Morning Briefing

Breaking news: House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Catholic and Republican, will not seek re-election.

NCR education reporter Menachem Wecker looks at what Georgetown’s decision to negotiate privately graduate students may mean for other Catholic universities where grad students and untenured faculty are fighting to unionize for better pay and benefits.

The founder of the one of the most influential mega-churches in the country, the Rev. Bill Hybels, stepped down ahead of his planned retirement from Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago after a Chicago Tribune investigation found decades of claims of inappropriate behavior with women that the church’s own inquiries had not found credible.

A small group of evangelicals who call themselves “Red Letter Christians” (because they aim to follow Jesus’ teachings, that is, the words that are red in some Bibles) gathered last week to offer an alternative to the “toxic evangelicalism” of  those who supported President Donald Trump.

A priest in the Congo was shot and killed shortly after celebrating Mass. Church leaders are calling for an investigation, since six priest have been abducted in the African country since 2012.

ICYMI: This devastating report from a nursing home in Venezuela struggling with food and other shortages in its care for suffering elderly.

The Diocese of Saginaw in Michigan has cancelled a fundraiser and a youth event s it continues to deal with the fallout from sex abuse allegations against former priests. Last month the diocesan offices and bishop’s home were raided by police as part of the investigation.

Some of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 are telling their stories.

Lots of good news in our parish roundup: reinvigorated parishes, thriving schools, service to communities. Plus this positive story about a Brooklyn parish revitalized by Guatemalan immigrant Catholics.


All the options for responding to alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria are bad, says this columnist.

Mark Silk sees support for the late Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment”  approach in Pope Francis’ new exhortation.

We have reviews of three new books—including one by Wendell Berry—that encourage the environmental movement to live up to Pope Francis’ call for care for creation.

This Cubs fan is mourning her team’s home opener, but is finding solace in John Sexton’s interview on finding the Divine in baseball.

Listen up (and watch)!

With all the talk of the pope’s new document on holiness this week, you might want to revisit last month’s podcast about the fifth anniversary of this papacy, with guests Vatican correspondent Joshua McElwee and columnist Michael Sean Winters.

This short video has some good insights about why white evangelicals (and conservative Christians) continue to support President Trump and hints at how to address that.




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