Nation and World News

Nigerian prelate: Church tries to keep Boko Haram victims from despair

MANCHESTER, England -- What do Nigerian Church leaders say to a woman who, pregnant and fleeing Boko Haram extremists, realizes that she is not physically capable of escaping with both of her two other children and has to abandon one of them?

This kind of situation is occurring in Nigeria, said Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos.

"Priests are working hard to help the families of the victims spiritually, through prayers and counseling," Archbishop Kaigama said in a Jan. 19 email to Catholic News Service.

Praying for victims in Niger, pope says no war can be waged for God

VATICAN CITY -- Praying for victims of violent protests and targeted attacks against the Church in Niger, Pope Francis said no war can ever be waged in God's name.

He asked that the Lord grant "the gift of reconciliation and peace so that religious feelings never become an occasion for violence, suppression and destruction," he said at the end of his general audience talk Jan. 21 in the Vatican's Paul VI hall.

"War can never be waged in God's name," he said to applause, before leading the some 7,000 people present in a prayer to Our Lady "for the people of Niger."

Interviews on the plane | Pope touches on freedom of expression, responsible parenthood

Pope Francis answered reporters questions on the papal flight from Manila, Philippines, to Rome.

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MANILA, Philippines -- Pope Francis stressed that, despite Church doctrine against contraception, Catholics fail to practice "responsible parenthood" when they have too many children.

He also denounced the teaching of "gender theory" in schools, likening it to indoctrination of children by the Nazis and fascists.

The pope made his remarks Jan. 19 in an hourlong news conference with reporters accompanying him back to Rome from a weeklong trip to Asia.

State of the Union speech hits on numerous social justice themes

WASHINGTON -- In the State of the Union address Jan. 20, President Barack Obama hit on numerous themes that resonated with Catholic advocates for social justice issues.

Among the items included in Obama's policy agenda in the president's annual speech before a joint session of Congress were what Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, called the "bold ideas" of proposals to enable students to have two years of community college education without paying tuition; to expand paid leave to working parents and to make home ownership more accessible.

Supreme Court agrees to take up same-sex marriage cases this term

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court agreed Jan. 16 to hear four cases over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, tackling the questions of whether the 14th Amendment requires states to allow such marriages and whether it requires them to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.

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