Morning Briefing

by Dennis Coday

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The top news, of course, today is President Trump's nomination to the Supreme Court. Trump names religious liberty ‘warrior’ Brett Kavanaugh to high court. Here's a bit more background: 5 faith facts on Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh

Who is Brett Kavanaugh, besides a CYO basketball coach? Trump’s Supreme Court pick has sided with broad views of presidential powers and some more: Where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stands on key issues

Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court is a continuing story. Check back with NCR later today for more news and analysis.

Lots of controversial cases at the intersection of religion and the law wind up before the Supreme Court. And, for most of U.S. history, the court, like the country, was dominated by Protestant Christians. But today, it is predominantly Catholic and Jewish. Religion, The Supreme Court And Why It Matters

Here's a great story from yesterday, you don't want to miss: Progressive Catholic women join 'pink wave' of new political candidates

Manila, Philippines — A day after agreeing to a moratorium on anti-Church statements, President Rodrigo Duterte warned religious leaders not to use against the pulpit to criticize him. His statement was profanity laced and threatening. The president said the people who voted for him are more important to him than the God of his critics.

Meanwhile in Nicaragua, churchmen and workers are physically attacked: A church delegation headed by Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Apostolic Nuncio Waldemar Stanislaw and Managua’s auxiliary bishop Silvio Baez were attacked by pro-government mobs and paramilitary groups ) in San Sebastian Basilica, Diriamba . Paramedics and journalists traveling with them were also attacked.

Have you read Pope Francis' exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate ("Rejoice and Be Glad")? NCR and Celebration have the resources to help you on yourjourney of 'small holiness'.

  • Start your day inspired with daily Scripture reflections. Join NCR's sister publication, Celebration, for Daily Bread, a series of short reflections written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings.
  • Or reflect on Pencil Preaching by Pat Marrin. Every morning Pat Marrin breaks open the Word with a pencil sketch and a short meditation.

Corruption sucks life out of our potential, Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops president George Lungu said in a homily at a Mass for the conference members and secretariat staff in Lusaka

Two related stories, from two very different places:

Global Sisters Report is running a series now, called "Seeking Refuge," a collection of stories about the refugee experience. The latest installments:

The Minneapolis Star Tribune has begun a series of stories about how Minnesota’s mainline Christian denominations face unprecedented declines, altering communities and traditions celebrated for generations. The first installment is here: La Salle Lutheran Church, open since 1918 in the tiny town of La Salle, Minn., is closing its doors for good in August.

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