Morning Briefing

by Dennis Coday

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The Synod of Bishops on youth and vocation opened today at the Vatican. Four stories to catch you up:

With Pope Francis midway into the sixth year of his pontificate, the percentage of U.S. Catholics who view him favorably, while still strong, is noticeably down, says a new poll out from the Pew Research Center. On clergy sex abuse, twice as many Catholics feel he is doing only a fair or poor job than say he is doing a good or excellent job.

At a campaign rally in Mississippi last night, President Trump attacked the story of Christine Blasey Ford at length — drawing laughs from the crowd. The remarks were his strongest attacks yet of her testimony. Are we surprised?

More than 500 law professors from nearly 100 law schools around the nation have signed a letter to the U.S. Senate to say that the volatile temperament Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed last week as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee disqualifies him from sitting on the nation’s highest court. Law Professors Condemn Kavanaugh For 'Lack Of Judicial Temperament'

Daughter of St. Paul Sr. Rose Pacatte has been NCR's film critic since 2009. In this Q&A she discusses the intersection of faith, theology and film. From riffing on the horror film 'The Nun' to finding themes of redemption in crime TV dramas, Sr. Rose reviews are snap shots of our culture.

The Los Angeles Times reports that federal inspectors have issued a scathing report on conditions at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center, which houses more than 1,000 immigrant detainees in the high desert, after officials found nooses made of bed sheets in cells, improper use of disciplinary segregation and inadequate medical care during an unannounced visit to the facility earlier this year.Nooses in cells, rotting teeth — report details harsh conditions at Adelanto immigration facility

Sept. 26 leaders in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which includes Cleveland, gave the green light to the formation of a commission on human rights that extends new protections for members of the LGBTQ community.

Two days later, a Cleveland man said he was fired by church for liking social media post about gay marriage The Cleveland Diocese might be within its rights, citing "ministerial exception."

On Monday, the Trump administration began denying visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and United Nations employees, requiring those already in the U.S. to either marry or leave the country by the end of the year.

Catholics aren't the only religionists have troubles, sex-wise. Paige Patterson, ousted as president of a prominent Southern Baptist seminary this spring for allegedly dismissing women’s concerns about domestic abuse and rape, is set to teach a Christian ethics course at a Charlotte, N.C., seminary later this month.

The Christian Broadcasting Network, run by CEO Gordon Robertson, on of evangelist Pat Robertson, is entering the crowded world of 24-hour news broadcasting at a time when the mainstream news media are under increasing attack by President Trump and some of his supporters, many of them evangelicals.

Tales from two meeting of national bishops' conferences:

Two Catholic bishops (Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone and New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond) accused of failing to protect children from abusive priests are being edited out of church training videos about preventing child abuse. The videos, titled “A Time to Protect God’s Children” and “A Plan to Protect God’s Children,” are widely used by Catholic dioceses across the country in mandatory training programs for volunteers, coaches, teachers and others who work for the church.

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.

Pope Francis' exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate ("Rejoice and Be Glad") has inspired many. NCR and Celebration have the resources to help you on your journey of 'small holiness'.

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