NCR Today: Francis to meet Russian Orthodox patriarch; Election 2016; Decision to be made on Katy Perry buying convent; Bogus priest sold fake trips to see Francis
NCR Today: Presidential election consumes the U.S., the world seeks solutions to Syrian crisis, and the church moves forward with Francis.
NCR Today: Year of Mercy; COP21 climate talks; Russians joining ISIS; the importance of investigative journalism; Donald Trump and American Muslims; nun's trophy deer
NCR Today: A statement from The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations urges the UN to quicken its disarmament efforts.
340 rabbis sent a letter to Congress Aug. 17 supporting the agreement and rejecting the notion that most American Jews oppose it.
A Ukrainian bishop said a Russian-backed separatist rebellion has plunged his country into its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II and warned that "millions of refugees" could soon head for Europe to escape starvation.
"Huge numbers are now caught between hammer and anvil; the separatists aren't looking after them, and the Ukrainian government won't care for them because they haven't declared which side they're on," said Auxiliary Bishop Jan Sobilo of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia.
Making a Difference: While this agreement is not perfect -- very few agreements are -- it is a solid, good agreement for the world.
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.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Pope Francis on June 10, with pressure on the pope to speak up about the Kremlin's role in the Ukraine conflict.
The visit, which was confirmed Thursday by the Holy See's chief spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, will be Putin's second meeting with Francis. The two leaders also met in the Vatican in November 2013.
But the ground between Moscow and Rome has shifted significantly in the interim, with Russia annexing the Crimea Peninsula last year and being accused of fomenting the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine.
The mood at the monthlong talks being held in New York is somber. Few expect breakthroughs, and without a breakthrough, serious disarmament is in doubt.