1. Catholics in battleground states could sway vote Whites favor Trump, Hispanics back Clinton, By Tom Howell Jr., The Washington Times, November 3, 2016, Pg. A4.

Catholic voters are proving to be the wild card of this year’s presidential race, as Hispanic adherents of the faith back Democrat Hillary Clinton in large numbers and their white peers — though divided — warm to Republican rival Donald Trump, potentially tilting the balance in some of the election’s key battleground states.

That could help Mrs. Clinton in red states such as Arizona, analysts say, yet white Catholics hewing toward Mr. Trump make up a large part of the electorate in Ohio and Pennsylvania, meaning where they land on Election Day could determine the overall winner.

CatholicVote, a conservative Catholic advocacy group, is piling on with a $500,000 digital ad buy that blasts Mrs. Clinton in Ohio, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania, particularly in the metro Philadelphia area, which Democrats are relying on to turn a single-digit lead in the polls into victory in the state on Tuesday. The ads encourage Catholic voters to get off the sidelines in a contentious race that has left many voters jaded.

Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, is counting on her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, to keep Catholic voters in the fold. Mr. Kaine, a Catholic who did missionary work in Honduras before his political career, said his presence on the ticket is evidence that Mrs. Clinton supports the faith. Mr. Kaine has taken on criticism from Catholics for officially backing abortion rights, despite his personal opposition to the procedure.


2. Crypt Believed to Be Jesus’ Tomb Opened for First Time in Centuries, By Peter Baker, New York Times online, November 3, 2016.

The only mystical power visible was the burning light from seven tapered candles. And yet for ages, the tomb that sits at the center of history has captured the imaginations of millions around the world.

For centuries, no one looked inside – until last week, when a crew of specialists opened the simple tomb in Jerusalem’s Old City and found the limestone burial bed where tradition says the body of Jesus Christ lay after his crucifixion and before his resurrection.

“We saw where Jesus Christ was laid down,” Father Isidoros Fakitsas, the superior of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, told me. “Before, nobody has.” Or at least nobody alive today. “We have the history, the tradition. Now we saw with our own eyes the actual burial place of Jesus Christ.”
For 60 hours, they collected samples, took photographs and reinforced the tomb before resealing it, perhaps for centuries to come. By the time I visited one dark night this week, the tomb had already been closed again. In the end, just about 50 or so priests, monks, scientists and workers had peered inside, and they seem likely to be the only ones on the planet who will do so during our lifetimes.

The tomb believed to be Christ’s was opened as part of a complex renovation of the shrine that was built around it long after his death in what today is known as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, perhaps Christianity’s holiest site. Scholars hope to study what they found to determine more about the event that spawned one of the world’s great religions.


3. Why religious freedom could be at risk, regardless of who wins, By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, November 3, 2016.

Religious liberty is a pressing issue in this election, advocates say – but both major presidential candidates have shown serious deficiencies when it comes to protecting freedom of religion.

“What the friends of religious freedom need in the White House is a real, well-informed, energetic defender of religious freedom. And I don’t see one leading either party at the moment,” Dr. Matthew Franck, director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution, told CNA.

The next president may directly affect the outcome of religious freedom conflicts, either through their administration’s policies or their appointments to the judiciary.

Hillary Clinton’s support for broad anti-discrimination protections have concerned faith leaders that churches and religious charities will be forced to perform services that violate their religious mission, or be punished by the government for alleged discrimination.

For example, Catholic adoption agencies in several states have been forced to close rather than obey state mandates to place children with same-sex couples, against their religious beliefs.

Trump was asked about religious freedom by EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on “The World Over” last Thursday.
He responded by championing the repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits clergy from endorsing political candidates from the pulpit, and as Trump put it, stops faith leaders from endorsing him as a candidate.