Nation and World News

Churches attacked, crisis worsens in Central African Republic

OXFORD, England — A Catholic aid worker warned of a worsening crisis in the Central African Republic, as church centers are attacked and more armed groups fight over territory and resources.

"Perhaps the situation is better in Bangui, the capital, but elsewhere conditions are deteriorating dramatically as conflicts multiply," said Christophe Droeven, country representative for the U.S.-based Catholic Relief Services.

Christians need time to rebuild trust before return to Mosul region

People from Mosul, Iraq, raised a wooden cross near St. Georges Monastery April 24. Some Iraqi Christians who are making their slow return to ancestral lands say it will take time to rebuild their lives and trust of those who betrayed them.

AMMAN, Jordan — As some Iraqi Christians make a slow return to the region around Mosul following the defeat of the Islamic State group, many say it will take time to rebuild their lives and even longer to rebuild their trust of those who betrayed them.

"The war isn't finished yet and neither is the Islamic State. There is no stability and there is still fighting in Mosul," said Patriarch Louis Sako, head of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church, who visited Mosul July 20, touring churches left badly damaged during the city's three-year occupation by the extremists.

Partisan disagreement hobbles health care conversation

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrived to speak with reporters following a vote to open debate on a health care bill at the U.S. Capitol July 25.

WASHINGTON — When the vice president has to cast a vote to break a tie in the Senate on whether to debate U.S. health care policy, it's obvious that passing legislation related to the Affordable Care Act is going to be a heavy lift in Congress.

Democrats, who boasted of a veto-proof majority to avoid a Senate Republican filibuster, got the ACA passed in 2010. Now, they're in the minority in both the Senate and the House.

Yet in the rush to reject the ACA, there lacks unanimity among Republicans in each chamber to make changes.

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U.S.

Gingrich, nominee for U.S. ambassador to Vatican, testifies at hearing

Amid polarization, nation urged to reclaim civility through dialogue

WASHINGTON — Political polarization in America has recently peaked, according to surveys conducted by Pew Research Center and Gallup, among others.

At a time in which such polarization threatens civility in public discourse, Catholic leaders called for respect, trust in dialogue and awareness of opinions for people with whom one disagrees.

Catholic leaders: Health care reform bill must uphold moral principles

Health care activists protested the Republican health care bill July 17 at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington. The bill collapsed in the Senate later that day after two more GOP senators said they couldn’t support it.

WASHINGTON — After efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed late July 17 in the U.S. Senate, Catholic health care leaders said they hope Congress will work together, in small steps, to fix flaws in the current legislation.

The bill lost ground when two Republican senators announced their opposition to it, joining two other senators who opposed the bill and leaving Republican leaders at least two votes short of the 50 needed to start debate on the measure.

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