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Simone Campbell tells Paul Ryan to fund aid programs

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Failure of the U.S. Congress to pass funding for nutritional aid programs for those facing poverty is "wrong morally," a key Catholic sister told the House's Budget Committee Wednesday.

Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, head of the Catholic lobbying group NETWORK, was one of four panelists who testified before the committee during a session dedicated to "The War on Poverty: A Progress Report."

Congressman: On immigration reform, Catholics need pulpit speak

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The coalition of Catholic leaders pushing for immigration reform -- a triumvirate of the nation's bishops, nuns and university presidents -- need to address the matter from the pulpit to help get reform passed in Congress, a Catholic member of the House judiciary committee said Thursday.

"Everyone takes notice when their priest speaks to them, when their nun speaks to them," said Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia of Florida. "It has impact and it tends to deflate these phony arguments about the fear of the stranger, the fear of the traveler, and this fear of the outsider."

Federal judge stops enforcement of North Dakota fetal heartbeat law

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A federal judge's temporary injunction stopping enforcement of a new North Dakota law barring abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected "is not surprising and is typical in most legal challenges to pro-life laws," said the North Dakota Catholic Conference.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland issued the ruling Monday in a suit filed by Red River Women's Clinic, the state's only abortion clinic.

Texas stiffens abortion restrictions; pro-lifers rally to support bill

The drama in Texas over abortion that drew national and international attention came to an end for the moment after the state House of Representatives then the state Senate voted to adopt tougher abortion regulations.

Gov. Rick Perry signed the measure into law during a ceremony Wednesday.

The new law prohibits abortions in the 20th week of pregnancy, requires abortion clinics to be certified as surgical centers and increases regulations on doctors and abortion-inducing drugs.

Catholic support for immigration reform called a 'moral imperative'

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Catholics need to put aside "any partisan differences" they have on the immigration issue and come together to pray for the welfare of their brother and sister immigrants and for Congress to pass much-hoped-for comprehensive immigration reform, said Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton.

Immigration reform in the United States is "a moral imperative" that goes beyond politics, the bishop said in a pastoral statement he issued for the Trenton diocese's Justice for Immigrants Sunday, observed Sunday.

Key bishop asks Congress to protect nutrition aid

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A key U.S. bishop has written Congress, asking representatives to preserve funding for federal nutritional assistance in any deliberations over a new farm bill.

Wednesday's letter from Stockton, Calif., Bishop Stephen Blaire, chairman of the U.S. bishops' committee on domestic justice and human development, comes as analysts are speculating whether Congress will take up the measure again this year.

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April 11-24, 2014

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