" he struggled with all his life.

Have you seen the meme that says physicist Stephen Hawking converted to Christianity on his deathbed? Not true.


On the occasion of his 75th birthday, Capuchin Fr. Richard Rohr reflects on how the Holy Spirit has blown through his life. Happy belated!

Listen up!

As part of Women's History Month, the hosts at Pantsuit Politics interviewed Claire Swinarski, a self-described Catholic feminist (with a podcast of her own) about her pro-life beliefs and abortion politics. It was a reasoned conversation, which you don't see often in this debate. The listener feedback (which I haven’t listened to yet) is here.


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