National Catholic Reporter

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Politics

Francis meets a tardy Putin, as U.S. official calls for tougher talk

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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, in a visit being scrutinized for meaning and significance as Russia continues taking unilateral military action in Ukraine.

The Vatican press office released an unusually lengthy description of the encounter, saying the discussions between the two leaders were “dedicated principally to the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.”

Right-to-die act inspired by Brittany Maynard passes California Senate

Right-to-die legislation passed a milestone in California on Thursday when the state Senate approved a bill to legalize physician-assisted dying in a 23-14 vote.

The End of Life Option Act now moves to the state Assembly, where it faces two subcommittees before a full Assembly vote. If it passes there, Gov. Jerry Brown has not yet said whether he would sign the bill, which would make California the most populous state to allow physicians to write lethal prescriptions for dying patients.

San Francisco archbishop blasts gender transitions as threat to faith

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Amid the national buzz over transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, revealing her new female identity, a leading culture warrior in the Catholic hierarchy on Wednesday denounced the spread of "gender ideology" and said it threatens the very foundation of the church's faith.

Supreme Court boosts workers who claim religious bias

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The Supreme Court ruled Monday that companies cannot discriminate against job applicants or employees for religious reasons, even if an accommodation is not requested.

The decision was a defeat for preppy clothier Abercrombie & Fitch, which refused to hire a Muslim girl in 2008 because she was wearing a black hijab, or head scarf. It could benefit job applicants and employees who need time off for religious observances as well as those who adhere to strict dress codes.

Americans prefer 'pro-choice' label by biggest margin in seven years

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Despite Americans' shifting opinions on a range of moral and ethical issues, abortion foes have been encouraged by numbers showing that opposition to abortion rights appeared to have resisted serious slippage, and was even gaining traction.

But a Gallup poll released Friday shows that may be changing: 50 percent of all Americans now identify as "pro-choice," the first statistically significant lead over the "pro-life" label, which came in at 44 percent, since 2008.

USCCB plans fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom with events nationwide

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Threats to religious freedom continue to emerge, making it more urgent for people of faith to take action to defend the full realm of religious practice, said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

Speaking during a webinar Thursday announcing the fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom, Lori called on Catholics to learn about the importance of religious liberty throughout the history of the United States and to actively promote free religious practice during the two-week period beginning June 21.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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