National Catholic Reporter

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Politics

Francis to address Congress Sept. 24

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Pope Francis will make an unprecedented address to Congress on Sept. 24 during his first visit to the United States.

House Speaker John Boehner announced Thursday (Feb. 5) that the pontiff accepted the invitation Boehner extended last year.

“In a time of global upheaval, the Holy Father’s message of compassion and human dignity has moved people of all faiths and backgrounds,” Boehner said in a statement. “His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.”

Executions are down and abolition may not be far behind

It looks like the death penalty may be on life support.

January was set to be the deadliest month for U.S. executions in 2015, but nine of the 15 executions were stopped. In an unprecedented wave, three of the deadliest states -- Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri -- stopped executions planned for last month. February has just begun, but nine of its 12 scheduled executions have been halted.

Last year was not a good year for the death penalty, either, as death sentences hit a 40-year low and executions were at a 20-year low.

Pro-life activists optimistic about state efforts to restrict abortion

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While action on a bill that would ban abortions in the United States after the 20-week mark has been delayed in the House of Representatives, pro-life activists said they remain optimistic about efforts to restrict abortion, especially at the state level.

Several states, including South Carolina, West Virginia and Kansas, are moving forward on various forms of legislation meant to protect the life of the unborn.

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In This Issue

March 27-April 9, 2015

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