Morning Briefing

First, the news out of Washington. Jesuit Fr. Patrick Conroy, will continue as House Chaplain, after he rescinded his resignation and House Speaker Paul Ryan changed his mind about the priest’s ouster. We have some Catholic House members’ reaction in our story.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, already under scrutiny for questionable spending and ethical decisions, paid himself nearly $65,000 in reimbursements from his two campaigns for Oklahoma attorney general, making it impossible to confirm whether the expenses were legit or not.

President Trump will address the National Rifle Association today in Dallas. Columnist Michael Sean Winters explains that while overall gun violence and gun ownership are both down, gun violence is worse because of the ability of assault weapons to kill many people at once.

Catholic colleges and universities are arguing they should be exempt from laws they claim conflict with their Catholic missions, but it’s difficult to understand how anti-discrimination statutes or the right to unionize conflict with a Catholic mission. One example, Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania, which is now awaiting mediation about a racial discrimination case after losing in state court.

Arizona parents are breathing sighs of relief as their children head back to school today. The governor has agreed to a substantial raise for teachers and more funds for their classrooms. It’s the fourth state to successfully to win education concessions from conservative lawmakers.

After meeting with four German bishops, the Vatican has asked them to adapt a proposal to allow non-Catholic spouses to receive communion so it might satisfy objections from a minority of the country's prelates.

Inspired by their Catholic faith, volunteers from a new ministry accompany detainees to immigration court—they’re literally living out Pope Francis’ call for a theology of accompaniment.

Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw has withdrawn as the commencement speaker for Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Find this and other college and university news in Campus Notebook.


Yesterday, during the National Day of Prayer at the White house, the president signed an executive order for a new Faith and Opportunity Initiative, similar to ones by his predecessors. In a press release, the U.S. bishops said they look forward to working with the administration on the initiative, but columnist Mark Silk says it guts a key protection.

If you read only one book about Dan Berrigan, At Play in the Lions' Den by Jim Forest is it, says our reviewer.

Listen up!

Since I had the chance to tour the new audio and video studio at America Media while in New York this week, I’ll give a plug for their Jesuitical podcast. Last week, the hosts talked with memoirist Mary Karr.

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