Nation and World News

New gender policy won't affect Catholic Scouting units, says committee

IRVING, Texas -- The Boy Scouts of America's new policy to accept members based on their gender identity will have no impact on Scouting units sponsored by the Catholic Church, said the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

The Boy Scouts announced Jan. 30 that effective immediately, the Texas-based organization will determine membership eligibility for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts on a youth's gender identity as indicated on the membership application. Previously, the policy based eligibility on the gender indicated on a youth's birth certificate.

Generation Life teens proclaim the Gospel of Life at March for Life

Teens on the Generation Life pilgrimage shared their excitement at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. About 2,100 teens and others attended the annual pilgrimage, sponsored by the Catholic Youth Apostolate.

As the crowd swelled and the chants rose, Jill Stinehart was feeling energized as the March for Life in Washington, D.C., commenced.

"I believe — we love life," chanted the teens with the Archdiocese of St. Louis' Generation Life pilgrimage filled the streets.

Judge Neil Gorsuch nominated to fill Supreme Court vacancy

Judge Neil Gorsuch spoke after U.S. President Donald Trump nominated him to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice Jan. 31 at the White House in Washington. If confirmed, Gorsuch will fill the seat that has been empty since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last February.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court that has been empty since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

Trump described Gorsuch as a man the country needs, adding his pick for the high court already has had bipartisan support. "Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline," he said in announcing his nominee Jan. 31 at the White House.

Spanish-language ministry program helps church meet needs of Latinos

Carmen Dean, director of Latino ministry at Risen Savior in Burnsville, Minn., hugged University of St. Thomas president Julie Sullivan following a 2016 ceremony at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity where 45 Latino students received undergraduate lay ministry certificates in theology from the university in St. Paul, Minn.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Andres Ramirez now has the theological background and formation to support his volunteer endeavors at Incarnation/Sagrado Corazon de Jesus in Minneapolis.

Ramirez, who doesn't speak fluent English, recently graduated with the first all-Spanish speaking cohort to earn an undergraduate lay ministry certificate in theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The 45 students have attended lectures in Spanish on Tuesday nights since the spring 2014.

In Jordan, Syrian refugees accepted by U.S. frustrated with Trump action

Syrian refugees arrived at a camp in 2016 in Royashed, Jordan. Promised resettlement in the United States, many Syrian refugees are frustrated and angry over President Donald Trump's executive action banning their entry to the U.S. until further notice.

AMMAN, Jordan -- Promised resettlement in the United States after escaping death and destruction in their homeland, many Syrian refugees are frustrated and angry over President Donald Trump's executive action banning their entry to the U.S. until further notice.

"We're frustrated. We were told that we were accepted for resettlement in the U.S., and now everything is at a standstill," a Syrian refugee woman said, wiping away tears as she surveyed her crumbling home in the Jordanian capital.

Iraqi patriarch: Fast track for Christian refugees will fuel tensions

An elderly woman from Mosul, Iraq, sat at a refugee camp in Khazer, Iraq, Jan. 29. Giving priority to Christian refugees for settlement programs would be "a trap" that discriminates and fuels religious tensions in the Middle East, said Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

VATICAN CITY -- Giving priority to Christian refugees for settlement programs would be "a trap" that discriminates and fuels religious tensions in the Middle East, said Iraq's Chaldean Catholic patriarch.

"Every reception policy that discriminates (between) the persecuted and suffering on religious grounds ultimately harms the Christians of the East" and would be "a trap for Christians in the Middle East," said Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

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