Nation and World News

Cardinal O'Malley writes letter to senators encouraging support to defund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON — Federal funds should be reallocated so women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, said in an August 3 letter to the U.S. Senate. Cardinal O'Malley urged support for S. 1881, which would withhold federal funds from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates.

Blessed Serra described as missionary 'on fire' heeding Christ's call

A statue of Blessed Junipero Serra stands outside San Gabriel Mission in early May in San Gabriel, Calif. The first occupants of the mission were the Tonga, called the Gabrieleno by the early missionaries. Today, an active diverse parish, San Gabriel Mission celebrates nine Sunday Masses, five in English, three in Spanish and one in Vietnamese.

SAN FRANCISCO -- To Andrew Galvan, Blessed Junipero Serra is a stalwart of faith and mission worthy of the title "saint."

"He was all wood and nails. He was a tough dude. He fought, he defended, he wrangled, he was frustrated and he was frustrating," Galvan said.

A descendant of tribal members from the San Francisco Bay region, Galvan traces his family roots to California's first Christians, thousands of whom were baptized and confirmed by the 18th-century Spanish missionary.

Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Sept. 23 in Washington. Galvan said he hopes to be there.

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U.S.

Advocates applaud court order to release detained immigrant families

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America's decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks at the national level.

The Boy Scouts' decision doesn't affect decisions about leaders made by local troops and councils and also permits religiously chartered Scout troops to choose leaders whose values are consistent with those of the sponsoring faith.

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U.S.

Prayers, sympathy shared after Tennessee shootings

Papal trip began as World Meeting of Families, grew to be three-city tour

Members of the media gathered along Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia at a July 9 preview tour for Pope Francis’ trip to the U.S. in September.

The first traces of preparation for Pope Francis' historic U.S. visit this September could be said to have started in Milan, Italy, in 2012.

In closing the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families held there that year, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the 2015 gathering would take place in Philadelphia.

Right away, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and World Meeting of Families organizers considered the possibility of a papal visit, which has often accompanied the family summit held every three years in a different host country.

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