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'Extreme' abortion bill dies in Colorado Senate

Bishop: South Sudan has become 'the place where God weeps'

Anyuak Ring Deng and her five-year old daughter Arual sat under a tree March 19 in an internally displaced persons camp in Manangui, South Sudan. Families started arriving at the camp shortly after fighting broke out in December 2013. Church leaders in South Sudan have called on their country'­s warring factions to stop fighting and begin serious peace negotiations.

SEATTLE -- South Sudan's civil war has taken a brutal turn, despite appeals from the country's Church leaders to stop the violence.

In the oil hub of Bentiu, rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, killed more than 200 civilians and wounded more than 400 in mid-April, the United Nations reported April 21. People were slaughtered inside a mosque, a hospital and the city's Catholic church. The U.N. said hate speech was broadcast on local radio stations, urging certain groups to leave the city and encouraging men to rape women.

Rome prepares for influx ahead of canonizations

Pilgrims from St. Louis celebrated Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, Italy. Review multimedia journalist Lisa Johnston and Katie Pesha, executive director of the archdiocesan Office of Communications and Planning, joined a group of 40 pilgrims from St. Louis to witness the canonization events in Rome. The group is led by Father Christopher Martin, director of the archdiocesan Office of Vocations. Johnston and Pesha, with the help of some of the pilgrims with them, will provide photos, videos and more, from a unique local angle. See the coverage at

VATICAN CITY -- Just over a week before Pope Francis canonizes two of his predecessors in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Romans were bracing for the arrival of as many as 3 million outsiders.

Nineteen heads of state, 24 prime ministers and 23 government ministers from various countries are due in Rome April 27-28 for the canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said.

USCCB releases resource guide on Girl Scouts for Catholic parishes

WASHINGTON -- Responding to concerns about Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts, a U.S. bishops' committee released key points from its dialogue with Girl Scout leaders outlining major concerns of Church leaders and the national organization's responses.

The aim of the resource, issued April 2 by the bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, was not to support or oppose Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts of the USA, known as GSUSA, but to provide local bishops, pastors, youth leaders and parents with necessary information to determine their level of involvement.

Promotion of family life, fertility urged as answer to aging population

UNITED NATIONS -- An intervention from the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations decried the low birth rates in 80 countries in the world, saying the statistics "should be a great cause for alarm."

Msgr. Janusz Urbanczyk, who is first counselor and charge d'affaires at the mission, delivered the intervention April 10 to the U.N.'s Commission on Population and Development.

Nation and world briefs


Survey finds dissatisfaction with new Missal language

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