National Catholic Reporter

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Six things to expect in the pope's address to Congress


Everyone wants Congress to stop fighting and get working, and that includes Pope Francis, a top adviser said Wednesday in a preview of the pope's upcoming U.S. trip.

The Argentine-born pope has never been to the United States, but he will make history in September as the first pope to address a joint meeting of the House and Senate on Capitol Hill.

"The pope will come humbly but will talk clearly," Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a top adviser to Francis, told an audience at Georgetown University.

First diplomat for LGBT rights speaks out


Becoming a father was a prime motivator for Randy Berry to accept what's sure to be a controversial new role at the State Department.

Berry, 50, is the U.S. special envoy for the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, the first such post created by a nation, according to the State Department.

In that trailblazing role, he said, he has an opportunity to help his two children grow up in a world more accepting than the one he was born into.

Supreme Court considers place of same-sex marriage in states that bar it

The questions raised by Supreme Court justices as they considered Tuesday whether they should rule that same-sex marriage should be made legal nationwide covered a gamut of rights concerns -- religious, equal protection, states' ability to enact their own laws.

In two and a half hours of oral arguments, the line of questions and the answers by attorneys representing both sides made clear that all concerned recognize the potential for the court's ruling to be history-making.

5,000 join March for Marriage three days before Supreme Court arguments


The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called same-sex marriage "the greatest social experiment of our time" and said that "children do not need experiments," but rather the love of a mother and father at the third annual March for Marriage rally Saturday supporting traditional marriage on Capitol Hill.

Activists demand Obama appoint envoy for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians


Beheadings, enslavement, kidnappings and rape plague minority religious communities across the Middle East, and it's time for President Barack Obama to fill a job created to address their plight, a group of prominent evangelicals, scholars and other religious leaders told the White House.

In the seven months since Congress created a "special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia," the extreme violence against these groups has only escalated, the religious leaders wrote to Obama on Monday. Nominate someone, they implored.

Faith leaders call for religious protections ahead of gay marriage hearing


As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday that could wind up legalizing gay marriage nationwide, dozens of Christian leaders have issued a call to civil authorities to preserve "the unique meaning of marriage in the law" -- but also to "protect the rights of those with differing views of marriage."


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In This Issue

October 9-22, 2015


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