Nation and World News

Supreme Court seems to lean toward church in Lutheran playground case

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices seemed to side with the church in a separation of church and state case argued April 19 about a Missouri Lutheran preschool barred from receiving state funds for playground resurfacing using recycled tires because it is a church property.

In his first minutes before the court, David Cortman, arguing for the church in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, said: "The question is why would someone's religious status matter in the first place to receiving a government benefit?"

Georgetown University, Jesuits apologize for roles in sale of slaves

Jessica Tilson, descendant of the Hawkins, Hill, Scott, Butler and Diggs family lines, delivers remarks at the dedication ceremony of the Isaac Hawkins and Anne Marie Becraft halls April 18 at Georgetown University in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Georgetown University and the Society of Jesus' Maryland province apologized April 18 for their roles in the 1838 sale of 272 enslaved individuals for the university's benefit.

More than 100 descendants attended a morning "Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition and Hope" that the university created in partnership with descendants, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Society of Jesus in the United States.

Catholic educators’ dedication shows at convention in St. Louis

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Sister Judith Abique, SPC, will integrate Theology of the Body concepts in religious education at St. Joseph School in Waipahu, Hawaii, as a result of a session she attended at the NCEA Convention and Expo in St. Louis.

Church welcomes thousands at ‘mother of all vigils’

WASHINGTON — During what the Roman Missal describes as the "mother of all vigils," the U.S. Catholic Church welcomed thousands of new Catholics at the Easter Vigil April 15 in churches big and small across the country.

About 60 of the nearly 200 dioceses in the United States reported numbers of catechumens and candidates entering the church in 2017 to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. The Archdiocese of St. Louis reports numbers later in the year, after parishes submit statistics.

Professor teaches Twitter course on St. Augustine’s ‘City of God’

Chad Pecknold, associate professor of systematic theology at The Catholic University of America, is pictured in a Jan. 24 photo. Pecknold teaches a Twitter course on St. Augustine’s “City of God.”

WASHINGTON — Students in professor Chad Pecknold's newest class come from Canada, Uruguay, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and all across the United States, but two things unite them all — a printed copy of St. Augustine's "City of God" and their Twitter accounts.

Fatima seers are holy because of virtue, not visions, cardinal says

Portuguese shepherd children Lucia dos Santos, center, and her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, are seen in a file photo taken around the time of the 1917 apparitions of Mary at Fatima.

VATICAN CITY — As extraordinary as the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, nearly 100 years ago were, the sanctity of the shepherd children did not hinge on their having seen Mary, a cardinal said.

"The apparition of the Virgin Mary was an occasion, but it has nothing to do with or has not influenced the reason" Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto will be declared saints, Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, former prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, told Catholic News Service.

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