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Vietnamese Catholics remember Paracel war martyrs


After 40 years of near-silence, Catholics and retired government officials have expressed gratitude to former South Vietnam’s soldiers who died in the war against the Chinese invasion of the Paracel Islands.

“Today we gather together here to commemorate, express our deep gratitude to and pray for soldiers who sacrificed their lives to defend our nation in the sea war against the Chinese invasion of the Paracel Islands in 1974,” said Fr. Joseph Maria Le Quoc Thang, secretary general of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace.

US has little standing to lecture dictators


Neither John McCain nor Marco Rubio, two of Washington's mouthiest senators, could resist slamming Barack Obama for shaking hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at last month's funeral for Nelson Mandela.

"Why should you shake hands with somebody who's keeping Americans in prison?" asked McCain. "I mean, what's the point?"

Rubio's knock: "If the president was going to shake his hand, he should have asked him about those basic freedoms Mandela was associated with that are denied in Cuba."

Bill would require feds to respect state laws on traditional marriage


The U.S. House should pass a bipartisan bill that would require the federal government to respect state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, a U.S. archbishop said Friday.

Titled the State Marriage Defense Act, the bill "is a necessary piece of legislation that will prevent the federal government from unjustly disregarding, in certain instances, state marriage laws concerning the definition of marriage," said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Nine days of prayer part of Roe v. Wade anniversary events for 2014


For the second year in a row, the U.S. Catholic bishops are sponsoring "Nine Days for Life: Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage," planned for Jan. 18-26, as part of several events marking the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the U.S.

"Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children's lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss -- often in silence," says a posting on

Justice's order temporarily halts HHS mandate


With one of its last acts of 2013, the Supreme Court gave Catholics a preview of what could be among its most anticipated decisions in 2014.

On Dec. 31, just before the clock struck the end of 2013, Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily halted the implementation of part of a federal mandate requiring coverage of contraceptive services in health care plans in response to a lawsuit by a group of Catholic sisters in Colorado.



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November 20-December 3, 2015


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