1. Pope Francis’s ominous, emotional message about a world preparing to go ‘forcefully into war’.

By Marwa Eltagouri, The Washington Post, November 3, 2017, 12:30 AM

Like the recent pontiffs before him, Pope Francis traveled to Nettuno, Italy, on Thursday to visit the burial ground of the 7,860 American soldiers who died liberating southern Italy and Rome during World War II.

There, he told several thousand people at Mass that he believed the world was heading into what could be its biggest war yet, according to Reuters. Commemorating the young soldiers who died in World War II was of particular significance today, he said, because “the world once more is at war and is preparing to go even more forcefully into war.”

Francis did not elaborate on what he meant in saying the world is heading “more forcefully into war.”

The pope spoke as part of a yearly commemoration held every Nov. 2, the day Roman Catholics honor their dead, according to Reuters. He also laid white roses on about a dozen graves of soldiers buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, located about 40 miles south of Rome.

“Please Lord, stop. No more wars. No more of these useless massacres,” he said in an improvised homily, according to Reuters.

After visiting the cemetery, Francis stopped at the Ardeatine Caves, where in March 1944 Nazi soldiers killed 335 Italians in retaliation for an Italian partisan attack the previous day that killed 33 German soldiers. The Nazi troops rounded up the Italian men and boys, who included Jews, Roman Catholics and political prisoners, and trucked them to the caves, where the victims were shot in the back of the head.

Before visiting the U.S. military cemetery Thursday, Francis on Monday warned that “humanity risks suicide” with the increased danger of nuclear war between the United States and North Korea, the Associated Press reported. As part of the Vatican’s efforts to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, the Vatican will host a two-day conference starting Nov. 10 of several Nobel peace laureates, international ambassadors and top U.N. and NATO officials.


2. Court asked to reconsider ruling on Peace Cross war memorial.

By Associated Press, November 3, 2017

The American Legion and other supporters of a prominent cross-shaped war monument on a Maryland highway median just outside Washington have asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a ruling that found having the memorial on public land violates the U.S. Constitution.

Supporters asked the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hold a hearing by the full court. Last month, a three-judge panel found that the 92-year-old World War I monument known as the Peace Cross “excessively entangles the government in religion.”

On Wednesday, the 4th Circuit temporarily suspended its ruling until it decides whether to hold a rehearing.

Construction of the 40-foot cross was completed in 1925 after a group of mothers decided to build a memorial to honor their sons and others from Prince George’s County, Maryland, who died in World War I.


3. Planned Parenthood hired Fusion GPS to discredit pro-life activists hidden-camera investigation.

By Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times, November 3, 2017, Pg. A8

The same firm that produced the spurious dossier about President Trump was retained by Planned Parenthood to discredit the undercover videos accusing the abortion giant of profiting from the sale of fetal body parts.

A “forensic analysis” conducted by Fusion GPS in 2015 found that the Center for Medical Progress videos “do not present a complete or accurate record of the events they purport to depict.”

In light of the Trump dossier, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said the Fusion GPS report is not credible.

“It is no surprise that Planned Parenthood hired Fusion GPS to create a fake report,” Mr. Staver said in a statement. “Fusion GPS is the same company hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to produce fake news.”


4. Senate confirms Trump judicial pick attacked for being too Catholic.

By Fr. Mark Hodges, Life Site News, November 2, 2017, 1:25 PM

After a contentious battle characterized by “Catholic Bigotry,” Amy Coney Barrett has finally been confirmed as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge. 

“Judge Amy Barrett’s confirmation is a victory for the pro-life movement as well as for the fundamental freedom of all Americans to live out their faith in the public square,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “We thank President Trump for keeping his promise to nominate judges who will respect the Constitution and not impose a pro-abortion agenda from the bench.”

“Amy Coney Barrett is one of President Trump’s many well-qualified, impressive, experienced judicial nominees who will apply the rule of law fairly,” Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino said. “I look forward to more confirmations from the Senate soon.”

“In spite of her exemplary qualifications, Judge Barrett was subject to outrageous personal attacks for her Catholic faith from pro-abortion Senators during her confirmation hearing,” Dannenfelser noted. “Those attacks have no place in America, let alone Congress, in the 21st century. Moreover, voters will not forget the attempted obstruction when they go to the polls next year.”

The Catholic Association agreed. “Amy Coney Barrett’s qualifications for the federal judiciary are undisputed, but abortion industry advocates continue their smear campaign by attacking Barrett’s Catholic faith,” legal adviser Andrea Picciotti-Bayer stated in a press release.

“The full senate rejected their attempt to hang a ‘Catholics need not apply’ sign outside the Senate chamber when it considers candidates to the judiciary,” Picciotti-Bayer added.  “We applaud the Senate’s rejection of anti-Catholic bigotry.”


5. Democrats’ attack backfires.

By Chris Woodward, One News Now, November 2, 2017

Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed Tuesday in a 55-43 vote to serve as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor with The Catholic Association, describes the grilling of Barrett during the nominee’s confirmation hearing as “outrageous.”

“These senators know well that the Constitution prohibits any religious test for office, yet they were grilling her [with questions about her faith],” she tells OneNewsNow. “She has weathered quite an unconstitutional grilling from the Senate, so it’s very sweet to see her confirmation go through.

“She is an incredibly qualified judge … who will strictly interpret the Constitution; [she will] not make up rights out of thin air. She is what’s known as a strict constructionist, and she just has an excellent record on the bench and is a highly qualified nominee.”


6. Pope Francis recalls cost of war with WWII site visits.

By Associated Press, November 2, 2017, 1:54 PM

Pope Francis called war “the destruction of ourselves” during visits Thursday to an American military cemetery and the site of a Nazi massacre in Rome as he marked the Catholic All Souls’ Day commemorating the dead.

Francis laid flowers on 10 graves among the 7,680 American war dead buried in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery, which also commemorates a further 3,095 who went missing in campaigns to liberate southern and central Italy from Sicily north to Rome during World War II.

The pope said that humanity hasn’t learned, or hasn’t wanted to learn, the lessons of war.

“How often in history, when men think of making war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced that they are making spring. It ends in winter; ugly, cruel, a reign of terror, of death,” the pope said.

Calling for prayers for all the dead, the pope made special mention of those “who are dying in the battle every day,” referring again to what he has called “a war of pieces,” or the many eruptions of violence and attacks around the globe.


7. GOP bill allows churches to back candidates, keep tax status.

By Associated Press, November 2, 2017, 3:57 PM

Churches would gain the right to endorse political candidates and still retain their tax-free status under a provision in the House GOP’s tax overhaul plan.

The bill would repeal a 63-year-old law credited to former President Lyndon Johnson when he served in the Senate.

Critics warn it could open a loophole that could funnel tax-free money into campaigns. The provision would cost $2 billion over the coming decade, according to congressional scorekeepers.

The Johnson amendment law prohibits tax-exempt charitable organizations such as churches from participating directly or indirectly in any political campaign to support or oppose a candidate. If the IRS determines that a group has violated the law, it can revoke its tax-exempt status.

The law doesn’t stop religious groups from weighing in on public policy or organizing in ways that may benefit one side in a campaign.