1. Pope at UN Demands Response to Hunger, Climate, Migration.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, October 16, 2017, 6:27 AM

Pope Francis demanded Monday that world governments collectively commit to end rising world hunger by resolving the conflicts and climate change-related disasters that force people to leave their homes in search of their daily bread.

Francis drew a standing ovation Monday at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, where he marked the U.N.’s World Food Day by calling for governments to work together to tackle the interconnected problems of hunger, global warming and migration.


2. Cardinal says pope’s top diplomat has ‘poisoned mind’ on China.

By Christopher White, Crux, October 16, 2017

In an exclusive interview with Crux, retired bishop of Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen says he believes Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is more interested in diplomacy than he is the Catholic faith. The cardinal spoke critically about the current state of the Holy See’s relationship with China and says he believes the Church is willing to compromise too much in order to establish diplomatic relations.


3. Pope Adds 35 Saints to Church, Nearly All Martyrs.

By Associated Press, October 15, 2017, 8:19 AM

Pope Francis, who often laments current persecutions of Christians, has given the Catholic Church 35 new saints, nearly all of them martyrs, from past centuries.

The latest saints were proclaimed Sunday during a Mass celebrated by Francis in St. Peter’s Square and attended by some 35,000 faithful, many of them pilgrims from the homelands of those being honored.

Thirty martyrs, including priests and lay persons, suffered anti-Catholic persecution in 1645 at the hands of Dutch Calvinists in Brazil, while three children, ages 12 and 13 who were indigenous persons in Mexico, were martyred in the 1520s for refusing to renounce their Catholic faith and return to their ancient traditions.

The other two new saints are a 20th-century priest from Spain and an Italian priest who died in 1739.


4. Pope Convenes Meeting in Rome for Amazon Region’s Bishops.

By Associated Press, October 15, 2017, 7:12 AM

Pope Francis has convened a special meeting of bishops from Amazon-area countries with a focus on indigenous peoples’ needs he says are often neglected in the environmentally-delicate region.

In St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Francis explained that the synod was requested by the region’s bishops and pastors from elsewhere.


Francis announced that the synod will take place in Rome in October 2019 mainly to map new paths for evangelization, especially for indigenous peoples “often forgotten and lacking prospects for a serene future, also because of the Amazon forest crisis.”


5. US bishops laud attorney general’s new religious freedom protections.

By Catholic News Agency, October 13, 2017, 1:46 PM

Following an announcement by the U.S. Attorney General detailing 20 principles of religious liberty for all government agencies and executive departments to follow, the U.S. bishops have praised the government’s reaffirmation of religious freedom protections.

“The Attorney General’s guidance helpfully reaffirms that the law protects the freedom of faith-based organizations to conduct their operations in accordance with their religious mission,” said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, in a statement.

The guidance was issued on Oct. 6 by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, responding to an executive order to “issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in federal law.” The document highlights key issues surrounding religious freedom in the United States and points to the importance of religious freedom in the country, as well as existing laws and precedents which protect the fundamental right.

At the memo’s outset, the document notes that religious freedom “is not merely a right to personal religious beliefs or even to worship in a sacred place. It also encompasses religious observance and practice.” The guidance reaffirms a broader definition of religious freedom, which has come under pressure as the previous Obama administration promoted the much narrower phrasing “freedom of worship.”