1. On Easter, Pope Denounces ‘Oppressive Regimes’ but Urges Restraint.

By Reuters, April 18, 2017, 3:54 AM

Pope Francis denounced “oppressive regimes” in his Easter message on Sunday but in an apparent call for restraint urged world leaders to prevent the spread of conflicts, as tensions rose in North Korea and Syria.

Francis, marking the fifth Easter season of his pontificate, said Mass before tens of thousands of people under exceptional security measures in St. Peter’s Square following recent vehicle attacks against pedestrians in London and Stockholm.

In his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message, delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis spoke of a world lacerated by conflicts and laced with tensions.


2. Justice Scalia’s son, now a Father. 

By Kathryn Jean Lopez, Crux, April 18, 2017

Father Paul Scalia is perhaps best known for the homily he gave at the funeral Mass for his father, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly last winter.  Scalia has been a priest in the Arlington Diocese for more than 20 years and is author of a new book from Ignatius Press, That Nothing May Be Lost. 

In the book, Scalia writes about the importance of the Church in proclaiming the authentic teachings of Jesus. He said Church scandals can make it harder to see why this is important.


3. Missouri reverses course, makes churches eligible for some state grants.

By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, April 17, 2017, 4:01 PM

Missouri has announced that it will start allowing religious groups to be eligible for certain state grants, although the decision may not affect a religious freedom case before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

“We commend Governor Greitens for reversing a policy of discrimination against religious groups applying for neutral and widely-available grants to do important work for the state of Missouri,” said Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, on Friday.

She responded to an announcement from the state’s new governor, Eric Greitens, that religious groups will now be eligible for grants from the state’s department of natural resources.


4. Benedict XVI’s 90 years: ‘I am grateful to God’.

By Catholic News Agency, April 17, 2017, 3:24 PM

At his birthday party on Monday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI told his guests that “My heart is full of gratitude for the 90 years which the good God has given me.”

The April 17 gathering at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery was held in observance of Benedict’s 90th birthday, which fell on Easter Sunday, the day prior.

Some 50 guests from his homeland of Bavaria were present, including his elder brother, Fr. Georg Ratzinger.